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Norwood-Norfolk Central School performing ‘Cinderella’ this weekend


NORFOLK - A young woman finds the man of her dreams this weekend at Norwood-Norfolk Central School.

The school is staging “Cinderella” at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the high school auditorium.

The classic tale is about a young woman, who dreams of a better life, forced into a life of servitude by her cruel stepmother and self-centered stepsisters. But with the help of her Fairy Godmother, Cinderella is transformed into a princess and finds her prince.

It’s the biggest show to hit the Norwood-Norfolk stage in a couple of years, according to director Jonathan Burnett. They performed “Just Another High School Musical” last year.

“The kids wanted to do it. The last two years we did smaller, less-known, less expensive shows,” he said.

This year’s cast includes Emily Johnson as Cinderella, Shawn Tessier as the Prince, Ben LaFave as the King, Cheyne Voss as the Queen, Kirsten Conte as the Evil Stepmother, Arianna Colbert as Portia, one of the Stepsisters, Jessica Hargett as Joy, the other Stepsister, Kimmy McGinnis as the Godmother, Kim Stewart as the Herald, Kassy McGinnis as the Chef and Emily Jarvis as the Steward.

Other cast members include Venessa Prashaw and Maddison Stewart as the Coachmen, Lacey Bosjolie as the Footman, Shaylee Bernard and Sici Kahrs as the Guards, Desiree Palmer as the Minister and Kylee Deon, Sydney Levison, Grace Vari, Anneke Chudzinski, Maisie Voss, Alexe LaRock, Julia Reiter, Kaelee Salacka, Olivia Sumner, Meggan Barlow, Nate Perkins and Ashleigh Wright as ball guests and townspeople.

Emily Johnson, who has the lead role of Cinderella, is a senior who is participating in her fifth musical production at Norwood-Norfolk.

“I had the lead last year,” she said.

Getting the lead role in this year’s production was a big thing for her, she said.

“I was so happy I almost cried,” Ms. Johnson said. “I love to sing and dance. I have a passion for singing and dancing.”

Despite the big role, she said there hasn’t been that much pressure to learn her lines, songs and dance routines.

“There are only like three or four scenes I’m not in. It’s not that bad. I thought it was going to be hard, but it’s not hard. I knew all the songs,” she said.

Like other cast members, Ms. Johnson had the advantage of viewing YouTube videos and listening to a CD of songs to hone their roles.

“All the people know what the characters are supposed to act like,” she said.

Arianna Colbert plays Portia, one of the evil stepsisters, while Jessica Hargett takes on the role of Joy, the other evil stepsister.

“Portia is dumb. She’s oblivious to everything. We’re comical relief,” Ms. Colbert, a senior, said.

This her third musical production at Norwood-Norfolk Central School.

“This is the biggest production I will ever be in. I’m excited for the big crowd,” Ms. Colbert said.

The best part, she said, is being around fellow cast members who have spent hours after school rehearsing since the end of winter break.

“I love the people and being around the people,” she said.

But, Ms. Colbert said, this will likely be the last time she’ll be on the stage.

“I think it’s going to be my final hurrah,” she said.

Ms. Hargett, also a senior, has been participating in the spring musical productions since she was in seventh grade.

“I like being busy. The cast makes it more fun,” she said.

Ms. Hargett said she was excited to learn that the school would be presenting “Cinderella” this year.

“I was really excited. I’ve loved Cinderella since I was a little. When I’m watching it when I’m not on stage, I love it,” she said.

“I think this is going to be one of the best. It’s the biggest set, the biggest play. We’ve never built a set. This year we built a set. I think it’s going to be really good,” Ms. Hargett added.

She said has enjoyed her role as one of the stepsisters.

“I was excited when I got the part of the stepsister. It’s the biggest part I’ve ever had,” Ms. Hargett said. “We don’t really like Cinderella. The other evil stepsister and I are the comedy of the show.”

Senior Kirsten Conte takes on the role of the evil stepmother. She has done two previous shows.

“I was excited. I feel like it was really fun,” she said.

In her stage role, she said, “I’m very angry a lot. I yell all the time.”

As the stepmother, she has plenty of time on the stage.

“Probably like the majority of the play. It’s not really difficult. I’m ready. I’m familiar with the movies and books. This is one that I feel like everybody knows what to expect. If you stay in characte,r you’re all set to go,” she said. “All I have to do is be angry.”

The king is played by junior Benjamin LaFave, who’s in his first full-blown musical production at the school. He also has a minor role as a townsperson.

“I’ve never been in a major play. I’ve been in a few one-act plays. I was in Drama Class,” he said.

Although he would have liked to have taken on the role of the prince, Mr. LaFave said he’s happy with the king.”

“I always wanted to be in a major production and get a lead role. This is still a great role,” he said, noting the king “is supposed to be someone who is a bit of a klutz and lazy. He’s supposed to act childish.”

Although it’s his first major production, Mr. LaFave said it hasn’t been difficult to get ready for the Friday and Saturday shows.

“I’ve always been able to memorize my lines quickly,” he said.

Eighth-grader Meggan Barlow has roles as one of the ball guests and townspeople. This will be her third play, including a role in last year’s “Just Another High School Musical.”

“Last year was a big part. She was really goofy. She was kind of out of it, in lala land all the time,” she said.

This year’s roles, she said, are “really hectic. I’m in so many different scenes and I have to change constantly. I’m in like every other scene, if not every two scenes.”

The perfect role, she said, would have been one of the stepsisters.

“They’re really important,” Ms. Barlow said.

Like others, she enjoys the camaraderie between the actors.

“We’re together so much and can be ourselves. We’re all genuinely nice to each other,” she said.

Tickets for this year’s show are $8 for adults and $6 for students in advance, or $10 for adults and $8 for students at the door. There is also a family rate of $25 for parents and their children.

For information about advance tickets, call the school at 353-6631.

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