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Joshua Thomas
The Royal Ball begins with a couples dance. Pictured in front, at left, is Jordan Hurd as the king. At right is Zoe D'Arcangelis as the queen.

Joshua Thomas
Rachael Takacs plays Cinderella's Godmother.

Caitlin Hurd, as Cinderella, ponders her lonely existence.

Joshua Thomas
The prince, played by Andy Haman, connects with Cinderella, played by Caitlin Hurd, at the Royal Ball.


Over 50 star in lavish production of "Cinderella" March 14-16

Tuesday, March 12, 2013 - Updated: 9:56 AM


C-S-E Editor

CANAJOHARIE — The Fort Plain-Canajoharie Drama Club will present three magic-filled performances of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic musical "Cinderella", beginning Thursday March 14, running through Saturday, March 16. 

Each performance will be held in the Arkell Auditorium at the Canajoharie High School at 7 p.m.

The lavish production is the largest that Director Will Ryan has been involved with. Cinderella — the third play he's directed — contains a cast of over 50, which is over 30 more actors than Ryan directed in his last production, 2012's Fort Plain school district play "The Fantasticks". 

Ryan noted that although half of Cinderella's cast is comprised of small children, from young elementary students through fifth graders, the rehearsals for Cinderella have "been going like clockwork." 

"And surprisingly so," he continued, explaining that the Fort Plain-Canajoharie Drama Club has, for the first time, been operating with a new structure, featuring a new combination of the two school districts. 

The most significant challenge in directing such a large production, which has been in rehearsals since mid-December, said Ryan, has only been coordinating everybody's schedules, as younger students are unable to stay and rehearse as late as some of the middle and high school actors.

During Monday's dress rehearsal, the play was already extremely well memorized and rehearsed by the fully-costumed cast, who barely missed a beat. While it's not unusual for a production to really start coming together during the dress rehearsals, held the Monday and Tuesday prior to the premiere, everybody in Cinderella was on point, their strong voices passionately filling the auditorium with the melodic and moving score by Rodgers and Hammerstein.

Ryan said that the biggest joy he derives from directing such a large production is seeing the students come to life in their roles. "Watching the kids have such excitement and joy on stage," he noted, is the most rewarding part of the process.

Cinderella is a family show, with something for everybody, including an eye popping assortment of visually stunning, sparkling costumes by Lisa Hill, along with familiar set pieces such as Cinderella's famous pumpkin carriage. The elaborate, colorful sets were all created under the direction of stage and set manager Michael Broady.

"It's a great show!" said an excited Ryan of Cinderella, urging local people not to miss it. "Hopefully, between the costumes, the cast's work, lighting, and everything else, the audience will see the transformation of a girl into a princess."

"Come for a great night at the theater," Ryan concluded simply, summing up Cinderella's appeal. The play provides a well rounded, time-tested night of fantastical escape in every way possible, as it doesn't just provide non-stop action or visuals — it's a story with heart and soul — the very embodiment of great theater.

Tickets for each performance are $6, and just $3 for students under 12.


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