Being a princess is hard work. Just ask Kate Middleton as she is planning the royal wedding for Prince William. There are glass slippers to be fitted, coaches that keep turning into pumpkins, and royal clocks that strike midnight at inopportune times. But a group of Conifer elementary school students is making being a princess look like a breeze. In StageDoor Theatre’s upcoming production of “Cinderella,” audiences (and Kate Middleton) can see how it’s done.
The cast of Cinderella is made up of 20 elementary school students from around the mountain area.
“The whole production is a learning experience for these students,” says director Marion Dye. “They are acting and singing. Initially in rehearsals, some of the singing skills required were just outside their comfort zone. However, that’s how everyone learns. You reach for something that is just outside of what you are currently capable of, and when you achieve it, it’s magical.”
The show itself is magical — filled with mice that can turn potato sacks into ball gowns, fairy godmothers who grant wishes and happily-ever-afters. The production follows the original tale of Cinderella in a compressed form. Young audiences will be enchanted by the royal cast of characters, and more mature audiences will love songs from their youth like “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo” and “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.”
In past junior productions, Dye, who has directed a number of children’s productions at StageDoor, has rotated her cast members. Each of the major roles had a series of actors who rotated into the roles over the course of a show’s run.
“This is the first time everybody has their own parts. The villagers and townspeople play multiple roles, but the major roles are played by only one cast member,” says Dye.
Cinderella is played by Abby Thurman; Prince Charming is played by Liam Murphy. The Stepmother is played by Paloma Murath, and the two Evil Stepsisters are played by Nicole Renaud and Skye Holdridge.
“We have an amazing family of parents who have volunteered and helped to make this production wonderful. The parents helped with props and making costumes. We couldn’t have done this show without such amazing support from the families,” says Dye.
In addition to the cadre of volunteer parents, StageDoor is celebrating the efforts of director Dye. “Cinderella” will be her last production at StageDoor Theatre, as Dye is moving back to her home state of Illinois with her husband.
“Marion has been such a part of the StageDoor family for the last several years. We will miss her energy and creativity,” says Anne Russell, a StageDoor volunteer and summer camp director.
“Cinderella” opens Jan. 20. For more information, call 303-886-2819 or visit www.stagedoortheatre.org.
Sara Miller, a freelance writer and a resident of Evergreen, lives with her husband, two children and a dog.
Thursday through Sunday, Jan. 20-23; Jan. 20 at 7 p.m.; Jan. 21 at 7 p.m.; Jan. 22 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Jan. 23 at 2 p.m.
Tickets cost $6 to $8.
StageDoor Theatre, 25797 Conifer Road