Children’s Theater Classes Present Bedtime Stories (As Told By Our Dad) (Who Messed Them Up)


Warriors Theatre

Westwood Children’s Theatre students delighted with a brilliant set of performances designed for younger viewers.

On Thursday, Nov. 16 and Friday, Nov. 17th, Mrs. Coats’ sophomore children’s theater class presented an energetic performance of Bedtime Stories (As Told By Our Dad) (Who Messed Them Up) at the McNeil Performing Arts Center (PAC) to third and eighth-graders as well as friends and families of the performers. The script, written by Ed Monk, is built around the framing device of a father telling half-remembered fairy tales to his children.

The first story told is a fractured version of the princess and the pea. Vince Pham ‘25 portrayed the brave Prince, who attempts to woo future Princess Mindy, played by Olivia Teets ‘25. “Children’s Theatre provided so many different experiences and opportunities that you don’t normally see in other productions,” Pham said. “While our goal was to teach children lessons through the medium of theater, we as actors also got to learn in the process by experimenting with children-orientated styles. Additionally, a large portion of our cast didn’t have much acting experience prior to this show. Sophomores who had more experience regarding theatre definitely had to take a step up in terms of leadership which is something we’ve never really had to do as underclassmen in other productions.”

The second story presents a humorous take on the boy who cried wolf folktale, with the wolf being swapped for a dinosaur played by Sawyer Grimaldi ‘25 and the boy being swapped for Connor Wormington ‘25. For many of the actors, the play offered their first opportunity to perform at the PAC. “Children’s show was an amazing opportunity to perform on an unfamiliar, but grand stage,” Wormington said. “The actors are all very talented and have a great understanding of comedy, which gives me lots of hope for future shows”. The story intertwines several comedic elements with the addition of a bumbling boy scout troop and talking sheep.

The third story was another hilarious retelling of Rumpelstiltskin, with the twist being that the princess instead turns gold into straw, a useless ability that does a frustrated prince played by Joaquin Schere ‘25 no favors. “I feel like this year we had a really phenomenal cast that managed to invigorate a decent script to excellence,” Schere said.

The audience, which comprised third-graders as well as Grisham Middle Schoolers, was hugely receptive to the show’s slapstick comedy. “I think that the play was just a lot of fun, especially performing for the kids, as the play was definitely geared more towards that demographic,” actress Cheyenne Wang ‘25 said. “The atmospheric difference between our performance for the adults versus the kids was sizable; the kids were certainly more reactive and were amused easier, and overall took more away from the show than the adults did.”

The bond between the children’s theater students is immediately noticeable onstage and their grasp of comedy and slapstick is impressive. Younger audiences delighted in the fast-paced comedy and larger-than-life performances, while older viewers could enjoy the clever dialogue and references that abounded in the script. “Ultimately, our end result was a product of the collaboration and efforts of everybody in this class,” Pham said. “Along with the actors, this will be one of the first theatrical experiences for many of our audience and we hope to share our love of theatre with them.”