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Twilight Sparkle: Princess Celestia, I have an idea for your ones-versary.
Princess Celestia: My... "ones-versary"?
Twilight Sparkle: The one-thousand, one-hundred, eleventh year anniversary of when you first raised the sun.
Spike: Good thing Pinkie Pie reminded us, or we would have forgot to celebrate.
Princess Celestia: You're not the only ones. What did you have in mind?
Twilight Sparkle: To commemorate your first sunrise, I've written a play. We'd like to perform it at my School of Friendship, if you don't mind.
Princess Celestia: [giggling happily] Mind? Oh! Of course not! Oh! I think a play is a fantastic idea!
Spike: Did she just... prance?
Princess Celestia: Oh, uh, forgive me for getting so excited. It's just, when I was a filly, my friends often put on plays. [sighs] It was so wonderful. Everypony coming together to create a magical experience to share with others. I've always believed theater brings out the best in us and forges a special bond of friendship.
Twilight Sparkle: [gasps] I didn't know you used to act!
Princess Celestia: Oh, not me. I was always too busy with my magic lessons to be part of any plays myself. But still, it's something I always wished I could experience.
Twilight Sparkle: And you still can! Princess Celestia, we would be honored if you would be the star of our play!
Spike: We would?!
[theme song]
Princess Celestia: You want me to star in your play?!
Spike: Yeah... When did that happen, exactly?
Twilight Sparkle: If you'll excuse us for a second... [whispering] Don't you see, Spike? It's perfect! Princess Celestia has always wanted to be in a play, and this one's about her!
Spike: [whispering] I guess, but how are we supposed to give her directions? She's the ruler of Equestria!
Twilight Sparkle: [whispering] She's also our friend. Celestia's always kind to everypony. So if we have a chance to finally do something for her, we should.
Spike: Hmmm...
Twilight Sparkle: [whispering] Come on. How many times has Celestia helped us? Guided us? Been a warm, calming voice over our shoulder?
Princess Celestia: Twilight.
Twilight Sparkle and Spike: Aah!
Twilight Sparkle: Yes, Princess Celestia?
Princess Celestia: Your invitation is very kind, but are you certain it's wise? I have no acting experience at all.
Twilight Sparkle: Experience? Pssh! You'll be playing yourself. And we'll all help you. Please? It'd mean so much to the students if you were in our show.
Princess Celestia: Well, if you're sure...
Spike: Yeah, what she said.
Princess Celestia: Then I would be delighted to join your theater troupe!
Pinkie Pie: Woo-hoo! Confetti is ready! Woo-hoo!
Applejack: Puh! Wormy apple cores, Pinkie! How many times have I told you to keep your special effects away from my sets?!
Pinkie Pie: Three hundred twenty-seven. Oh! Unless you just did. Then it's three hundred twenty-eight. [squee]
Applejack: Ugh.
Starlight Glimmer: I can't believe you've memorized your lines already, Fluttershy.
Fluttershy: Once you get past terrifying, paralyzing stage fright, the rest is easy. Now I just hope Princess Celestia says we can do our play.
Rarity: Oh, as soon as she sees these fabulous costumes, all she'll be able to say is "Brava!"
Rainbow Dash: Heads up! Here comes our answer!
Twilight Sparkle: [panting] Wonderful news, everypony!
Applejack: Yeehaw! We get to put on our show?
Twilight Sparkle: Even better. Princess Celestia is gonna be our star!
Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Starlight Glimmer, and Fluttershy: [gasps]
Spike: Yeah, that's how I felt, too.
Rainbow Dash: Celestia? Starring in our play? This is huge!
Twilight Sparkle: Well, she was a little nervous at first, but I told her not to worry. With us helping, it will all go smooth as—
Rarity: Silk! I must find the silk! If Celestia's going to be in our play, we have to take everything up to the next level! None of these old ideas will do!
Pinkie Pie: Yeah! Forget my regular party cannon! For princess-sized effects, we're gonna need Big Bertha!
Applejack: Grrrr...! Pinkie!
Pinkie Pie: What?
Rainbow Dash: Our play is gonna be amazing! I gotta tell everypony I know! And even the ones I don't!
[whoosh, boom!]
Applejack: Why in tarnation are y'all gettin' so starstruck? We've met Princess Celestia before. Plenty of times.
Starlight Glimmer: Those were formal things – galas, world-saving. This is different! Imagine doing sweaty warm-ups with a princess, blowing your nose in front of a princess, sitting around just... talking with a princess.
Twilight Sparkle: I'm a princess. You talk to me.
Starlight Glimmer: That's different. You're not a "princess" princess.
