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Star rises for young actresses

The Evil Princess Viv played by Chenaya Schuetze places a curse on the baby Princess Tulip in the production of The Floating Princess on stage at Maranatha Christian School this week. - Val Hanet photos
The Evil Princess Viv played by Chenaya Schuetze places a curse on the baby Princess Tulip in the production of The Floating Princess on stage at Maranatha Christian School this week.
— image credit: Val Hanet photos

The Floating Princess opens Thursday this week at the Maranatha Christian School in Williams Lake.

The Maranatha Players presents their 12th annual musical, a rollicking spoof sure to delight and entertain audiences of all ages.

Grade 12 student Chenaya Schuetze plays the evil Princess Viv in the production, which is directed by Becky Strickland.

Schuetze said that although it’s not her first time playing a princess, it’s her first time being “evil.”

“Last year I was grumpy and whiny but this year I’m evil,” she laughed.

“First time for me this year is also dancing in really high heels and singing solo.”

Schuetze has been on stage with the Maranatha Players for the past eight years, and said that it has given her confidence and made her more outgoing.

She added that the auditions for the musicals take place shortly after school starts in September.

“They go all day, and you have to sing a song and recite a monologue—pretty nerve-wracking,” she explained.

“I sang a song from Little Mermaid and did a monologue by an evil character from Sleeping Beauty.”

Madison Biddulph plays Princess Tulip in the production.

The Grade 12 student, also a seasoned school musical participant, said that her character is “purely good and sweet, mischievous and a bit of a ditz.”

The girls said they love the characters and the story line in The Floating Princess, stating that it’s an “over-the-top spoof on fairy tales.”

They also said that being in musicals at Maranatha lets you stretch out of yourself and try something new and develops great teamwork and leadership skills.

“It’s such a reward when you walk onto the stage in front of an audience and show people how much work you’ve put into this,” Schuetze explained.

“It makes us so proud that our school can offer a fun show for our community.”

Both girls said that it’s great to work with director Becky Strickland, adding that she brings out the best in the performers.

“Her motto is ‘do it again,’” they said.

“She cares about all of us and knows when to be encouraging and when to give ‘the speech.’”

“A lot of the little kids in the school can’t wait to be part of these plays,” Schuetze continued.

“I remember seeing my older sister on stage and thinking is was so cool,” she said. “I wanted to do it, too.”

The girls said that family support and volunteer help make all the difference in the world for the success of the musicals.

“My mom helps out every year – she takes two weeks off work,” Biddulph noted. “I’m so excited for her to sit in the audience and see the whole thing.”

The Floating Princess musical finishes its two-week run this week, Thursday, Dec 12 at 7 p.m., Friday, Dec 13 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec 14 at 1 p.m. and Saturday, Dec 14 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are available at Wise Owl Toys and Maranatha Christian School.

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