"The King's New Threads" writer/director Ashely England works with her characters King Alfonzo (Jack Breedlove) and Queen Atara (Corina Spicer). The play opens Jan. 17. Village Life photo by Noel Stack


Oak Ridge students weave a time-traveling tale

By From page B1 | January 22, 2014

When a  king obsessed with fashion meets three mischievous weavers … trouble quickly follows.

Watch the colorful and exposing mayhem unfold at Oak Ridge High School Drama’s student-written play, “The King’s New Threads.” Playwrights Ashley England and Celeste Carle, both ORHS juniors, wrote the play based on “The Emperor’s New Clothes” by Hans Christian Andersen. They also direct the play opening Friday, Jan. 17.

Audiences will immediately spot the differences; no one remembers a time machine in the original, right? Ashley and Celeste also introduce two quirky narrators and a few jingles.

“The King’s New Threads” tells the story of King Alfonzo, a fashion-loving ruler who cares for little else. Trouble arises in the kingdom when the play’s narrators go back in time to share the king’s story. Weavers/con artists Alex, Carter and Jessie tag along for the time-traveling ride and enchant the king with tales of a fabric so magical, it can only be seen by the most intelligent people.

The opportunity to write an original Oak Ridge Children’s Theater production arose after drama teacher Janet Henke offered it up last year.

“We did a one-act (play) last spring and we had fun doing that so, we thought, “Why not write a play?” Ashley, 17, said. She shared a funny but exhausted look with Celeste, 17, and they both chuckled.

Spending last summer at each other’s homes and coffee shops, not to mention the hours and house on the phone, the Dynamic Duo (as they’re called) wrote “The King’s New Threads.” Six months after they decided to write the play, students line up to audition.

Taking off their writers’ hats and moving into the directors’ chair proved to be the most difficult, both girls said, but they haven’t let conflicting ideas slow them down.

“We have different faults and we see things differently … a different perspective … so it’s nice,” Ashley explained, joking that Celeste’s head has gotten bigger since she became a director.

“The power!” Celeste said, laughing. On a more serious note, she said, “I like they family dynamic that come with building the cast. They want something that I made to succeed and that’s one of the best feelings.”

“The King’s New Threads,” a 45-minute Children’s Theater production suitable for all ages, opens at 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17, in the ORHS Theater at 1120 Harvard Way in El Dorado Hills. The show continues at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18; 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19; 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 24; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25 (proceeds from this evening show go to Help Mito Kids) and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26. Tickets are $8 general admission and $5 for children. Reserve seats by calling the ticket line at (916) 390-3727.

Cast: Narrator Danny (Garrett Underwood); Narrator Goob (Jessie Hoagland); Queen Atara (Corina Spicer); King Alfonzo (Jack Breedlove); Weave Alex (Julia Garcia); Weave Carter (Ethan Gomez); Weave Jesse (Ashley Adams); Royal Advisor 1 (Callie Turvill); Royal Advisor 2 (Brooke Henderson); Royal Advisor 3 (Erika Margo); Danny’s Mom (Megan Tripp); Knight (Conlan Kisilewicz); Cue Card Girl/Fashion Criminal (Delaney Kelleher), with ensemble cast members Maddison Hamilton, Margaret Koldinger, Miquel Smith, Jessyka Mitchell, Brooke Martinez and Anna Ferrari.

Crew: Ashley England and Celeste Carle direct with help from Technical Director/Set Design/Sound Design Holli Stapleton; Assistant Technical Director/Set Design/Light Design/Stage Manager Austin Daly; Assistant Stage Manager Caedon Masters; Stage Crew, Keith Walisa, Holli Stapleton and Sky Aqustin; Soundboard, Stella Janecect; Lightboard, Jacob Armstrong and Riley Bogar; Spotlight, Brianna Marquess and Gaby Cinquini; Costumes/Make-up, Sierra Messer, Madison Hamilton and Madison Ganas; Props, Savannah Summers and Madison Ganas; House Managers Shelby Otwell and Holli Stapleton; mural by Syke Aqustin and lobby board by Brooke Henderson.

Noel Stack


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