This story has been around long before even the oldest fables. It is a story about royal families, and how the wellbeing of the kingdom was depedant on the royal family. If the royal family lost interest with the people, or stopped caring, the kingdom would go into decline. This play has a lovely metaphor for its people; when the princesses stop caring about the gardens, the roses fade away and the birds stop singing. When Molly, the youngest princess, touches the branch of a rose bush, the bush turns green as she shows an element of caring.
Most fairytales, especially those intended for children, have many different moral undertones attached to them. USQ's version of the 12 Dancing Princesses has both an adult and childlike moral importance and message. The director Robert Kenton stated that one important theme was that of a father's control where his possessive nature toward his daughters results in their rebellion to such treatment. The Brothers Grimm, who initially wrote the story were from a family of several brothers, and one sister who was the last and youngest child. It is said that she was a most prized girl whose brothers adored her. In many cultures and in throughout history, daughters have often less rights to property of other family heirlooms than their brothers, and so they must be taken care of by their brothers and fathers, and this has often causes much tension and is the key to the storyline of this play.
Another important theme is that of honesty, truth and virtue. The princesses are taught that if they are kind, fair and treat people the way they deserve to be treated than good things will come to them. Charlie, the poor orphan boy, solves the mystery of the 12 dancing princesses, not because he is strong or royal or possesses magical powers, but because he has an honest and kind heart. Charlie uses his attributes to solve riddle unlocking the mystery behind the 12 dancing princesses. Kindness, honesty and truthfulness are the undertones that prevail throughout this play. Even in Charlie's dream of the twelve princesses they say, "If you are steadfast and true you will find your heart's desire".