Emma’s Experience with Theatre:
More About Emma:
Today’s Cinderella spotlight is on junior ALLISON GRYDER, who plays Assistant Steward!
“Theatre is my passion and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. When I’m on stage and making a story come alive, it is the most freeing feeling.”
“Cinderella is such a fun show because of the magic. Being a part of Cinderella is so awesome because we get to create the magic for everyone to see.”
Allison’s Experience with Theatre:
In the past few years, Allison has truly made a name for herself at Glass Theatre and around town! Her first show at Glass was Pirates of Penzance, as a Mini Maiden. She has since been in Little Women, Rent, and Bang Bang You’re Dead as Ensemble, Eurydice as the Little Stone, Pippin as Vocal Ensemble, and The Lottery as Mrs. Dunbar. She was also Young Violet in Violet for Endstation Theatre, Young Bonnie in Bonnie and Clyde at Lynchburg College, and is currently beginning work in the Ensemble of Masterworx Theatre’s Oliver!
Original Article by The News and Advance
“They had a knack for writing classic music,” says E.C. Glass senior Emma Dahlin. “It combines the classic musical theatre — I’m going to go up there and smile and dance and [be] happy, happy, happy with [the] real world.
“They take a theme … and they expand on it, and emphasize it more than you would in real life. I think that’s what makes it so entertaining. It’s bigger than life. When you go see one of their shows or listen to their music, you get to step into their world.”
Dahlin is starring as the titular character in E.C. Glass’ production of “Cinderella,” which opens Friday.
“The story is one that is timeless,” says director Tom Harris. “[It] is a story that can take you away. It can just let you escape the world for a while, and believe in the optimistic view that the future is bright, and what you want and what you dream of can happen.”
“Cinderella,” like “South Pacific” and several of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s productions, has an extensive history.
The musical was originally written as a vehicle for a then-British newcomer — Julie Andrews — after Rodgers saw her perform as Liza in the Broadway production of “My Fair Lady.” The CBS broadcast, aired in 1957, brought in more than 107 million viewers and earned Andrews an Emmy nomination.
Since then, it has played on stages across the U.S. and even in a tour across Asia. In 2013, “Cinderella” finally made it to Broadway, and closed in January of this year, after 769 performances.
Harris says every production of “Cinderella” incorporates different elements. For Glass’ staging, he stuck with a more old-school approach. He kept the original 1957 score and chose to avoid breaking the fourth wall.
“Every year for the past probably six, we’ve built out over the orchestra pit, or had people in the audience. All kinds of stuff,” says Harris. “But for this one, we’re definitely keeping the fourth wall, in true Rodgers and Hammerstein fashion.”
Harris also decided to bring more dance to the performance than other versions have had. He has done this before with other productions — including last season’s staging of “Pippin” — but “Cinderella” includes another complicated style: ballet.
“Rodgers and Hammerstein music is a lot like a story-ballet itself, and [I] really tried to incorporate it,” Harris says. “So when you watch the ball … you’ll see there’s a lot of what would have been done in a story-ballet.”
Only about 15 percent of the cast of more than 40 had previous ballet training, but Harris says they have all risen to the challenge.
The most traditional element of the play appears in the form of Cinderella herself, who brings to life an intrinsic optimism that draws audiences into the story.
“I guess probably the one word I would use to describe Cinderella is a dreamer,” says Dahlin. “She’s created this tactic of shutting the world out and just living in her world that she can create. To quote ‘In My Own Little Corner,’ she ‘can be whoever she wants to be’ whenever she wants.”
Senior Rob Dendy, who plays the Prince, adds that audiences relate to Cinderella’s optimism.
“I think dreaming is the biggest piece — anything’s possible, and your background and your situation … doesn’t have to be where you draw your happiness from,” he says. “It’s your attitude and how you react to the world around you.”
Even with a more classical approach, audiences can still expect some true stage magic. Cinderella’s pumpkin will expand and transform into an actual carriage right on stage.
“We had a math major from Virginia Tech who graduated from here — over winter break, [he] came in and designed this thing …it’s engineering and fabrication magic,” Harris says.
Those involved in both “Cinderella” and “South Pacific” spoke of the staying power of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musicals, thanks to their deep, underlying messages, beautiful love stories and catchy melodies.
“I’m in the middle of working with 40-some-odd students … who have no idea what Rodgers and Hammerstein style music was before we started this,” says Harris. “And you would think they were listening to their favorite rock or pop artist. They’re singing and they’re singing with passion.”
by Kate Pittard
Over the next couple weeks, I will be featuring specific cast, crew, and orchestra members from Cinderella on the blog. The spotlight today is on senior ROB DENDY, who plays Prince Charming!
“Theatre provides me a release from the “real world.” Having the opportunity to leave my own life and tune out earthly distractions through performing is incredibly liberating, especially for a very restless and distractible teenager.”
“Cinderella appeals to every age group, because everyone is capable of dreaming. To me, it’s an inspirational story that proves life is what you make of it; we all have control of our attitude.”
Rob’s Experience with Theatre:
Rob is no stranger to the E.C. Glass stage(s). His first role of Young Tommy in the rock opera Tommy was in 2003! Since then, he has appeared in The Nutcracker for four years as a Party Child, The Nutcracker one year as Fritz, The Music Man as Winthrop, A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a Sprite, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as Benjamin, The Pirates of Penzance as a Pirate, Lysistrata as an Athenian male, and Bang Bang You’re Dead as the Shadow. Rob also played Billy Ray in The Academy of Fine Arts’s On Golden Pond.
More About Rob:
“In my free time I enjoy traveling, watching sports documentaries, playing pickup basketball games, ping pong, and going to bed before 10 PM–when possible.”
Cinderella open night is coming up soon on February 20th. Online ticketing is now available so make sure and get those reservation in!
Ah the theatre life… bright lights… costumes … adoring fans … learning to use the saw. What? This weekend the students at E.C. Glass Theatre participated in the part of stagecraft that we don’t often see: set building. Cinderella needs a coach and a castle, after all, and not one single fairy godmother showed up to build them. Fairy Godmother will probably make an appearance later, but for now, we had to rely on mere mortals. Students, and some dedicated parents and volunteers, got together this weekend to help make the magic happen on stage. Under the direction of J.D. Stallings, the technical theatre instructor, students and the adults sawed, hammered, painted, and definitely sweated their way to what some might call triumph. Students in the Tech Theatre 2 class led projects on various set and painting components. Looks like Cinderella will have a beautiful castle soon! Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella opens February 20. Tickets will go on sale soon, check ecglasstheatre.org for more information!
Princess magic is coming to the Burg. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA will be performed on the stage of Glass Theatre at E.C. Glass in Lynchburg, February 20-22 and 26-28. This Tony Award®-winning Broadway musical from the creators of South Pacific and The Sound of Music is currently delighting audiences with its Broadway revival of the classic tale. Glass Theatre brings all the Broadway magic and all the classic Cinderella moments to Lynchburg. Tickets are $12 for adults, while students and seniors tickets are $8. For more information, show times and to order tickets, visit ecglasstheatre.org.