HRMS opens the book on 'Princess Slob'

February 18, 2012

Following in the footsteps of inventive Hood River Valley High School music and drama productions, Hood River Middle School teens and teachers are simultaneously bringing to life a new musical and opening a new chapter at HRMS.

According to HRMS music teacher Rebecca Nederhiser, this is the first full-scale musical to be done at the middle school in anyone's recent memory, and may be the first ever.

In a partnership with Mark Steighner, mentor musical director from HRVHS, Nederhiser is undertaking her own first musical as a teacher and director.

To add to Nederhiser's creative inspiration, Steighner wrote the musical's script and lyrics and composed the original tunes for the show, entitled "Princess Slob."

"The message is truly about the power in being yourself and letting your own unique qualities shine," said Nederhiser. "The show is really geared to fit this age group and the issues they face.

"Set in a faraway kingdom, the story features a young tomboy princess named Ally who is sent to 'Lady Higgins' School for Girls.' There she is horrified to find snooty princesses obsessed with the idea of being 'perfectly perfect.' Luckily, Ally finds a friend and the two discover what being a princess really means," said Nederhiser.

It seems that in addition to the fun, singing, dancing and laughter, the audience may enjoy a few good life lessons in this family-friendly production.

"Kids, staff and parents have worked tirelessly on the show," said Nederhiser. "We are all very lucky to have the generosity of Mark Steighner because we couldn't have afforded to do a musical of this caliber without him creating one for us."

Twenty-six HRMS students will perform alongside four HRMS adult staff members. In addition, according to Nederhiser, many HRMS parents and volunteers contributed behind-the-scenes, including accompanist and music teacher Kathy Smith, costume coordinator Shawnie Emmons and Laura McAllister, who designed the set - making this a truly collaborative production.

Performances, which will last about an hour, will be offered four nights, Feb. 17, 18, 24 and 25, at 7 p.m., with matinees starting at 2 p.m. on both Saturdays. Adult tickets are $5 and youth are $3.

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