By Claire Salinas
Weaving a classic fairy tale on stage takes talent and poise that often comes with life experience, but The Central Community Theatre is accessing the talent of its children actors to present the classical version of Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.”
“A lot of our kids do our shows year after year and recently they’ve done shows like ‘Annie’ that are not so classical,” said director Claire Clinkingbeard. “We had a lot of students that were interested in doing a classical show. We felt like this would challenge them and be fun for them, but it would also be good for them to work on.”
Four different shows with two different casts will be presented on The Manship Theatre stage June 25-27.
Clinkingbeard shared some of the hidden gems that the audience can watch for throughout the show.
“One of my favorite things to follow throughout the show is the stepfamily because they are the total comic element of this show. The people playing the stepsisters are phenomenal and out-of-the-box crazy. In one of the casts, the stepsisters happen to be real-life sisters.”
The family ties in the show extend beyond the stage as well. Directors of the show, Clinkingbeard and Addie Dean, are actually first cousins, following in the footsteps of their mothers, a pair of sisters who have been directing at Central Community Theatre together for many years, as well as their grandmother, who is currently involved in costuming and behind the scenes aspects of the company.
“Our moms are really helpful and come to all the practices,” said Dean. “We think about the show all the time. At our Father’s Day celebration we were talking about the show. When you’re with family you’re always together. I think it has helped out a lot. I can say, ‘Mom what do you think about this?’”
Dean talked about some of the challenges and rewards that have come with training children actors to portray an era previously foreign to them.
“My highlight of the show is seeing the teenagers. A lot of them in today’s time are focused more on different styles of dance then we are trying to pull out of them for this show. Trying to get six couples of 17 year olds to Waltz is challenging. The Waltz and the Gavotte are very different styles of dancing, and they have to be so precise. I tell them to go home and watch videos and watch your posture. Seeing them come back to practice and being so successful at it is very rewarding.”
Clinkingbeard said there are elements of the show that will keep both kids and adults entertained.
“I think kids are going love it, and will love getting to see people their own age on stage. I think older people will enjoy the classicalness of the show. I think people will get to enjoy the magic of the fairytale, but still get the originality and elegance of Rodgers and Hammerstein.”
The show runs Wednesday through Friday night, and a free photo op will be held with Cinderella in the lobby before the Friday morning 10 a.m. show. Parents can bring their personal cameras or simply wait for their child’s picture to be uploaded to the Central Community Theatre Facebook page.
The show is an hour and forty-five minutes in length with a fifteen minute intermission.
Ticket prices range from $18 to $25 and can be purchased at manshiptheatre.org.