Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s classic fairytale story is coming to the stage at Sussex Central High School, as, for one weekend, the SCHS Take Two Drama Club will present “Cinderella.”
The show will be Friday and Saturday, Dec. 16 and 17, at 7 p.m., with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m.
“The classic fairytale has been turned into a moving, funny and magical story with a great score and a beautiful message about making your own pathway in life,” according to David Warick, director and SCHS drama instructor.
General admission costs $8 at the door. Students, seniors and military pay $5. Middle school students with ID are admitted on a special two-for-one ticket for $5. No one will be turned away for inability to pay. The box office opens at 1 p.m. for the matinee and 5:30 p.m. for the evening performances.
Concessions will be available during intermission. All proceeds benefit the drama program.
Elegance, magic and fun
This definitely isn’t Disney’s “Cinderella.” Audiences will see characters with more depth.
“Usually, people are used to seeing two evil stepsisters, but in this version, we have one really evil one and one who wants Cinderella to be happy,” said sophomore Abbey Ruark. “I play that character,” whom she noted has her own love interest. “It puts a twist on the fact that one of the stepsisters ends up happy as well.”
Moreover, the prince isn’t just Cinderella’s love interest. He’s naïvely navigating the world of politics, where poverty and homelessness are rising. Audiences will meet a Cinderella motivated to create a better world for everyone.
“They’ll get a new understanding about why she is the way she is — not somebody who wants to marry this boy because he’s a prince. She wants to change her town and do things for the better,” said Ruark.
“There’s also a heavy political under theme to the show. It really presents a statement about politics and government and corruption. I think a lot of people will find that interesting … especially with today’s politics,” said senior Danny Keenan, who plays “Prince Topher.”
“I feel like the elegance of the show really fits the adults,” said “Cinderella” herself, junior Rebecca Bristow, “but it’s just such a fun, magical show. … There’s so much going on.”
“It’s very magical and imaginative, especially to children, because they have huge imaginations,” said sophomore Braeden Swain, who plays a scheming steward.
“And I think they’re going to find laughter in the stepsisters and the family, because Charlotte is just completely the same … horrible person,” Ruark added of the evil stepsister.
“It’s the classical ‘Cinderella’ with a twist,” said junior Blair Williams, who plays “Fairy Godmother.”
Of course, some things never change. “Cinderella” isn’t complete without the magical transformation of animals, gown and pumpkin carriage.
“It’s always good to revisit the classics, kind of learn where we got different storylines, and, you know, different aspects of musical theater, and just go back to the roots,” said Keenan.
“She was a poor girl forced to become a slave in her own home by her stepmother,” Williams said. “I don’t think they’ll run out of ways to make ‘Cinderella’ different … because it’s just so versatile.”
Unique sets, lighting, blocking and a few hand puppets will give Sussex Central’s production its own unique edge.
The production also restores some of the catchy music cut from the 1997 Rodgers & Hammerstein version starring Whitney Houston and Brandy.
The actors complimented the talents of their fellow cast and crew, which also includes Indian River High School and Sussex Academy students.
“That’s what’s great. We have talent from all schools, so it’s like the best possible pick of talent,” Bristow said.
With decades of a drama legacy, SCHS again invited several students from other schools to participate.
“We all pretty much decided, the Take Two Drama Club was like, ‘They don’t have a musical, they can come do our musical,’” especially since they’re other local schools, Williams said.
Children invited to Prince/Princess party
As a bonus treat, there will be a Prince/Princess Party on Dec. 17 at noon, at a separate cost of $5. (Proceeds benefit the Students in Action Service organization and Take Two Drama Club.)
Children ages 4 to 10 (and older) can enjoy dragon-slaying lessons. Bad Hair Day salon will treat kids to special “royal” hair and makeup services.
Children can come in costume, receive a special treat and walk in a costume parade. There will be a scavenger hunt to find Cinderella’s slipper, plus cake and other treats and prizes.
Cinderella and her Prince will also meet and take photos with guests.
“This party is a great way to kick off the holiday season with your children or grandchildren,” Warick stated.
After the party, the Saturday matinee begins at 2 p.m. For group admission rates, contact David Warick at (302) 934-3166 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The SCHS Centre for Visual & Performing Arts is located at 26026 Patriots Way, Georgetown. Details are online at www.facebook.com/TakeTwoSCHS.