Treasure Village Family Theatre enters 46th season

Twelve princesses will fall under a strange spell and will need help from a soldier to break it in Treasure Village’s upcoming production of “12 Dancing Princesses,” directed by Deborah Clark. 

“The basic story is about some princesses who go under a spell that makes them dance every night,” said Clark, who is also the creative director and costume designer at Treasure Village in Milford. 

However, she explained the setting isn’t in a typical fairy tale time period. 

The play takes place during World War I, and therefore the young man who eventually finds the princesses in a forest and must break the spell is a soldier in the war. Clark said the man even develops a crush on one of the princesses, giving him all the more reason to help. 

The play will also feature jazz music and dances from the early 1900s, which are sure to be a hit with audience members. 

“I think they’re going to enjoy the humor in the show and the taste of the 1920s,” said Clark. 

“12 Dancing Princesses” opens next Tuesday at 10 a.m. and will run each day until July 14, excluding Mondays and Sundays. It will also show July 20, 27 and Aug. 3. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

The play is one of two productions Treasure Village is putting on this summer—the other being “Cinderella”—and is the first show of what will be the theater’s 46th season. 

“Last year was our big anniversary for our 45th,” Clark said, adding that they are looking forward to soon entering their 50th year. “It’s also pretty cool that it’s been owned by the same family.”

She said “12 Dancing Princesses” will rely on participation from audience members as a way to get them engaged in the show and to use their imagination, which she said is part of Treasure Village’s basic philosophy.

Clark said many audience members tend to be younger children who attend with their parents or grandparents. However, she also pointed out the shows also attract middle schoolers and even high schoolers. 

“We have some high school and college kids that come back every year as a tradition,” she said. “They wouldn’t miss it.” 

Every year, Clark said Treasure Village sends out audition notices for its summer plays to high schools and colleges throughout the Midwest. 

Auditions for this year’s plays attracted students from nearby high schools and colleges, as well as from schools in Minnesota and Ohio. 

“Some do auditions through Skype or FaceTime,” she said. 

The show will have two separate casts to accommodate the number of shows throughout the season. 

“We have so many performances here and in local communities that we have two actors for each part,” said Clark. 

The shows last about an hour and will have 10-minute intermissions. Clark said before and after the show, theater-goers — children in particular — will be able to have their face painted on the front porch of Treasure Village. 

They will also be able to meet and interact with the cast members during intermission. 

Attendees can also play a round of mini golf before the show and then receive a coupon for another round of golf after the show. 

For Clark, who has been with Treasure Village since the 1980s, the best part of working there is the staff: “I enjoy the staff each year, the wide variety of background and talent. We have made so many friends over the years.”