You might think you know the story of Cinderella, either from the traditional fairy tale or the numerous onscreen adaptations, but Marietta Magliocchi, Valleyview secondary drama teacher and director, said her students have surprises in store for anyone coming to see the school’s production of the classic tale.
Students are performing the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical version, which was originally written for television. It was broadcast live on CBS in 1957 with Julie Andrews in the title role.
Jaymi Daniels, who is the musical director for the show, said it’s just the right challenge for the students.
“You're combining singing, acting and dancing,” Daniels said. “So it's a lot of work, and the kids have to be good at all three things.”
“Everyone's learning a new skill,” she said. “Whether it's acting, dancing or singing, they're all learning something new. And that's really hard.”
It’s a big commitment for the students, too, with musical rehearsals beginning back in November. Dance and acting were added to the mix in January.
Though this is only her third collaboration with Daniels, Magliocchi has directed nine different shows for the Valleyview secondary stage, and she is familiar with the bonding process that can occur among performers.
“We are like our own little family when they come to rehearsal,” she said. “And if someone's struggling in a subject or someone is struggling with lines or dance, they come in at lunch or after school on their own time and they rehearse together.”
Kaia Smoliak-Carlin, who plays Queen Constantina, also recognizes the value of those bonds.
“Whenever you're in a musical theatre production like this, the cast is really a family,” she said. “And when you're together multiple nights a week you really grow and get to know each other well.”
Smoliak-Carlin has been in a number of shows, including two under Magliocchi’s direction, and has seen that sometimes a production doesn’t entirely come together until the very end.
“I don't think anybody is fully ready until showtime. It kind of surprises you when it comes up and all of a sudden everything comes together,” she said.
“We'll all be ready.”
Others are taking to the stage for the first time in Cinderella, including Zach Leishman, who plays King Maximillian.
“It's been a little frantic,” he said, “but definitely a worthwhile experience.”
It’s a sentiment shared by Tessa Martin, who plays the titular Cinderella.
“It's a great story about a girl who learns how to make her own dreams come true,” she said. “And it's really heartwarming. We put a lot of work into making it the best it can be. And it's a really fun show to come watch.
“It's for all ages, especially little kids that love fairy tales.”
Both directors hope to see the community out during the play’s run from May 1 to May 4.
“Support these amazing students and wonderful program that we’ve built here at Valleyview,” Magliocchi said.
“The best way to support the performing arts is to come to the show,” Daniels said.