The second year of the New Albany Middle School drama program attracted 80 students to auditions, said director Sara Reichley.

The second year of the New Albany Middle School drama program attracted 80 students to auditions, said director Sara Reichley.

This year's production, "The Insulting Princess," is based on the one-act play written by Sandra Fenichel Asher. The play requires nine or more parts but Reichley added characters so she could include 19 students.

Greta, the princess, is characterized as insulting because she rejects every one of her suitors with rhyming insults. She meets her match in the local baker, who accepts her challenge and teaches the princess a lesson in the process, Reichley said.

The 50-minute production is fast-paced and comical, requiring the actors to say their lines quickly and to exaggerate their emotions.

For seventh-grader Charley Nuesse, who plays Greta, exaggerating her character's actions and emotions are the biggest challenge. She said she's performed in plays before but most of the characters she portrayed were more realistic.

Josh Billings, an eighth-grader who plays the king, agreed. Another challenge, Billings said, is trying to hold a British accent throughout the production.

"The Insulting Princess" will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, and Saturday, Feb. 11, at the middle school cafeteria. The audience is asked to bring a donation for Southeast Inc., which provides "mental health, chemical dependency, healthcare, and homeless" services. Reichley said last year, the drama department donated $500 to Southeast Inc.

Reichley is in her second year at the middle school. She revived the drama program last year after recognizing students' talent during impromptu skits in her Spanish class. She will be assisted in the production by Sheri Brasseur, the assistant director, and Erin Garner, production assistant.