Twilight Sparkle: Uh, thanks. Celestia wants to experience the special friendship that theater ponies have. To give her that, you just need to be yourselves.
Fluttershy: You... You really think so?
Applejack: Heh. Aw, quit frettin'. It's only a couple o' pals gettin' together to put on a ones-versary play. What could go wrong?
Spike: [amplified] Places, everypony! We're here to rehearse "A New Day in Equestria"!
Twilight Sparkle: [clears throat]
Spike: [amplified] Directed, written, and produced by Twilight Sparkle.
Twilight Sparkle: Page one, act one, scene one. Action!
[curtains squeaking]
Fluttershy: Once upon a time, before Celestia, Equestria was suffering terrible hardship. Raising the sun every morning was so hard, it took five great sorcerers plus Star Swirl the Bearded to do it.
Young Six: [straining]
Fluttershy: And every day, the unicorns helping Star Swirl would use so much magic, they lost their powers forever. Things looked bleak. Soon, Equestria would lose all its magic users! Then, the land would be covered in darkness for eternity!
Twilight Sparkle: [to Spike] Even I can't believe how good my play is! The sets, the props, the outfits – they're all great!
Spike: And... here comes the best part.
Fluttershy: But then, a student named Celestia discovered she had the power to raise the sun herself without draining her magic!
[birds chirping]
Twilight Sparkle: Um, that's your cue, Celestia.
Princess Celestia: Oh! Uh, right! Of course! Heh. [clears throat] [quietly] It is time for a new day in Equestria.
Spike: Um, what?
Princess Celestia: Oh, uh, I said [quietly] it is time for a new day in Equestria.
Twilight Sparkle: And your delivery was... great! But maybe you should try it a tiny bit louder for the ponies in the back row.
Princess Celestia: Oh, yes, yes. My Royal Canterlot Voice. Thank you for the reminder, Twilight. [booming] It is time for a new day in Equestria!
[birds squawking]
Princess Celestia: Oh! Goodness! This theater does have strong acoustics. M-My apologies. I'm still learning to hone my craft.
Twilight Sparkle: No, no! You're doing... fine! Why don't we try it one more time? Just like you're talking to me.
Princess Celestia: [flat and stilted] It is time for a new day in Equestria-aaa.
Twilight Sparkle: A bit more energy.
Princess Celestia: [rushed and hyperactive] It's time for a new day in Equestria! [normal] Uh, how was that?
Applejack: Uh, honestly?
[teleportation zap]
Applejack: [muffled]
Twilight Sparkle: Great! Wow! It's hard to believe you've never done this before! Let's move onto the dance number!
[dance music]
Spike: Again! Step, buck, leap, touch! Again! Step, buck, leap, touch! Got it? Movin' on! Five, six, seven, eight!
Princess Celestia: [with wildly varying tone] Come on, Star Swirl. Throw off that must-Y hat and let's have a... a dance!
Young Six: [yelps]
Young Six: [groaning]
Princess Celestia: Oh, dear. I think we have a problem!
Applejack: [whispering] Yeah. Our lead actress is a disaster!
Twilight Sparkle: [hyperventilating] What are we gonna do?! If I tell Celestia she's terrible, it'll hurt her feelings, and I'll be a bad friend. But if I keep her in the show, she'll be the laughingstock of Equestria, and I'll be a worse friend.
Applejack: Ya need to tell Celestia the truth, Twilight.
Twilight Sparkle: Any other suggestions?
Spike: Why don't we just cancel the show?
Twilight Sparkle: Real suggestions?
Spike: No, think about it. Right now, most of Equestria doesn't even know we're doing a ones-versary play. If we shut it down...
Rarity: ...Nopony will ever miss it!
Starlight Glimmer: So they'll never find out Princess Celestia's a bad actress!
Fluttershy: And she won't be embarrassed!
Pinkie Pie: Ah! It's the perfect plan!
Rainbow Dash: All right! I just finished telling everypony to come to our play!
Twilight Sparkle: You... did?
Rainbow Dash: Yeah! You should've seen how excited they got when they found out Celestia was in it! They said they'd tell their friends, and then their friends would tell their friends! Everypony in Equestria's gonna see this thing! Uh... did I miss something?
Twilight Sparkle: Just the bright light of hope being snuffed. But that's okay. If we can't cancel the show, I know what I have to do.
Applejack: Be honest with Celestia and give the lead role to somepony else?
Twilight Sparkle: Not a chance!
Applejack: Twilight, you know truth is a huge part of friendship.
Twilight Sparkle: And so is making another pony's dreams come true. Look, I promised Celestia that this time, she could be a part of the play instead of just watching it. And I plan to keep that promise.
Fluttershy: But how?
