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Nevada County’s PAG features original play for spring production

Submitted photo by Karen Busse

Know and Go:

WHO: The Nevada County Performing Arts Guild (PAG)

WHAT: The Educated Princess

WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday March 7 (Special preview performance – All tickets $5.00), 7 p.m. Friday March 8, 2 p.m. Saturday March 9 and Sunday March 10, 7 p.m. Friday March 15, 2 p.m. Saturday March 16 and Sunday March 17.

WHERE: The Center for the Arts -- 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley.

TICKETS: Adults: $10/Advance, $12/Door – Children: 12 & under: $4/Advance, $6/Door. Available at the Book Seller, Record Connection, Briarpatch Co-op and the Center for the Arts Box Office in Grass Valley.

For more information contact Paulette Rudolph at 530 277 7100 or email ptrudolph@sbcglobal.net

This weekend, the Nevada County Performing Arts Guild releases its spring musical, “The Educated Princess,” about a royal who decides it is unfair that girls are not allowed to read in the medieval land of Lundenstein.

Princess Arabella locks herself with her ladies in waiting in the highest tower of the palace and demands they stay there until they are thoroughly educated.

King Albert of Lundenstein is very embarrassed by his daughter’s behavior, especially when King Harold of Gunderstein, and his son, Prince Ferdinand, a potential love interest for the princess, come into town. As the story progresses, other characters come into play, including two comical scullery maids and a court full of gossiping dukes and duchesses.



“This specific play, ‘The Educated Princess,’ is one of my favorites. It’s all me,” said artistic director Mila Johansen, who wrote the play.

Johansen founded the Performing Arts Guild 28 years ago. She attended California State University, Chico, while performing in the Nevada City and Chico area. She has written two books: “101 Theatre Games” and “50 Scenes to go and 20 monologues for show.” In addition to books, she has also written 22 plays that have been performed in communities all over the country and worldwide. Johansen said her books are even used for teaching in England and Australia. She is currently writing five novels.




“I love bringing a story to life on the stage. Then I get to watch the actors develop it, and in the meantime I know that all of it is changing kids’ lives,” she said.

Though there are few, some of the challenges of directing include the unpredictability, and large amount of responsibility, Johansen said.

She is in charge of all the sets, costumes, scheduling and general coordination of the entire production. But Johansen wouldn’t change a thing.

“They are all so fresh, happy, sweet and extremely talented. There is no gossip. As I like to say, ‘Children put the drama on the stage, not off,’” Johansen said of working with children.

The actors find more through these productions than just a little drama.

“My favorite part about acting is it helps with self-confidence, and it’s also helpful in a lot of other areas in life,” said 10-year-old Sydnie Crymrnie, who has been acting for four years and plays Freda, one of the scullery maids.

Another scullery maid from “The Educated Princess” agrees.

“I like acting because you get to be an entirely different person and bring that person alive,” said 12-year-old Alexandra Wittle.

“The Educated Princess” is directed by Paulette Rudolph. Artistic direction, choreography and script are by Johansen. Beverly Marks coordinates musical direction with original score by Johansen and Daryl Stines. Costumes are by Jeannine Watson and Celeste Wingered.

The production runs today through March 17 at The Center for the Arts in Grass Valley. Advance tickets are $10 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under. At the door, adult tickets are $12, and children’s tickets are $6.

Maya Anderman is a senior at Nevada Union High School and an intern with The Union.


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