The Light Princess
adapted from the fairy tale by George McDonald
music and lyrics by Mike Pettry
book by Lila Rose Kaplan
directed by Casey Stangl
May 20, 2016 - June 5, 2016

The Light Princess

She can fly! That’s the good part. The bad part is she can’t land. The Princess has no gravity—and no gravitas. Free from sadness and fear, she also doesn’t know how to love, thanks to a witch’s curse (there’s always a curse!). And if the King and Queen can’t give her gravity before she’s sixteen, she’ll never come to earth. Maybe the Prince who wants to be a rock star will find an answer—his lyrics are lousy, but his heart’s in the right place. TheatreMania calls this new musical narrated by two wonderfully silly Wise Men “astonishingly delightful.” You will, too!

Previews: May 20 – 27, 2016
Regular Performances: May 28 – June 5, 2016

Recommendation: Grades K-6. This production contains fog and strobe effects. Theatre for Young Audiences … and Their Families is just that, a multi-generational experience for all ages, except children under the age of four and babes-in-arms. The only requirement is that each audience member occupies a seat and sits quietly through the performance while having a wonderful time.

Running Time: Theatre for Young Audiences performances are never more than 90 minutes.

George MacDonald (author) wrote the original fairy tale that The Light Princess is based on! He was a novelist who wrote about Scottish life, a poet and a writer who is remembered for his fairy stories, which have continued to delight children and adults. He became a Congregational church minister, and then a free-lance preacher and lecturer. In 1855, he published a poetic tragedy, Within and Without, and after that he made literature his profession. Of his literature for adults, Phantastes: A Faerie Romance for Men and Women (1858) and Lilith (1895) are good examples. Although his best-known book for children is At the Back of the North Wind (1871), his best and most enduring works are The Princess and the Goblin (1872) and its sequel, The Princess and Curdie (1873).

Mike Pettry (music and lyrics) is a New York based composer/lyricist and musician. He is a 2012 ASCAP Foundation Harold Adamson Lyric Award winner, and a 2007 Jonathan Larson Award winner. Musicals written include Hardcore West Virginia (2012 ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop with Stephen Schwartz), The Time Travelers Convention, Long Distance, World of Heroes, The Wonderful World of Zidney (featured highlight at Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Festival) and Flipside (2007 New York University Frederick Loewe Award winner). Pettry’s songs have been performed all over the country and in the U.K. Muzz Skillings of Living Colour produced several of his songs for the Lin McEwan album When I Wake... . Pettry’s solo album The Voices In My Head is available on iTunes, as is the original cast album of The Time Travelers Convention. He also wrote the score for the film The Promise of New York (Big Muddy Film Festival Audience Choice, Best Documentary).

Lila Rose Kaplan (book) writes bittersweet comedies and modern myths that delve into the mysteries of human relationships. Her play Wildflower made its off-Broadway debut in 2009 at Second Stage Uptown and was published by Dramatists Play Service. Her other works include We All Fall Down, Home of the Brave, 100 Planes, Entangled, Bureau of Missing Persons and Tink. Her plays have been seen and/or developed at Second Stage, Arena Stage, La Jolla Playhouse, The Old Vic, Chalk Rep, Perishable Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Theatreworks, PlayPenn, The Lark, among others. Her awards include The National Science Award in Playwriting, The International Women’s Playwriting Award, The Shank Playwriting Fellowship, and the I.J. Kapstein Award in Playwriting. In 2010, she was selected as an Old Vic/New Voices T.S. Eliot Exchange Playwright and one of her short plays debuted at the Old Vic in London.

Learn more about the production, cast & creative team with a peek into the program. Read full artist bios, in-depth articles and more.

Taylor Casas
Taylor Casas (Ensemble/Gravitron). The Light Princess is my first play with SCR, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be working on this incredible show! Best of all, I get to perform alongside my best friend and acrobatics partner, Cynthia Price. This spring, I will graduate from California State University, Long Beach, with a BA in Theatre Arts. I’ll always remember my favorite role was when I played Anne in my university’s production of The Diary of Anne Frank. Before entering the theatre world, my passion was dance! I performed in multiple dance shows at Los Alamitos High School, and since then I’ve developed other ideas of dance and movement studying under CSULB’s movement professor, Ezra Lebank. When I’m not acting or dancing, I am flying in the air performing or teaching aerial silks!

