At Ascension Episcopal Church, 50 children help princess find her name

A cast of 50 children. That’s the key feature about the Ascension Episcopal Church Drama Camp production of “The Princess with No Name,” performed Friday evening at the Westminster church.

“It’s about a princess who lost her memory. She did not know her name and she went through her forest meeting all these different fairy-tale characters to find out who she was,” said church member Betsy Reinders. “Some were helpful, and some some were not.”


Tyler Katz, 10, of Westminster, for instance, was playing one of the less helpful characters.

“I am a forest witch, but they turned it into a warlock, I think,” he said. “I just pull out Rapunzel’s hair.”

“Roberta Gore, she is the drama teacher at Francis Scott Key High School, and she found this online,” Reinders said. “It was a really good one we could stretch out for the number of children that we have. She has worked her magic to make sure everyone has a part.”

The large cast has actually had some advantages, according to Assistant Director Jason Campanella.

“It gives us a lot more freedom with what we can pull off,” he said. “For instance, the princess has 150 lines, but we’ve split that into several different parts so that everyone gets a time to shine.”

It also meant less lines to memorize with only a week to produce a play.

“I really like my lines,” said 11-year-old Megan Black, of Westminster, who was playing Princess #2, though she said her favorite line is uttered by another character. “My favorite line in the whole play is when Cinderella says, ‘The space time continuum.’ ”

“It’s a very funny play with lots of little bits of humor in there to modernize it,” Reinders added.

For many of the children acting in the play, it was their second time through the drama camp.

“I am a bear and a fairy. Last year I was a starling,” 7-year-old Katelyn Allender, of Upperco, said during rehearsals Friday afternoon. “As a fairy I will just be dancing and as a bear I will be talking to the dwarves.”

Katelyn’s favorite part of the play?

“When the fairies get to move the other people, that’s just really funny,” she said. “You can bend them over and make them on one foot and stuff, and they have to stay like that until we leave.”

The drama camp is part of the church’s annual summer activities, which consist of multiple two- to three-hour day camp activities, from cake decorating to bird watching, and two weeklong camps, Bible camp and drama camp, according to Reinders.

The free camps tend to fill up quickly, according to interim children’s and youth minister Abigail Wright.


“We had 119 kids that signed up this summer, in total — 72 families,” Wright said. “We offered 37 different events throughout the summer, and two of those are our big weeklong events.”

For families interested in having their children attend drama camp or any other part of the church’s summer activities, Wright suggests checking the church website,, in late spring is a good idea.

“I would say the end of May is when it will get posted,” she said.

There are likely to be some repeat customers there, including 11-year-old Caleb Beam, of Manchester, who plans to come back next year for a third turn on the drama camp stage. This year he played a guard, felt no stage fright, and really looked forward to capping the night off at the end of the play.

“I’m excited about the bow part,” he said.