NICK IANNOTTI (right) works with the cast of Once Upon a Mattress during practice at Prospect Mountain High School. Tim Croes. (click for larger version)
April 03, 2012ALTON — Nick Iannotti is a junior at the University of New Hampshire studying drama, and students at Prospect Mountain High School will be making a dream come true when they perform Once Upon a Mattress next weekend.
Iannotti is directing the musical that will be performed as part of his Capstone student project and is working with Jaimie Bolduc, a teacher at PMHS, who is working on the music for the play.
He graduated from PMHS in 2009 and being a former student gave him an interesting perspective as a director.
"Knowing what it is like to be a student, I've been able to come at them a certain way," Iannotti said. "I've really enjoyed passing along what I've learned at college to these high school students."
Performances will be held on April 12, 13 and 14 at PMHS at 6:30 p.m., with general admission tickets costing $5 and seniors citizens free with identification.
This is the first time Iannotti has directed a full-scale production, but is directing is something he will continue to work on.
"In general, I am a performer," Iannotti added. "But directing is something I am going to continue to do."
He has spent the last couple months traveling from UNH Monday through Thursday to work with the students on the production, and he couldn't be happier with their progress.
"I love their enthusiasm. They are hungry for it, and they have been amazing," he added. "I've certainly learned a lot about being a teacher. I love working with the kids and I love when they get it."
The production consists of about 25 students, when you include behind the scenes contributors, and that doesn't include the musicians.
Jordan Benson will be playing the female lead of Princess Winnifred, and Corey Hale will be playing the male lead of Prince Dauntless in the upcoming performance, and they are both excited to be working with Iannotti.
They both agreed that learning the choreography can be challenging, but they love to sing.
"I just love my character's personality," Benson said. "She is just completely crazy."
For Hale, he enjoys the laughter that the play brings.
"I really like the humor in it," Hale said.
Benson said working with Iannotti has been a great experience.
"He is great," Benson added. "He is one of the best directors I've ever worked with."
The students' and Iannotti's months of hard work will be on display at PMHS on April 12, 13 and 14, and it's performance that is sure to be entertaining.
Tim Croes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126