Thespians perform ‘Cinderella’

Sterpsister Charlotte, portrayed by JoJo Maxwell, attempts to shove her foot into the glass slipper held by Prince Topher, played by Mason Rich, as members of the ensemble look on.

Sterling College’s theatre department put on Rodgers & Hammerstein’s rendition of “Cinderella” in Culbertson Auditorium Oct. 10-13.

This modern-day spin on a classic was directed by Sasha Hildebrand, with musical direction by Marisa Callan and technical direction by Stephen English. 

Leading actors Emma Kwasiborski and Mason Rich stared in their roles as Ella and Prince Topher respectively.

Rich’s voice was showcased from the start in his song “Me, Who Am I?,” “Ten Minutes Ago” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?”

Kwasiborski’s voice was displayed in songs such as “In My Own Little Corner,” “Ten Minutes Ago” and “He Was Tall.”

Other notable performances were supporting actresses Catherine Vessey as Marie, Jojo Maxwell as Charlotte and Ardynn Brooks as Madame.

Vessey’s voice was featured on “Impossible/It’s Possible” and “There’s Music In You.”

Maxwell and Brooks embodied their characters bringing them to life and hit comedic lines nicely.

Notable performances from leading actors included Will Dutton as Lord Pinkleton, Dylan Werth as Jean Michel and Darren Porche as Honeybun (the horse).

“My favorite character had to be Jean Michel. Dylan did a wonderful job, and the audience reacted so well every time he was on stage,” Vessey said. “I remember sitting at callbacks for the musical, and he was up on the stage to read for the part. The minute he started his scene, everyone was roaring with laughter and we had to take a break before auditioning further because we all needed to recover and compose ourselves.”

Choreographers Piper Harding, Katie O’Brien, Alyssa Hershey, Rachel Thompson, Kendra Klaassen, Kaleigh Pitre and Hildebrand displayed their talents in numbers such as “Me, Who Am I?,” “Ten Minutes Ago,” “Stepsister’s Lament” and “The Pursuit.”

“My favorite song to be a part of was the ‘Stepsisters Lament.’ This song was about how the prince had chosen Cinderella and not any of the other ladies at the ball. It was fun to sing this humorous song with attitude,” ensemble member Mayda Stallbaumer said.

The orchestra performed under conductor Marisa Callan, pianist Tiffiney Harms and student musicians Kyler Comley, Shara Shepard, Katie Bridgman and Jordan Harris.

With any live production, accidents and technical difficulties are expected, and “Cinderella” was no exception.

“One night, Cinderella had some costume trouble, and she wasn’t able to make her entrance at the usual time. Katie Fox and I did some improv, and the scene actually turned out to be one of my favorites,” Brooks said. “You just never know what’s going to happen in live theatre.”