The princes, princesses and the tea

MacTheatre's annual royal fundraiser draws record breaking crowd

Kristen Tibbetts, Bela Tapperson, and Noah Lawrence

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THE GRAND ENTRANCE: During the climax of “For the First Time in Forever,” junior Amelie Chaouat (Rapunzel) and senior Duval Bingham (Flynn Rider) join the rest of the princes and princess in walking across the stage to greet the kids. McCallum theatre students held their fifth annual Princess Tea Party fundraiser last Saturday afternoon in the cafeteria where children from all over Austin were able to meet their favorite princes and princesses. The crowd was even more packed than previous years, with the coordinators having to pull out and decorate extra tables upon seeing the crowd. “It’s just gotten bigger every year,” senior Duval Bingham a.k.a. Flynn Rider said. Bingham has participated in the tea party all of his four years at McCallum. “The reaction from the little kids [is the best part],” he said. “They rush the stage and scream and go crazy.”

ROARING LIKE LIONS: Senior Owen Scales, aka Simba, cheers the crowd on to roar with him while he sings “I Just Can’t Wait to be King”. “I loved getting the kids to roar with me,” he said. This was Scales’ third time participating in the fundraiser. “I’ll miss spending the day with everybody,” he said. “It’s a super long day, but we just get to play around and make a little Disneyland.”

Bela Tapperson

A PINT-SIZED CROWD: After the performances ended, all of the princes and princesses lined up at the front of the cafeteria to sign autographs and take pictures with the attendees. “We learned to do [our character’s] professional Disney autographs from Disney World,” senior Duval Bingham said. “We sold [around] 75 autograph books alone.”

Bela Tapperson

IT’S GOOD TO BE BAD: Sophomore Abby Leman and senior Samantha Gade took the stage as Disney antagonists Ursula and Maleficent. “It’s always great playing the villain,” Leman said. “Even though Ursula is ‘scary’, I think the kids still enjoyed my performance.”

Noah Lawrence

NO DAMSEL IN DISTRESS HERE, FOLKS: Junior Helena Laing sings a rendition of Susan Egan from Hercules’ “I Won’t Say I’m In Love.” “Our performance was amazing,” Laing said. “The kids looked so happy. It was especially awesome that we got to perform for kids from the Ronald McDonald House. Even if we filled them with just a little joy, I think that is a job well done.”

BE OUR GUEST: Freshman Georgia Horton hands out veggie cups to the guests before the presentations and meet-and-greets began. To make the event a true tea party, MacTheatre students also served sweets, fruits, bagels and a variety of other snacks and beverages.

SEEING DOUBLE: Senior Maryanna Tollemache and another, smaller Princess Elsa sing “Let it Go” for a crowd of other princesses and their parents. Due to the wireless microphones used this year, Tollemache and the other actors were able to better interact with the kids. “It’s always unique due to the kids who come and the cast,” Tollemache said. “I love seeing the kids get excited. They would all circle around and begin to sing with me and I just loved seeing how happy they are!”

Bela Tapperson

CINDER-STELLA: Two excited little princesses fawn over Cinderella, secretly senior Stella Shenkman. “I went into this not expecting to get much attention from the kids, because I’m not an actress,” Shenkman said. “However, it was so rewarding to see all the little kids wearing the same dress as me. It made me feel like a hero.”

HOW FAR SHE’LL GO: Senior Abby Lerma sings “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana as the little princesses watch in awe. Lerma began her performance at the front of the stage, but quickly got the kids to run around the cafeteria with her. “I really enjoyed the whole experience of playing Moana, getting to see the kids and getting to see their eyes light up when they see someone that they really admire,” she said. “My favorite moment was walking in and hearing them scream ‘It’s Moana!’ I also really loved singing a song with them and getting to hear them sing along.”

Bela Tapperson

ROYAL ENTOURAGE: All of the actors pose outside of the Fine Arts Building during rehearsal the Thursday before the fundraiser. “This was my first official performance with MAC Theatre,” freshman Malakhi Washington said. “Rehearsing was great, performing was great—everything was just great.”