By Lorrie Ham
The timeless enchantment of a magical fairy tale is coming to life on the Westonka Performing Arts Center stage March 8-10. The Mound Westonka High School Theatre is excited to present the community with Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” This musical will delight audiences with a contemporary take on a classic tale. Be transported back to your childhood as you rediscover this beloved story with a fun and crazy new twist, with a great song list.
“This hilarious and romantic musical experience is for anyone who’s ever had a wish, a dream . . . or a really great pair of shoes,” said assistant director Jamie Harms.
A talented and experienced group of seniors headline the cast. Emma Jordahl takes on the role of Cinderella, while Nick Drilling is Prince Christopher. Joey Colianni plays the stepmother, Sarah Brammer is the fairy godmother and Tia Meyer is Queen Constantina. Rounding out the cast are juniors Giulia Rabello as Grace and Grace Prchal as Joy, along with sophomores Josh Nkhata as King Maximillan and Michael Kurtz as Lionel the Herald.
Members of the chorus, who play multiple parts, include juniors Elmo Fernandez-Armstrong and Sarah Ahmand, along with sophomores Jordyn Nester, Jayna Sherman, Eve Mikkelson, Jake Robertson, Kate Moch, John Wombacher, Jenna Courneya and Ben Ortaleza. Freshmen players include Haakon Erdahl, Caleb Abernethy, Kathryn Collins, Ellie Becker, Madeline LaJoy, Olivia Sanders and Taylor Jemtrud. Eighth-grader Haley Kummerow is also a member of the chorus.
An experienced technical crew includes seniors Zoe Peterson as stage manager, along with Evan Bittle and Kris Kurtz as technical board operators.
The production of “Cinderella” is under new leadership, directed by Hannah Steblay in her first production at MWHS. A freelance director and actor, Steblay is also director at Lakeville North High School and NOVA Classical Academy. Although this is Harms’ 12th MWHS production, it’s her first as assistant director.
Also new to MWHS are musical director Ian Zahren and choregrapher Adia Morris. Zahren, an accomplished composer, director and vocal artist, teaches at the Saint Paul Conservatory for the Performing Arts. Morris, a freelance artist and educator, has taught dance and theater for Guthrie Theater, Youth Performance Company and Minneapolis Public Schools.
“Cinderella” will be presented on Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 9 at 2 and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, March 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for students in grades 5-12, and $5 for kids in kindergarten – grade 4. Tickets will be available through the Westonka Performing Arts Center website www.westonkapac.com beginning Monday, Feb. 18.
Plans are also in the works for a Character Brunch on Saturday, March 9, at 9 a.m. in the MWHS cafeteria. Cinderella, Prince Christopher, King Maximilian, Queen Constantina and the stepfamily will be there! Other members of the cast will also be in attendance. Along with brunch, there will also be a coloring station, cookie decorating, and photo and autograph opportunities with the characters! Stay tuned for more information.