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Roger and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”: by Hannah Langley ‘17

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The Prince rides the horse.

I have been in Kennedy’s theater program for three years now, and I must say that this year was an extremely challenging, yet truly rewarding experience. There were some good times, there were some bad times and there were a lot of stressful times. However, we all came together – cast, crew, costumes, orchestra – to put on a successful Cinderella.

The show was double casted this year, which proved to be somewhat difficult at times. However, it also made rehearsals more enjoyable since there were more people to share the experience with. Also, as one of the leads, it was entertaining to watch the other cast perform and to see my character portrayed on stage by someone else. The show brought many of us together, created many friendships, and made everyone grow a lot closer. This was especially true for the girls who joined the musical from Good Counsel Academy. Monica McStay, who played Madame on the Thursday and Saturday shows, said that switching schools her senior year was hard, but she is glad that she did the show at Kennedy. She said, “Joining the drama club introduced me to so many friendly and talented people. I am grateful for the experience and the friends I have made!

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Cinderella looks on.

As many of the cast members can attest to, the show was not always fun and games. It was actually extremely stressful most of the time, and we all had to work hard to put on a show we could be proud of. Monica Gayanelo, who played Marie (the fairy godmother) on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, stated, “This show taught me that anything really is possible. Making dreams come true with the wave of a magic wand taught me… any dream can become reality with a little faith in yourself.” I think this show really did teach us all that when we work together, we can make anything happen.

This year’s show was more than just a performance. It was a tribute. Sister Barbara passed away on the same day as our Friday performance. Hearing the news after the show as a community was tragic. Everyone in that auditorium felt the heartbreak and loss. The Saturday and Sunday shows were in tribute to her, being as she dedicated so much of her life to all of us, especially last year in The Sound of Music. As hard as the news was, it brought us all closer together, and created an inseparable bond among everyone involved in the show. Genny Glembotzky, who not only performed in a number of roles, but also filled the responsibility of assistant director, gave a remark regarding Sister Barbara’s passing, “Hearing the news… was very difficult for our cast, but it was really beautiful to see everyone come together, be there for each other, and remember her like they did.” As Genny said, we all came together to remember Sister Barbara as the amazing woman she was and to honor the amazing legacy she has set for our community. We all know that she was with us during the shows, watching from the best seat in the house.

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The wicked stepmother.

I would not have traded my Cinderella experience for anything else. I have made friendships and bonds with so many people that I hope to never lose. Performing as Charlotte, the annoying, mean stepsister (on Thursday and Saturday nights) was a lot of fun, and gave me the freedom to be someone completely different from myself. As a quick remark, I want to thank my cast – Kelsey Baron, Joe Gullotta, Jillian Flynn, Monica McStay, Dominic Basilone, Dylan Berry and Rose Grosskopf – for being absolutely amazing and for making me feel so comfortable performing on stage with all of you. I also want to give a shout out to the other cast – Kayla Campise, Nicholas DiGrandi, Amanda Astrologo, Meghan Reilly, Monica Gayanelo, and Caroline King. Rehearsals with everyone were so much fun, and I’m so glad we all became such good friends. I’ll never forget this experience and the good times we enjoyed (when we weren’t suffering from illness or stressing out). We will all miss the seniors from this year, but we know that they will go on to do even greater things.

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Cinderella dances with her prince.

Just when the show seemed “impossible,” we pushed on, and in the end it was a success. The show took a lot of hard work, dedication, and perseverance from all, but it was all worth it. I am proud to say I was a part of Cinderella. Hopefully the audience had “a lovely night” at our performances.