Her fairy tale

Storey Condos

Photo by Sarah hubbart

Storey Condos can belt out a song. Despite getting hit with the flu at the start of the season, the 22-year-old Chicoan sings and dances with all she’s got when she takes the stage as the lovable Princess Winnifred in Chico Theater Company’s production of Once Upon a Mattress. Condos brings energy and spunk to her character, an unlikely heroine who must pass a ridiculous test to prove she is “royal enough” to be married to the sheltered prince of the kingdom. Condos and the other colorfully clad cast members romp through 14 musical numbers, including audience-pleasers such as “The Swamps of Home” and “Man to Man Talk.” The show, which is based on the popular children’s story of “The Princess and the Pea,” runs through March 28 with performances each Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Is this your first play?

No, my first was Les Miserables at Chico High. I was 15 and part of the chorus.

How did you get involved with theater?

I’ve just always loved musicals and have been singing ever since I was a little girl. I also sing rock-and-roll cover songs in a band called Every Sunday.

How do you cope with being sick while performing?

Your body just says, “Let’s do this.” You have to just press on through. You add more character, be more expressive with your face.

Do you have a favorite fairy tale?

There are no princesses in it, but my favorite is Peter Pan. You never have to grow up, and I love Tinker Bell.

Who seems to enjoy Once Upon a Mattress more—kids or adults?

I think it is one of those shows that reaches both, kinda like Shrek. There is humor that goes over the kids’ heads, but they like it because of the colors and atmosphere. It is definitely child-friendly.

What’s the best part about playing a princess on stage?

Princess Winnifred is the opposite of a princess in many ways. I don’t know if she would really buy into the “princess image.” She is a tomboy—that’s why the queen doesn’t like her—and she has very little refinement. But that’s why I chose her; she is free-spirited.

Why do you enjoy acting?

It’s the same for every show—that first moment when you pick up the energy from the audience and you feel like you affected them. If they are having fun, I’m having fun.