Gina D'Acciaro
Gina D'Acciaro* (Witch). I’m the girl who plays the mean ol' Witch, right? But, I promise I’m super nice in real life! The Light Princess is my first show at SCR, so chances are we haven’t met yet. My last name is pronounced DUH-CHAIR-OH and I’m originally from Philadelphia, but I love California. And so do my two little dogs! When I’m not playing fetch with my poochies, I play on stage and in recording studios. I sing vocal demos and do voices for cartoons, which is a lot of fun. Sometimes I get to do shows in other states. This past summer, I was in a musical called I Do! I Do! in Virginia Beach, Va., with a dear friend of mine. We got to do a show AND see some cool historic places. Colonial Williamsburg was my favorite. We went there four times! Some of my favorite roles include Maria in Lend Me a Tenor, Grizabella in Cats and a princess in The Mystery of Edwin Drood at the Actors Co-op in Hollywood, and I even was nominated for my second Los Angeles Ovation Award for playing her. I hope you enjoy the show! Much love to my family!

Emily Eiden
Emily Eiden* (Wiseman 2). Hello again! You might remember me from SCR’s Anastasia Krupnik, A Year with Frog and Toad, Ivy + Bean and Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells—or your parents may have seen me here in Taking Steps. Acting in great stories like these is my family business. You see, my mom and dad met in a play directed by my grandpa, then my brother and I grew up acting in plays directed by my parents and, eventually, I met my husband in an acting class! Now I spend a lot of time reading and acting out kids books with my darling and hilarious toddler and our dog, Count Timothy the Great. You can hear me tell stories in audiobooks like the Whatever After series, Goosebumps: The Ghost Next Door and the Paranormalcy trilogy. You might also recognize my voice in cartoons like “Clarence,” “Children Make Terrible Pets,” “TripTank,” an upcoming top secret series or in the planetarium shows at Griffith Observatory. Please enjoy our story today!

Justin Figueroa
Justin Figueroa* (​Prince). I’m so happy to be playing the role of the Prince for you! I’ve been quite busy since the last time I appeared at SCR in The Brand New Kid. I have been traveling the world singing and playing guitar, most recently as Johnny Cash in the Tony Award winning musical, Million Dollar Quartet. Before that, I got to play a punk rocker in Home Street Home at the Center Theatre Group and even managed to play a little country music in Sneaky Old Time at the Ruskin Theatre. When I’m not busy playing different roles on stage, I spend a lot of my time playing guitar and writing new songs. Sending lots of love to my family and my fiancée-—thank you so much for your unwavering support!

Arielle Fishman
Arielle Fishman* (Princess). I’m so happy to be playing the Princess, as her pluck, assertiveness and sense of fun really inspire me. Growing up, my mom taught me how to play Marco Polo and I was really into it. She also was very adamant that I become a skilled swimmer, so she forced me to join a swim team. Let’s just say I was not as talented a swimmer as the Princess! My mom never expected me to be able to fly—thank goodness. I recently graduated from college in Los Angeles, where I did lots of musicals. Outside of school, I played the roles of Amy March in Little Women and Lydia Bennet in Pride and Prejudice—characters who both happen to be sassy little sisters! I love performing because I have the best time learning about my character's personality and point of view.

Joel Gelman
Joel Gelman* (Wiseman 1). My brother and I always have loved making each other laugh! Then we figured out we could make other people laugh, too! Usually by doing funny voices and falling on our bums. I got to do a couple of fun voices and crazy dances here at SCR in Pride and Prejudice. I’ve also done some silly roles on your TV, including a terrible medical student on “Henry Danger,” a confused homebuyer on “Modern Family” and an annoyed police officer on “New Girl.” I can’t wait to laugh along with you today!

Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper
Nicholas Mongiardo-Cooper* (King). I can’t believe this is my eighth show here at South Coast Repertory! Hmm...let’s see if I can remember them all: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Charlotte's Web, The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, The Night Fairy, The Borrowers, Lucky Duck and Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business. Whew! That’s a lot of shows, but boy were they fun! I’ve also performed for some other young audiences just like you—like when I played the lead role in Ferdinand the Bull at the Main Street Theatre. I spend a lot of time going back and forth between California and New York City, where I was born. There I get to do plays by Shakespeare, musicals where I play guitar and a ton of other new plays and musicals. I went to New York University for college and the High School of Performing Arts before that. I’m so lucky to have had so many terrific teachers, plus my mom and dad and everyone here at SCR!

Ann Noble
Ann Noble* (Queen). This is my third show at SCR. Since my last two plays here, Antastia Krupnik and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, I've done many different kinds of plays: Stanley Ann, which is a one-woman show about President Obama's mother; The Crucible, which is about witches; The Liar, which is about liars; Other Desert Cities, which is about family; and The Goat, or Who is Sylvia, which is about a goat named Sylvia (among other things)! My love for theatre started in high school where I was blessed to have some wonderful teachers who fostered my interest in plays, performing and writing. In fact, that’s what I do when I’m not acting, I write plays and I teach other people, even kids, how to write plays about themselves and the world around them. As an actor, I work mostly with my home theatre company, Antaeus (“ann-tee-us” rhymes with “come see us”!), where we do “classic” plays, which are plays that are very old. And while it’s fun to do new plays, it’s wonderful to tell a story from a long time ago…today.

Cynthia Price
Cynthia Price (Ensemble/Gravitron). This is my first time on stage at SCR and I love that I get to make my debut with my best friend, Taylor Casas! She and I have spent the last 3 years in college together at California State University, Long Beach, and this year we have traveled all the way around the world studying theatre, performing and doing AcroYoga. I’m from a theatrical family and have grown up dancing, singing and doing shows in Southern California. My first time on a professional stage was as the changeling child in a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream that my dad was in. I was only in kindergarten at the time. Since then, I have been a child soloist in the Crystal Cathedral’s Glory of Christmas, a parade dancer and performer at Disney’s California Adventure, and lots more. Theatre lets us be anything and everything!
Creative Team

Casey Stangl (Director) studied dance in the first grade and got to be on TV! This was in Iowa, on “Bill Riley’s Talent Search.” Each week, kids performed on the show, and if they won, they got $25 and a chance to compete at the Iowa State Fair. Casey made it to the State Fair several years in a row and loved watching all the talented kids. Even then, she knew that though she loved singing and dancing, she didn’t really want to be a performer. She liked seeing how everything got put together and imagining whole shows in her head, so she became a director. That means she chooses who will be in the play, works with designers to help create the sets and costumes and helps the actors create their characters. She likes being the person out front, taking it all in and knowing that she helped to make it happen.

Deborah Wicks La Puma (Music Director) is a composer and music director who loves working at SCR, where her musical Jane of the Jungle premiered. Some of her other favorite shows that she has music directed at SCR include The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, James and the Giant Peach, A Year with Frog and Toad, Imagine and The Only Child. She has been doing shows for kids and grown-ups for more than 20 years, and her favorite thing to do is write musicals, including Elephant and Piggie: We are in a Play! at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.; Einstein is a Dummy at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Ga.; and Ferdinand the Bull at Imagination Stage, Md. She started playing piano, singing and writing songs when she was nine and studied music at Stanford University and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the OC with her husband, three daughters and Mimi the Cat. Check out her website:

François-Pierre Couture (Set Design) moved from Montréal (that’s right, Canada) to Los Angeles to complete his MA in scenic and lighting design at UCLA in 2006. This redhead loves to imagine and make tiny models of giant sets so actors can play with them. He also likes to hear the reaction of an audience when it discovers the stage for the first time. Aside from shining bright lights on Pinocchio at SCR and designing sets in theatres like The Theatre @ Boston Court, Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City or Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., he teaches young and bright students at East Los Angeles College and Pepperdine University. If you want to know more about what he likes—and what he doesn't like, such as whiny people, routines and raw onions—you can visit him at

Angela Balogh Calin (Costume Design) is very excited to be back at SCR and to collaborate with Casey again. She designed costumes and/or sets for 10 Theatre for Young Audiences shows and more than 35 other productions, including Abundance, The Whipping Man, Peter and the Starcatcher, The Whale, The Trip to Bountiful, Circle Mirror Transformation and Ordinary Days. She also designed sets and costumes for more than 60 productions for Denver Center Theatre Company, A Noise Within, Milwaukee Repertory, The Old Globe, Pasadena Playhouse, Georgia Shakespeare and many local theatres and in her native Romania. She has worked extensively in film and television in the U.S. and Romania, having design credits with I.R.S. Media, Cannon Films, PBS, Full Moon Entertainment and Romanian Films. She graduated with an MFA in set and costume design from the Academy of Arts in Bucharest.

