For Kathryn Faughnan, acting is acting.
In 2006, she was one of three girls to create the role of Jane Banks in Broadway’s “Mary Poppins.”
She has also appeared on “Law & Order,” a bona fide if ever there was one for a New York actor.
But this weekend and next, she’ll be Princess Winnifred the Woebegone in Pleasantville’s production of “Once Upon a Mattress.”
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The audiences are certainly smaller than they are on Broadway, but they’re more familiar, filled as they are with neighbors. And the work is the work, Faughnan said.
“I don’t find it strange,” said the Pleasantville sophomore, now 15. “There’s a difference in the progression. In ‘Mary Poppins’ and a lot of other mainstage productions I’ve done, you get there quicker because they’re professionals and they’re adults and you want to not get on their bad side. But this is a lot of fun, because you’re with all your friends. You don’t always get that.”
And you don’t always get to play a character as refreshing as Princess Winnifred the Woebegone.
The musical retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “Princess and the Pea” story — with music by Mary Rodgers and lyrics by Marshall Barer — introduces the unconventional princess.
“The first time I come in, I swim the moat,” Faughnan said. “That entire scenario — I mean, a woman who’ll swim the moat — it’s just a comedy moment.”
There are plenty of those in “Once Upon a Mattress,” directed by Kathleen Donovan Warren, with choreography by Taryn Herman and a move-in-ready castle designed by Jim Britt and constructed by Bill Brown and a crew of 50 student builders.
There are 52 students in the busy ensemble.
Nicolas Prache — a junior in just his second role after coming down from the lighting booth to help in “Hello, Dolly!” last year — plays the largely silent King Sextimus, a man who is mute till the show’s final moments.
“It’s hard for me,” Prache said, “because I like to talk a lot.”
There’s this curse, you see, that keeps the king mute.
“I’m not really trying to talk,” he said. “I’m just reacting, but since I can’t talk, I’m seen as a joke. People don’t have as high regard for me. They fear my wife and kind of ignore me.”
Pleasantville senior Jessica Sarubbi, 18, plays the evil Queen Aggravain — who more than makes up for her husband’s vocal shortcomings. Aggravain’s motives are clear: to hold onto the power she has, even if it means denying her son his chance at love.
“I love the challenge of playing someone so strict,” Sarubbi said. “I watched all those evil Disney queens as a kid. I take them and make that fun.”
If she’s having fun on stage Sarubbi can’t show it. She said it’s hard to keep a straight (and evil) face in the face of Faughnan’s bubbly, optimistic Princess Fred.
“Aggravain is appalled that she would dive into the moat,” Sarubbi said. “I mean, what princess would do that?”
Sophomore Tom Gilroy plays Prince Dauntless the Drab, whose mantra is “mama, mama, please, mama.”
“I act like I have no will of my own and I’m in constant fear of her.”
Then along comes Winnifred and the mouse becomes a man.
“When I meet Winnifred, after she swims the moat, climbs the castle wall and shows up covered in seaweed, I’m immediately in love with her,” Gilroy said.
What: “Once Upon a Mattress”
Where: Pleasantville High School, 60 Romer Ave., Pleasantville
When: 8 p.m. March 12, 13, 19, 20; 3 p.m. March 14
Tickets: $15, $12 students and seniors
With: Emily Appel, Rebecca Arcidiacono, Rebecca Aschen, Lucy Becker, Matthew Belanich, Steven Belmont, Joe Bennetti, Vishal Bhatty, Rachel Bloom, Sophie Bolla, Rachel Bordin, Mariah Borodovsky, Mackenzie Brown, Elizabeth Bruen, Zackia Cabrera, Zaskira Cabrera, Alex Choy, Allison Clark, Mariel Clay, Samantha Costanza, Andrea Coza, Tomislav Coza, Kate Crimmins, Rachel Cultice, Jacqueline D’Arco, Malachi Davis , Victoria DeAngeles, Kristen DeLancey, Cameron Demaree, Nicole DeSousa, Luke Dietrich-Egensteiner, Jessie Edelman, Mikey Elliott, Charlotte Exton, WuJong Farrant, Kathryn Faughnan, Max Finsmith, Matt Fogarty, Isabelle Franks, Rose Gandolfo, Brianna Gentilella, Jessica Gill, Chloe Gilroy, Thomas Gilroy, Marisa Giuffrida, Elena Gorell, Amelia Graj, Amirithaa Gunabalan, Angela Guzman, Emily Hamilton, Isabella Hamilton, Christina Hibner, Patricia Hibner, Stephen Huerster, Richard Hunter, Sara Igielski, Jaime Katz, Caroline Kelly, Eun Young (Esther) Kim, Brendan Klein , Griffin Klein, Stephanie Krauss, Danielle Labruzzo, Devitt Logan, Deanna Long, Brittany Lopez, Francesca Lucia, Philip Manzi, Francesca Marino, William Matchen, Eric Maznio, Colette McCullagh, Kelly Anne McCullagh, Anna McGovern, Noah Mitchell, Paul Miller, Billy Monahan, Bianca Muniz, Jeewan Naik, Anna Navarro, David Nieto, Annie Novadoff, Darby Olcott, Alexandra Ossowski, Rory Ostrow, Ellen Page, Erica Pate, Billy Pedlow, Emily Perrotti, Stephanie Peterson, Alex Poller, Nicolas Prache, Michael Proehl, Victoria Prospero, Kimberly Puccia, Andrew Pugliese, Maggie Quackenbush, Helene Rached, Trevor Roberts, Stephanie Rogers, Jenna Rush, Carly Ruth, Julie Sanduski, Rebecca Sarfaty, Jessica Sarubbi, Megan Schaub, Jeremy Schneider, Rebecca Schulte, William Shum, Ian Singer, David Sinski, Danielle Smith , Julia Smith, Nick Smith, Emmalisa Stangarone, Evangelos Stolatis, Dana Stopler, Jillian Sue, Staci Tomasetti, Francesca Trombetta, Jovienne Trotta, Nicole Tu-Maung, Dana Twomey, Meaghan Twomey, Emily Ultan, Matthew Ultan, Carol Wagner, Emily Wessling, Zachary Willard, Benjamin Winters, Ben Wolf, Matt Wolf, Megan Wong