Written and directed by graduating Youth Wing member Virginia Wayt, “The Princess Who Rescued Herself” will be offered free to the public starting June 19-21 for four performances.

The Aiken Community Theatre's Youth Wing Summer's Garden Theatre production will at 11 a.m. And 7 p.m. Wednesday in Hopelands Gardens, near Rye Patch; on the main stage of the AECOM Center for the Performing Arts, the home of ACT, at 7 p.m. Thursday ; and at 3 p.m. Friday in the Nancy Carson Library in North Augusta.

Admission is free to all performances.

The modern fairy tale is about a young princess who wants to change the status quo in her parents kingdom, according to a news release from ACT. She accomplishes changes by listening to her mother’s words of wisdom and by using her own wits and talents.

Aiken Community Theatre Youth Wing Garden Theare Virginia Wayt

Graduating Youth Wing member Virginia Wayt is the author and director of “The Princess Who Rescued Herself,” the Aiken Community Theatre's Youth Wing Garden Theatre production.

“I wrote the play with the Youth Wing in mind, but this is a play accessible to anyone,” Wayt said. “I was inspired to write this show because I believe that it is important for young girls – the primary Garden Theatre audience – to see strong female role models.”

Wayt said that, by writing a comedy fairy tale for modern times, she hopes to bring the charm of a fairy tale to some of the issues facing today’s young people.

“Our show’s structure is very much inspired by the Monty Python skit comedy approach,” she said. “I also created the show to be filled with female roles although there are male roles in the play. The main point of the story I’m telling is about defying expectations. The show has layers of characters who defy the expectations of others in order to become the people they need to be.

“My script is really about acceptance. The core idea of 'The Princess Who Rescued Herself' is that grace, intelligence and resourcefulness can get a young princess anything she wants.”

A lover of the multiple levels found in poetry and the beauty of flowers, Wayt said she used both concepts to help her cue the audience to the nature of her characters.

“I think flowers are a great motif for changing, growing and blossoming, so I named all of my characters after flowers. All of the characters are wearing the color of their flower,” she said.

Because the show will debut in Hopelands Gardens, the flower motif is perfect, she added.

“The cast is doing a wonderful job with my story,” Wayt said.

Cast members of “The Princess Who Rescued Herself” are Paul Hommel, Zephanae Liis, Alex Mastromonico, Jacob Mastromonico, Reese Renken, Kelsey Sherman, Avery Watson, Ella Watson, Luke Williams, Claire Woodworth and Scott Woodworth.

Crew members are assistant director Ella Dietzel and stagehands Alexandra Hathaway, Caroline Taylor and Hanna Lively.

After seven years, Wayt is in her final season as a Youth Wing member. She enters Furman University in Greenville in the fall to pursue creative writing.

Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.

A native of Aiken, Larry Wood covers education for the Aiken Standard.