There are hundreds of versions of Cinderella in the world. Each one tells the story of a young lady born into unfortunate circumstances who, with the help of some very special friends, comes into good fortune. This year, students at Grayslake Central High School will present Rogers & Hammerstein’s version of the beloved musical during four performances on November 20, 21, and 22, 2015.
This 2013 Broadway adaptation of the classic 1957 version stays faithful to the familiar Cinderella story, but is also very different. The show is incredibly funny and includes bumbling knights and a villainous sidekick for the prince. Children especially, will enjoy the multiple onstage “transformations” as Cinderella prepares to attend the ball, as well as some surprising new moments in Act II.
According to Director Maureen Ritter, “I’m most excited to introduce a generation of girls and boys to a more modern take on Cinderella and the Prince. Both characters are much more than the stereotypical prince and princess. Ella’s belief in the importance of kindness—and her insistence on treating people fairly—elevate her from a typical ‘Damsel in Distress’ to a strong and empathetic heroine. And Prince Topher’s desire to rule his kingdom fairly, make both characters excellent role models!”
While every Cinderella story has different elements, the theme of making one’s dream come true is universal. Ashley Veltman, the junior who plays the role of “Ella”, has a special fondness for the show: It was the first musical she ever saw and it was that experience that encouraged her to become a performer.
Grayslake Central’s ENCORE! student performance company includes over 100 students in the production of shows, fundraisers, service projects, field trips, and workshops throughout the year. In addition to offering its three main stage shows to the community, ENCORE! attends the Illinois High School Theatre Festival in January, organizes a community-wide food drive known as “Trick or Treat so Kids Can Eat,” and performs a holiday radio show as an annual fundraiser.
This year ENCORE! will host a Royal Tea Party meet and greet at 12:30 pm before the November 21st afternoon show. Children and their parents can meet the characters, enjoy refreshments, play games and make a royal craft in the theater lobby. Tea Party guests will be escorted to the theater for the 2:00 p.m. performance. Cost for the Royal Tea Party is $5 (show ticket not included.) Reservations are being taken until November 6 by contacting Kevin Farrell at 847-986-3300 x5519 or by email.
If you’ve ever been hesitant to attend live theater with children, Grayslake Central High School’s production offers a convenient, affordable, kid-friendly venue. In preparation for the show, the Broadway touring company has released an education guide available online. Future thespians can explore main themes and characters, production fun facts, and royal etiquette tips for theater attendance. Pre- and post-show enrichment activities encourage audience members to consider the connection between literature, history and drama throughout the ages.
Grayslake Central High School
400 N. Lake Street, Grayslake
Online ticket sales| 847-986-3300
Ticket prices: $6.00 (children under 13), $8.00 (senior citizens), and $10.00 (general admission).
The Grayslake Central High School theater is located adjacent to the main entrance lobby. Parking is free and all entrances to the theater are wheelchair and stroller accessible.