Princess Celestia: You want to give me acting lessons?
Twilight Sparkle: No-no-no-no-no-no-no. More like a special workshop with other actors. To... take your performance from good to flawless.
Princess Celestia: Thank you so much, Twilight! This is what I always knew theater must be about – that special stage pony bond of shared trust and honesty.
Spike: Yeah. Heh. That's what it is. Ahem.
[doors open]
Twilight Sparkle: Princess Celestia, meet Method Mare performers On Stage and Raspberry Beret!
On Stage: Avec pleasure, your Majesty!
Princess Celestia: The pleasure is all mine! If there's anything I can do to become a better Equestrian thespian, I will! What do you have planned?
On Stage: I thought we'd make it up as we go along. [chuckles] Otherwise known as improvisation!
Raspberry Beret: Yes, and we can start as soon as we get out of this box.
Princess Celestia: What box?
Twilight Sparkle: [distressed whimper]
Twilight Sparkle: How's it going over here?
Rainbow Dash: That sun will never rise again.
Pinkie Pie: That's why I have something even better!
Rarity: [gasps] It's the perfect substitute!
[balloon deflating]
Rarity: It was the perfect substitute.
Twilight Sparkle: [sighs]
[teleportation zap]
Twilight Sparkle: Please give me something to be happy about.
On Stage: Let's try visualization! And... you're skiing!
Raspberry Beret: Whoosh! Whoosh! Oh, it's so snowy today! Brrr! I'm getting chilly!
Princess Celestia: Should I get you a blanket?
On Stage: All aboard! The Ponyville Express is leaving the station! Whoo-whoo! Chugga-chugga-chugga-chugga...
Princess Celestia: It is? But I don't see anything.
Raspberry Beret: Let's be weeping willows in the wind! We are strong in adversity yet supple as we bow to fate.
On Stage: Well? What do you feel?
Princess Celestia: Mmmm... nothing. Oh! The classroom floor under my hooves! Does that count?
[teleportation zap]
Twilight Sparkle: Do I wanna know?
Pinkie Pie: Wait for it...
[flames crackling]
Applejack: Pinkie Pie!
Pinkie Pie: Whaaaat? It's realistic! The sun is just like a burning marshmallow!
[water dripping]
Twilight Sparkle: What are they doing now?
Spike: [sighs] The simplest acting exercise they could think of – a game of charades.
Raspberry Beret: A puppy! A duck-billed platypus! Antidisestablishmentarianism! Oh, I give up! What?!
Princess Celestia: My love for Equestria and all the ponies in it! Twilight, you felt what I was emoting, didn't you?
Twilight Sparkle: [stuttering] Yeah!
Spike: [to On Stage] Now, that's the best acting we've seen all day.
[indistinct chattering, orchestra tuning up]
Twilight Sparkle: Okay! I tried and tried and tried! But we have to face facts. We can't make Celestia an actress. So there's only one thing to do!
Applejack: Tell her the truth finally?
Twilight Sparkle: No!
Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Starlight Glimmer, and Fluttershy: [groans]
[teleportation zap]
Twilight Sparkle: I've rewritten the script to give Celestia a more artistic part with no lines.
Pinkie Pie: And to make sure the show's a hit, I've whipped up the biggest, bestest, flashiest fake sun ever!
All but Pinkie Pie: [gasps]
[fuses sizzling]
Twilight Sparkle: Uh, Pinkie? That looks unsafe.
Pinkie Pie: Why would untested magic fireworks that I bought in a back alley from Trixie at midnight be unsafe?
[fireworks exploding]
Twilight Sparkle: [coughing]
[water splashing]
Pinkie Pie: [blows]
Twilight Sparkle: [anguished shriek] I can't take it anymore! It was supposed to be a simple play! Just one simple play! And then everything goes wrong, from the stage to the props, right down to the worst! Lead! Actress! In Equestria! [panting]
[curtain flapping]
All but Twilight Sparkle: [gasps]
Twilight Sparkle: [gasps]
Princess Celestia: Twilight, if you honestly thought I was a bad actress, why didn't you tell me?
Twilight Sparkle: I-I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to insult your acting! It's just, I-I got so stressed! But... that's no excuse for what I said. You have every right to be upset with me.
Princess Celestia: I'm not upset because you insulted my acting.
Twilight Sparkle: You're not?
Princess Celestia: I'm upset because, in all the time we've known each other, I thought I taught you about the importance of friendship, trust, and honesty!
Twilight Sparkle: Celestia, wait!
Pinkie Pie: No!
Pinkie Pie: You can't fly away now! Look!
Fluttershy: Ponies are taking their seats for the show.
