Corban’s performances of Cinderella have come with many firsts. It is the first time the theater department has attempted a musical, and the first time they have partnered with the orchestra and choir to accomplish this. It is the first time that part of the proceeds go to an organization fighting to end human trafficking. It is the first time that a giant pretend pumpkin appeared in the Psalm Center stage. It is also the first time that all shows of a Corban play have been completely sold out.
In its second consecutive weekend of performances, the cast of Cinderella charmed the audience on November 17 with a witty and magical rendition of the classic fairy tale. Drawing a large crowd from the community, the show completely sold out, and the next two performances are likely to sell out as well.
“There are 550 seats in the auditorium to sell and we will probably sell out for the next 3 shows,” said Alison Lippincott, the play’s ticket and production manager. Lippincott said that people wanting to see the play might have to be put on a waiting list, and extra seats may be added to accommodate everyone.
“They’ve had trouble seating people in the past, but this is one of Corban’s biggest productions. It’s a well-known play, and it gets families to come.”
Even on a school night, many families came with their young daughters bedecked in Cinderella dresses and clambering to get pictures by the giant pumpkin. Especially precious was the exclamations of the little girls during the ball scene, when gasps of “they kissed!” could be heard throughout the auditorium.
The highlights of the play performance included the music score performed by the orchestra in a pit behind the stage. The live music benefited the overall effect and allowed for more involvement from Corban’s students.
“It is fun to see it all come together and to be a part of it musically. It’s so much better having live music, and a blessing to be a part of that!” said Katharine Hormann, principal bassist in the orchestra.
Another highlight was the giant pumpkin that delivered Cinderella to the prince’s ball. Pulled by two white horses, the transformed pumpkin was lavishly decorated and a true spectacle to see. The crew featured the pumpkin coach on the side of the stage in the second act so that the audience could take pictures with the prince and Cinderella in it.
Joe Kraft, who played the steward in the production, remarked on the great performances of Cinderella’s stepsisters, who succeeded in getting the audience laughing every time they spoke. Portia, played by Courtney Baker, excelled in gazed and dreamy looks, while Joy, played by Melanie Rice, succeeded in delivering every line in the whiniest tone possible.
“When we see the Disney version, they’re really minor characters,” said Kraft. “In this, they both have their own personality and little quirks they do. They’re a great edition, and they give life to the play.”
Part of the proceeds from Cinderella are going to Shared Hope, an organization that is striving to bring an end to human trafficking. As the industry of sex trafficking continues to grow, Director Tamara McGinnis wanted to do something to help those individuals who are exploited and sold into it. The Cinderella Campaign, as it is called, has drawn attention from the community, and many hope to make a difference through these performances.
As Cinderella is one of the most popular fairy tales of all time, and many have remade it over the years, Corban students involved in the play recognize the importance of the story and how it resonates with everyone.
“I think it’s a story that rings true in the hearts of many people; it’s not just a Christian story,” said Kraft. “We all want that moment when we rise to the top, that Cinderella moment in our lives, where everything falls away and we’re special. It’s a universal story.”