A Day in the Life

Lead in the Musical ‘Once Upon a Mattress’ shares her experience


Grace Elder

Annabelle Shrieves goes through dress rehearsal. Shrieves plays the role of Winnifred.

After looking at the slideshow that listed all of the shows the school was going to put on throughout the year, I was confused. I had never heard of the musical “Once Upon A Mattress.” I did my research and decided that I wanted to be the lead, Princess Winnifred.

 I watched videos of people singing her songs in order to start figuring out what I should do. I went to the singing workshops for the audition, and before I knew it, I signed up for my audition date. 

I could have sworn that I messed up in my audition, so my hopes were dwindling. I heard other people and thought that they would be Winnifred too. I doubted I got the part, and I didn’t know what was going to happen. 

After a couple days, the callback list came out.

 I saw my name and I felt ecstatic. I went to callbacks and the only person I sang/read for was Winnifred. I had high hopes for the cast list. 

The next few days were the most nerve wracking of my life. I was waiting everyday to see the cast list. 

When it finally came out, it wouldn’t load. 

I was unbelievably nervous while clicking the refresh button over and over. I didn’t know what was going to happen. I suddenly got a text that read, “Congratulations!” I didn’t know who I got yet. 

It was junior Grayson Meece who texted me. He sent me a picture of the cast list and I searched for my name. 

The next thing I knew, I was crying.

 It said “Winnifred – Annabelle Shrieves.” 

After a couple days, the rehearsal schedule came out. The cast rehearsed for a couple weeks. Some days were blocking, how the actors move around the stage, some days were singing and some days were choreography. 

We had a couple of bumps in the road, with choreography or singing, but the show was coming together nicely. 

It was definitely different than what I was used to. The last musical I was in was a student-written one and had no blocking.

 My freshman year I was a stage manager for the school musical. There is a big difference in being a stage manager compared to the lead in a musical. 

Although it was different, it wasn’t a bad kind of different. I like the aspect of all three of those things. It kind of makes me a triple threat, knowing how to do things onstage, backstage and etc. 

People still talk to me the way they did when I was a stage manager. Nobody treats me differently, which is wonderful. 

Getting all of this support from my friends and family was something that hasreally helped me throughout the process. It helped keep me going. 

The atmosphere of the theater was and has always been very friendly. Everyone supports each other, and it is a very happy place. 

Although it may be a happy atmosphere, it is sometimes hard to be that chirpy and happy. As someone with mental health problems, being at school all the time for rehearsal can take a small toll on my health. I love being at school for the rehearsals, but sometimes my body can fight back and tell me to rest. 

My body has gotten in the habit of being at school a lot, so it isn’t as bad as it was in the beginning. I am used to being in the auditorium, the choir room,  and the green room.

Nearing the end of the entire process, I am sad and excited. I’m sad that I won’t get to see all of my new friends everyday, but I’m excited that I get to show other people what we have been working on for months. 

All of us get to show off our different talents and get to celebrate all of the hard work that we have put into the musical. I hope that all of the audience members enjoy the show that we put together.