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For Pinkerton Players in Derry, it's not the same old song and dance

Union Leader Correspondent

February 25. 2013 11:35PM

Colin Coviello (Sir Harry), Amanda Crow(Lady Larken), Chris Komasarek (Minstrel) 

DERRY - The Pinkerton Players will be bringing a true crowd-pleaser to the Stockbridge Theatre with its spring musical production of "Once Upon a Mattress."

"It's a lot of fun," said Matthew McGinnis, a Pinkerton Academy junior who plays Prince Dauntless in the production. "It's a funny show for the entire cast and crew, with a lot of dancing and singing."

The Pinkerton Players, the school's theater troupe, will be performing "Once Upon a Mattress" at the Stockbridge Theatre March 21-24 for five performances.

The play is a comic and musical take on "The Princess and the Pea" and was first performed on Broadway with Carol Burnett in the leading role of Princess Winnifred.

Each year, the Pinkerton Players perform one dramatic play in the fall and one musical in the spring.

"I try to match up the group of students with a musical, and I thought (this play) would be a good match," said Pinkerton Players producer and director Thomas Quigley.

Chester senior Jesse Harte said she likes playing the princess because she is a real girl.

"She has attitude and sass, and she's fun to play," she said.

Harte said she has been acting since she was 4 and is planning on studying musical theater in college after she graduates this year.

While Harte may be one of the few Pinkerton Players who will attempt a career in musical theater after high school, many of the students said they feel a great sense of pride and belonging in being part of the group.

"Everyone is so nice and no one judges," said Chester sophomore Christopher Komisarek, who plays the minstrel. "You can be yourself and let loose."

Some of the actors said they enjoy playing a character they share many attributes with, but Derry junior Collin Coviello said he enjoys undertaking the challenge of playing the arrogant Sir Harry.

"I find that everyone needs a creative release, and this helps for me," he said.

Derry junior Mariah Larocque has been with the Pinkerton Players since her freshman year, and she snagged her first starring role this year as Queen Aggravain.

"I'm very excited," she said. "She is evil and maniacal. It's challenging to play someone who is not like yourself, but it challenges me and it's a good character."

Information on tickets for the Pinkerton Players spring musical production of "Once Upon a Mattress" is available at

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