Happily Ever After

What happens after the last page of a fairy tale?

Cody Lucas ('10) took a dark and twisted look in his play, Happily Ever After, which earned an invitation to the New York International Fringe Festival in August. More than 200 companies from around the world perform at the event — the largest multi-arts festival in North America. All 12 cast and crew members of the play — performed by Denton's Sundown Collaborative Theatre — are current or former UNT students.

"To take this on a national stage is a huge deal for us," says Tashina Richardson, who plays Rapunzel. "We are still a young company, and this gave us the opportunity for our voices to get out there more."

They were scheduled for five performances — getting a few stares as they rode on the subway in full costume to their shows — but Hurricane Irene forced the cancellation of the last two. The New York debut garnered critical praise, with NYTheatre.com calling it "true ensemble theater" with "multi-talented, malleable performers."

Olivia de Guzman Emile ('03), who plays the toy piano, dances and stars as Sleeping Beauty, majored in musical theatre at UNT with a concentration in acting. She studied directing, stage management and set and costume design.

"Everything I do, I can say I do because I got my degree in theatre from UNT," says de Guzman Emile, who also owns Denton's Art Six coffee house and gallery.

Others in the all-UNT cast and crew include George Ferrie, Travis Stuebing, Natalie Taylor, Zane Harris ('07), Candace Cockerham ('09), Patrick Emile, Robert Linder ('09), and current students Aaron Sanchez and Nick Ross.

"It's validation to get into the festival," says Lucas, Sundown artistic director who also directed and starred as Jack.

"And it was nice to be with our peers from all over the world doing the same type of theatre. It felt comfortable."

Continue Reading