Although mice may not be transforming into horses and pumpkins into carriages on Corban University’s stage this fall, it does not make the production of the musical “Cinderella” any less exciting. For the first time in Corban’s history, the drama and music departments are fully collaborating on the production, a dream come true for drama director Tamara McGinnis.
“The idea to do ‘Cinderella’ came about last spring when Tammy and I were eating hot dogs at Costco,” explains assistant drama director Rachel Ost. “Out of the blue, she said, ‘I want to do a musical,’ and I knew she was serious because she was already planning something way before the fall season.”
After ordering the script and giving the scores to the music department, the heads of the music and drama departments made the unanimous decision to perform Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” for Corban’s fall play.
“Corban’s orchestra will be providing the music and Corban music professors will be working alongside the drama department to train actors,” says Ost. “All of the chorus members will be members of the choir as well.
Significant challenges accompany this endeavor to present a musical, including increased expenses, as the royalties on musicals are much more than normal plays. Musicals require more coordination between musicians and actors as well, as timing and effect play a big role in the overall production. For the musical’s directors, though, the benefits of drawing more crowds and succeeding in putting on a successful show for the community far outweigh these difficulties.
“Everyone knows this play and will come watch,” says drama student Ralph Emerson, who plans to audition for the part of the king.
As most people grew up watching the Disney version of “Cinderella,” creating the magic of the story may also prove challenging.
“In a live show, you have to really sell the effects well, and you have to make it believable when the actors burst into song,” says Ost. “I am especially looking forward to the ballroom scene and creating a big believable image.”
Several Corban students are also looking forward to being a part of creating that image, including Krystal Kuehn and Elisabeth Doornink.
“It’s going to be exciting and quite helpful, especially with conflicting events for music students involved in drama,” Kuehn says.
Auditions for the musical are September 5, from 3-6 p.m. The drama and music departments highly encourage students to audition, even if they have never been involved in a musical or any kind of drama at all.
“It’s a great experience even if you don’t make it, because there are a lot of great people in the drama department,” says Emerson. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be cast as Cinderella’s ugly stepsister- how many other opportunities will you have to be mean and get away with it?