Much like Game of Thrones, in the Game of Tiaras, losing means dying.
The Game of Tiaras is the Friday Harbor Middle School play running March 16-19 at the San Juan Island Community Theatre.
“I was looking for something fun to do with the middle schoolers, and would have the right number of rolls for the students,” director Lindsey Saarie said. “The kids have really liked it.”
The script was written by Don Zolidis approximately 10 years ago when the world was crazed with the show featuring Daenerys, mother of dragons, and John Snow. While its title insinuates Game of Throne similarities, Saarie said it actually has more Shakespearean undertones reminiscent of King Lear. The title has more to do with what was popular at the time.
Like King Lear, Game of Tiaras is about the aging king of a Magical Kingdom (England) who splits his empire between his three daughters, Cinderella, Belle, and the Snow Queen. The characters are different than the trademarked ones. Tragedy strikes, terrible, hilarious tragedy.
“Combining the gut-wrenching plot twists of Game of Thrones and the soul-numbing despair of Shakespearean tragedy, this adaptation of King Lear will leave you dying with laughter as the body count mounts,” the San Juan Community Theatre’s website describes.
“I thought it was going to be a light play, and it is. But there is a lot of dark as well, fighting and death, and they are rising to that challenge,” Saarie said.
The quick turnaround to produce the play has been a challenge, but Saarie has reveled in middle schoolers’ energy. The group is very green she said, and yet they are putting their heart into the play.
“They are jumping in with both feet and they are doing it,” Saarie said, clearly proud of her young troupe of 25. The cast consists of 20, and five more assist backstage. They come from Spring Street International School, homeschooling, and the public school, so this has been one of the few chances many of them have had to interact.
“Middle schoolers are so funny. They have no filter,” she laughed.”They have a lot of great ideas, and often they think I’m going to say no. When I say yes they are surprised and thrilled.”
Those brainstorms have led to a number of random bits and a variety of Disney Easter Eggs hidden throughout the performance.
Saarie took a moment to mention that if anyone would like to be more involved in the productions, they are always looking for help with set and costume designs.
“We would love to have you,” she said.
When asked if there is anything she hopes the audience takes away from the performance, Saarie hoped the audience would support the students who have put so much work into the performance.
“I hope the audience has a lot of fun and laughs and can enjoy and appreciate the middle schoolers who have not had a lot of training,” she said.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students, and Thursday is pay what you can. For more information, or to buy tickets online, visit https://www.sjctheatre.org/.