Once upon a time, St. Ambrose University put on an outstanding children's show: Cinderella. The adaptor, Roger Pavey Sr., created a world in which the damsel, Cinderella, was not helpless, but empowered and intelligent.
In this new version, Cinderella takes charge of her own life, and does not rely on a Prince for her own happiness. Directed by St. Ambrose Alumna Kimberly Kurtenbach, this production was met with cheers and laughs from thousands of excited children from various schools in the area.
This modernized princess story ran November 29 until December 2, in total performing 7 shows, two of which were open to the public. One of the most significant moments in the show is the reveal of a beautiful ball gown created by Cinderella's mice – and made entirely of garbage.
Cast of 'Cinderella'
The cast performed seven shows between Nov. 29 and Dec. 2, two of them for area school children.
This classic tale is met with an unfamiliar ending, in which Cinderella rejects the Prince's proposal and instead becomes his royal librarian. When standing on the stage, one can hear the shock and confusion (and on one specific occasion, anger) of the children when this damsel in distress rescues herself.
The most notable reaction of the children came from the introduction of the Stepmother, played by T.J. Green. Green, when wearing heels and a beehive wig, measures in at over 7 feet tall, certainly fitting the looming presence an evil stepmother.
Overall, the show was a success, and both the production team and the cast worked incredibly hard to put on a production specifically designed for hordes of children. Many of the cast members' favorite part of the process comes after the show, when they are allowed to stand in the lobby and interact directly with the kids as they leave the building.
Cast member Megan Clarke (Cinderella herself!) describes one interaction she had with a young girl with Downs Syndrome.
"I greeted her by calling her 'princess,' and she discredited that remark by telling me that she was not a princess. When I told her that you don't need to marry a prince to be a princess, her face lit up, and that small moment made all the hard work and late nights worth it."
Cinderella at St. Ambrose helped to show kids around the area how fun and exciting theatre can really be. Even while teaching the positive morals of being confident in yourself and doing what you believe is right, SAU theatre students were still able to have a whole lot of fun (it is children's theatre!). After all, it's not every day you get to see a giant hoard of overgrown talking mice dancing and singing to Madonna's song, "Vogue"!
Alejandra Acosta - Footman
Megan Clarke - Cinderella
Christian Colmenares- Jacques
Anthony Duckett - The Prince
Sarah Goodall - Cordelia
T.J. Green - Stepmother
Tyler Hughes - Micestro
Jessica Karolczak - Marie/ Townsperson / Ball attendee
Kayla Lansing- Allie/ Townsperson / Ball attendee
Ellie Larson - Bella
Kendall McKasson - Townsperson / Ball attendee
Halie Osborn - Ursula
Luke Peterson - Pipsqueak
Bryan Woods - Hector