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Wayne Independent - Honesdale, PA
  • School play enchants audiences

  • DAMASCUS-Looking for something to do this weekend? Take a trip to the Damascus Area School and see Cinderella.
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  • DAMASCUS-Looking for something to do this weekend? Take a trip to the Damascus Area School and see Cinderella.
    This is extra special for the students and staff, as it is the first play in over 10 years the school had held.
    Getting to Know Cinderella, also known as G2K Cinderella, is a Rodgers and Hammerstein production and is the children's version of the Broadway play.
    For director Melanie Hansen it's her first time at the helm. She was also the choreographer for the Middle School play, Once Upon a Mattress.
    “The kids are doing wonderful,” she said. “They're loving it and they're very excited. They're already asking me about next year.”
    The cast
    Damascus Area includes students in grades five through eight in the Wayne Highlands School District.
    The cast is made up of students in each grade level. Here are the main cast members:
    • Kirsten Gager, 8th grade-Cinderella.
    • James Holloway, 8th grade-Prince Charming.
    • Jacob Adams, 7th grade-Harold.
    • Sierra Lemon, 8th grade-Stepsister.
    • Abigail Fuller, 5th grade-Stepsister.
    • Robert Hansen, 5th grade-King.
    • Cyan Guerrero, 7th grade-Queen.
    • Emma Messersmith, 7th grade-Godmother.
    • Katie Wilson, 6th grade-Stepmother.
    Acting experience
    The students started practicing for the play during the first week of January. What's neat is most of them don't have prior experience with acting.
    “Some of them have done acting before, but for the most part they don't have prior experirence,” said Hansen. “It took about three to four weeks for them to get into their characters and get used to being on stage.
    “The Prince [Holloway] and Cinderella [Gager] even watched old movies to get into their characters and learn about them.”
    She stated the students were afraid to go on stage at first and she helped them bring out their character.
    “They're doing a great job for not having experience,” Hansen stated. “My big thing is helping get them ready for the high school plays.”
    She added it's a smaller cast so they're easier to work with.
    “There are even a few students playing several parts,” Hansen said.
    Behind the scenes
    Everyone involved with the play is from Damascus Area. Outside of the cast and director there are others who play an important role in putting a play together.
    For Cinderella, these people include:
    • Chris Gallo, music director.
    Page 2 of 2 - • Elaine Locicero, choreographer. She has also danced at the American Ballet Theatre.
    • Kathryn Beisel, set painting and coordinating hair and makeup.
    • Kim Gumble, makeup and costumes.
    • Fred Smith, head of stage crew and set construction.
    • Sean Bidwell, lighting.
    Bringing plays back
    Hansen stated she hopes to bring the plays back to Damascus Area and make them a yearly occurrence.
    “There's been a lot of community feedback with this play,” she said. “They're excited. I hope I can really bring the plays back and get the community involved.”
    Keeping plays in the school is also a goal.
    “I really want to continue doing it,” Hansen stated. “The community and the kids love it.”
    The play was held Friday at 7 p.m. and will be held again Saturday, March 22 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $3 for adults and $1 for students.

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