Rainbow Dash: [laughs] Standing room only! Did I do a good job of advertising for this thing or what? Sorry.
Starlight Glimmer: We can't put on a show with no lead actress!
Applejack: You go find Celestia. We'll figure out a way to stall this thing 'til you get back.
Spike: Good luck. Nopony's gonna volunteer to try to tame that.
Rarity: No pony indeed.
Spike: [gulps]
Spike: So... [chuckles nervously] Ahem. Uh, who likes juggling?
Twilight Sparkle: Princess Celestia! Please wait! Can we talk?
Princess Celestia: I'm afraid I haven't much to say, Twilight.
Twilight Sparkle: All right then. Just listen. You've guided me since I was a filly. You've given me knowledge and advice and friendship. Just once, I wanted to be able to give something back to you. I know what I did was wrong. I should've told you the truth. But I promised you could be in our play. I had to make it work. Nothing would make me feel worse than knowing I disappointed you.
Princess Celestia: You really mean that?
Twilight Sparkle: Of course! I look up to you more than any pony I've ever met! I hate to let you down. Like I did.
Princess Celestia: [sighs] You had good intentions, Twilight. But you know that the truth is always better than a well-meant lie. Didn't Applejack remind you?
Twilight Sparkle: [sighs] About a hundred times. And now, because I didn't listen to her, I've ruined your whole ones-versary.
Princess Celestia: Well... I don't know about that. Isn't there an old saying? "The show must go on"? There may be a way for us to save the play yet.
Twilight Sparkle: But how? I mean, if I'm being completely honest... you're not an actress.
Princess Celestia: No. But I am a princess.
[crowd booing]
Spike: Ugh! Good news – free food. [chewing] Bad news – this play is officially a disaster.
Princess Celestia: Fortunately, I know a thing or two about how to deal with those.
Starlight Glimmer: You came back!
Princess Celestia: Yes. But let's celebrate later. Right now, we have a show to do!
Rarity: But... but... but how?! The audience is about to riot! We have no backdrop! And our lead actress is—!
Rarity: Uhhhh...
Princess Celestia: No longer in that role. Rarity, Applejack, Pinkie, Twilight, go calm the audience. Let them know the play will start in just a minute.
[teleportation zap]
Princess Celestia: Rainbow Dash, bring us some clouds and place them behind the stage. There, that's our new backdrop. Starlight, do you have a copy of the script?
[magic zap]
Princess Celestia: Spike, you narrate the play. Fluttershy will be our new lead.
Fluttershy: Oh, my. Me? Playing you? While you watch me playing you? Oh, no. Oh, no. I think my stage fright is coming back. [hyperventilating]
Princess Celestia: Visualize with me. You're a princess. Regal. Commanding. Confident. Feel the rising sun's warmth. Equestria needs you.
Spike: Once upon a time, before Celestia, Equestria was suffering terrible hardship. Raising the sun every morning was so hard that it took five great sorcerers plus Star Swirl the Bearded to do it.
[crowd laughing]
"Rainbow Stars": You call those great sorcerers?
Twilight Sparkle: Oh, no! Hecklers! What should we do?
Princess Celestia: [whispering] Spike! Improvise!
Spike: Y-Yes. And, uh... raising the sun each day was super draining. But you can see that for yourselves, right? I mean, do these guys look beat-up or what? Star Swirl's so stressed, he's got kinks in his horn!
[crowd laughing]
Spike: But that's okay. 'Cause it turns out Celestia had a special power to raise the sun all by herself!
Fluttershy: It's time for a new day in Equestria!
Twilight Sparkle: Ah! In all the commotion, we forgot we don't have a sun! What do we do?!
Princess Celestia: We play charades.
[crowd ooh-ing and ahh-ing]
[crowd cheering]
On Stage: My goodness! I had no idea this production would have such elaborate special effects!
Princess Celestia: Judging by how many flowers the audience threw, it seems our play was a success.
Fluttershy: I just feel bad you never got a chance to actually be in it.
Princess Celestia: You shouldn't. I never felt I had to be on stage to be a part of the show. All I ever wanted was to share an honest bond of creativity, artistry, and happiness with my friends. And that's exactly what I got to do.
Twilight Sparkle: Thank you for saving our play, Princess Celestia.
Princess Celestia: You're welcome, Twilight. But from now on, none of you will have to call me "Princess" anymore.
Twilight Sparkle and Spike: Huh?
Spike: Wait, what? We don't?
Princess Celestia: No. I had so much fun tonight, I've decided to give up my crown, step down from the throne, and devote all of my time to the theater!
Twilight Sparkle: Y-You... what?!
Princess Celestia: Gotcha! Maybe I'm not such a bad actress after all.
All: [laughing]