With twelve princesses and a host of guards, dwarves and soldiers “Game of Tiaras,” the fall play at Wadena-Deer Creek Middle/High School, comes with laughs and deaths. The play is a comedic rendition of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” with added Disney princesses, as drama director and English teacher Beth Hawkins describes it.

The show boasts a cast and crew of 51, a growth from the 15 that were involved in the theater program a few years ago. Hawkins also noted that every student who auditioned received a part.

“The play only actually had the main [princesses] and then three other princesses but we added. We had so many kids try out that we added five princesses. And more guards and other people that weren’t originally in the play,” Hawkins said. “It was awesome that we had so many people interested.”

Though the interest might only come because the play has Disney princesses, the students immediately took to the chaotic elements, such as seven people exiting at once, as senior Michael Schmidt (The King) said.

“I think we truly embraced it… like I don’t even think any of us even thought about it being Shakespearan, like we just kind of took it in and tried to perform it as best as we could,” said senior Jasmyn Wood (Narrator 1).

With the fun atmosphere at each practice, students are encouraged to share their ideas because, afterall, “it’s their play. I’m just here to help them kind of see their vision,” Hawkins said. One of the ideas senior Jeffrey Umland (Narrator 2) caught hold of are the background details.

“The extra detail matters. The things that happen in the background really stand out more than you would think,” Umland said.

As a group, the students’ favorite parts are scenes with Ellie the Snow Queen. And for opening night, Wood and Umland are looking forward to the laughs and claps.

“There’s an old… phrase one of my director’s used to say, ‘Every play is terrible until the first audience laugh,’” Schmidt said. “But once the first audience laugh happens it just clicks somehow and everyone just gets in the groove and it goes well.”

Come watch and laugh on Nov. 14 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 15 and 16 at 7 p.m. at the Wadena Memorial Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for K-12 students.

Editor's note: The story has been corrected to reflect the accurate play times.