GRAND BLANC, MI — April 4, 2019
Thirty-year-old Kayla Driskell helps make fairy tales come alive as the founder and owner of Everafter & Company. The enterprise started with one magical storybook character; Cinderella. But now, in its fifth anniversary year, they feature Rapunzel, Tinker Bell, and
pretty much any character a fairy tale lover would dream of seeing! The company is also getting eight Pixie Hollow fairies this year. The level of engagement makes all the characters real to children, according to Driskell.
Driskell’s cast is presenting a stage show at the Captain’s Club at Woodfield on April 28th at 2 pm. “I tell my cast we are not just dressing up,” Driskell said. “We’re becoming characters, and you need to make sure that you’re that character 100 percent. We engage the children in background stories about the characters, and chatting with them like the character is what brings the magic.”
Fun for All Ages
From Driskell’s observation, the adults have even more fun than the children when interacting with the characters. “It’s childhood,” she said. “It’s fun. It’s imagination, and I don’t think you ever outgrow that. I think sometimes the world tells us what we need to do, but then you come to a show like this and you get to be part of the magic! We make sure at our shows we engage the adults just as much as the kids. It brings them into that world of imagination, too, and just reminds them they aren’t too old to believe.”
Huge windows and lots of light make the Captain’s Club at Woodfield a pretty venue to
encounter princesses in. There is a grand staircase visitors can walk down when they enter.
“It feels magical even without the characters,” Driskell said. She was the one who approached management about doing a show at their location.
Music and Theatre
Driskell came up with the idea for Everafter & Company in 2014. She has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and one in dance, both from Western Michigan University. She also has a background in theatre and singing, and she wanted to integrate all her experience into the venture.
There are typically 12-13 cast members, most of whom are theatre majors or musical theatre majors in school. Some have an elementary education background, as well. A few cast members leave for college during the school year and come back in the summer.
In addition to the show, tickets can be purchased for a pre-show party at 1:15 p.m. on the day of the performance. This is intended to provide extra time for magic with the characters. There will be vendor stations for fingernail painting, makeovers, children’s boutique clothing and princess jewelry, as well as story time.
Lunch starts at 2 p.m. Then there will be a 45-minute stage show. Eight storybook characters are being featured at the Captain’s Club at Woodfield performance. The Ice Queen, The Snow Princess, Cinderella, Rapunzel, the Frog Princess, and Wendy Darling. The show is led by Peter Pan and Tinker Bell. “I feel like they are a classic duo, but sometimes don’t get a lot of attention,” Driskell said. “Still, I really feel they are those classic fairy tale characters, and a lot of adults love them. Plus, they’re fun.”
Peter Pan and Tinker Bell teach dances, sing and tell stories.
The Everafter Dancers will perform, they are a new addition to the show this year. “They start the show,” Driskell said. “They’ll be dancing in the crowd to get everybody excited
and get their energy up. Then they help out throughout the show.” Afterward, children can choose a character for an individual “meet and greet.” During this time, photo opportunities with the characters are available, and children can get autographs.
More About Everafter & Company
Everafter & Company offers princess parties. They do a lot of birthdays as well as meet and
greet events at local businesses or out in the community. In addition, they take part in parades, where they take photos and interact with kids. Like the event at Captain’s Club at Woodfield, they do luncheon shows at large venues.
“Princess parties are getting more popular as people come to shows and see what we are all about,” said Driskell. “I believe little girls will always aspire to be princesses because
princesses show them they can do anything and be anything.” Newer princess movies emphasize the value of working hard to achieve these dreams. “Our cast at Everafter & Company go above and beyond,” she said. “They put their entire hearts into it and they do this because they love it. Every singing performance, every dance performance is 110 percent.”