Plymouth town and gown team up to stage Cinderella

January 14th, 2003 by Adam

PLYMOUTH, N.H. — More than 100 families, friends, faculty, staff and students are spending the next few weeks working together to bring Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s musical Cinderella to the Silver Cultural Arts Center stage at Plymouth State College. The play, which has 14 Plymouth-area families in the cast, will be performed from January 22 to 26.

The Educational Theatre Collaborative (ETC) at Plymouth State College, a joint venture of Plymouth State College, Plymouth Elementary School and Friends of the Arts, is producing the event. Trish Lindberg, co-founder and artistic director of ETC, is the production’s director.

Cinderella is a classic fairy tale found in many cultures. In the tale, Cinderella is a young maiden who is despised by her evil stepmother and vain stepsisters. Desperate to escape her dismal life as a scullery maid, she pines to attend the Prince’s Ball. Miraculously, her fairy godmother appears and grants her wish. At the ball, the Prince falls in love with her. Fleeing at midnight to return home, Cinderella loses her glass slipper. The Prince finds it and searches the kingdom for its owner. He finds her. The shoe fits and they live happily ever after.

Lauren Keefe, a PSC senior and Plymouth resident, plays Cinderella. She is well known to ETC audiences for her roles as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz and as Maria in The Sound of Music.

Sunapee, N.H. native Braden Miles plays the Prince. He has just returned from the Broadway tour of Titanic and he has appeared in a number of New Hampshire venues, including the New London Barn Playhouse, Newport Opera House and Kearsarge Arts Theatre.

Eva Nagorka, PSC adjunct faculty member, plays the Stepmother. PSC students Tara Cloutier and Camille Lively play her daughters. Melody Funk, of Rumney, is the Fairy Godmother, and Donna Devlin-Young, of Lincoln, plays the Queen. Co-producer Robb Dimmick plays the King.

Lindberg notes, “The story of Cinderella is a timeless tale that everyone can relate to in some way or another. ETC has had a marvelous time bringing the story to life during the month of January. I am particularly excited to be working with Lauren Keefe and Braden Miles. They both worked with me as children and to be able to work with them as adults is a dream come true. Together, with a little help from our Fairy Godmother and our marvelous cast of 80 college and community members, we can make your dreams come true too.”

Lindberg is associate professor of education at PSC. She is also the coordinator of the College’s M.Ed. program and of the M.Ed. Integrated Arts option. She is a recipient of the N.H. Governor’s Arts and Education Award from the N.H. State Council on the Arts.

Dimmick and Susan Keefe are co-producers. Others helping put on the production include: Michael Stoddard’01, Carole Morrison, adjunct faculty member at PSC; Allan Dibiase, PSC collaborative pianist; Professor of Theatre Matthew Kizer, design, and Kenneth Roberts of Great Britain, musical director.

ETC is a two-time winner of the Moss Hart Award for excellence in community theatre. The organization is in its ninth year of producing intergenerational drama that includes community members, elementary school and college students, and PSC faculty and staff.

Cinderella was originally written for television and was broadcast live on CBS on March 31, 1957. The play was later adapted for the stage. It was restaged for television in 1965 and included a new song “Loneliness of Evening,” which was originally written for South Pacific but did not survive the final cut.

Performances of Cinderella will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday, January 22 through Saturday, January 25 and at 2 p.m., Saturday, January 25 and Sunday, January 26. Tickets are $8 – $14 at the Silver Cultural Arts box office, 603-535-ARTS, from noon to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday. If special accommodations are needed for people with disabilities, call in advance. The Saturday evening performance will be signed.