Karyn Lawrence (Lighting Design) is a Los Angeles-based theatrical lighting designer. She always has loved the art of storytelling and grew up drawing, painting, dancing and acting. She fell in love with lighting design while studying at the University of California, Irvine. From magical twinkle lights to flashy rock n’ roll strobes, she loves to paint with light! She has designed the lighting for numerous plays, musicals, operas, dances and events including SCR’s Theatre for Young Audience productions of A Year with Frog and Toad and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, as well as Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, Annie and Seussical for SCR’s Theatre Conservatory Players. One of her favorite designs each year is lighting the haunted mazes for Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights. When she’s not playing with lights, she’s riding her horse in the mountains near her home in Los Angeles.

Jeff Polunas (Sound Design) is a Los Angeles-based sound designer. He attended Mt. San Jacinto and Mira Costa College and majored in music theory and recording. After being an actor in high school, he decided to get back into theatre through a production of West Side Story, where he mixed a show for the first time. He then continued his education at San Diego State University, earning his BA in theatre. Jeff completed his MFA in sound design at the University of California, Irvine, and currently is the production sound engineer at California State University, Fullerton. His past Theatre for Young Audiences credits include Ivy+Bean, Anastasia Krupnik and Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!. Jeff loves the reaction on his son's face when he hears music and he wants to pass that feeling on to everyone.

Rebecca Nakano (Choreography) is an actress and dancer who developed an early love of movement and music when she began dancing at the age of five. She studied ballet, jazz, contemporary and modern dance. It wasn't until she began studying theatre arts at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), that she found a love for physical theatre. That’s when she directed and choreographed her first movement piece: an adaptation of the story, Big Fish. Soon after, she created and directed her own original movement-based showcase, Over the Midnight Moon. Her closest mentor, Ezra LeBank, taught her everything she knows about physical theatre, movement and AcroYoga. Rebecca also has studied clowning with the L.A.-based theatre company Four Clowns and The Atelier Teatro Fisco school of clowning in Turin, Italy. She graduated CSULB with a BA in theatre arts with an emphasis in performance.

Julie Ann Renfro* (Stage Manager) grew up in Orange County where she attended Newport Harbor High School. She was inspired by her drama teacher, Gail Brower-Nedler, to study theatre and went on to receive her BA from Vanguard University. She has worked on several other TYAs that you may have seen at SCR, such as The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Charlotte’s Web, The Night Fairy and Robin Hood. Usually Julie can be found backstage moving scenery, helping actors in and out of costumes, and making theatre magic, but for this show she will be sitting in the booth behind the audience! When Julie isn’t working on a play she loves to go camping, travel the world and have adventures!

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

From the Blog
A Very “Punny” PlayA Very “Punny” Play
A witch’s curse has left our Light Princess with no gravity. It’s one of the many puns in the delightful musical, where “light” also means ‘not too serious.’ Play our ‘punny’ game to get ready for the play. read more
A High-Flying Princess A High-Flying Princess
Dramaturg Kat Zukaitis gives us the scoop on The Light Princess: the story, the imaginative design and how we'll make a princess more
Meet the Author: George MacDonald Meet the Author: George MacDonald
Scottish writer George MacDonald’s stories influenced writers like J.R.R. Tolkien and Mark Twain. MacDonald’s beloved fairytale, The Light Princess is up next in the Theatre for Young Audiences series. Read about his life and works. read more
The Story: The Light PrincessThe Story: The Light Princess
The Theatre for Young Audiences series concludes with the delightful musical, The Light Princess, adapted from an original fairytale by George MacDonald. Read on to learn more about the story more

Pacific Life


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