Cinderella Dazzles the Prep Community

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A screenshot of the online performance, in which Maxine Park ’23, Eli Marion ’22, and Angela Henderson ’22 are performing together remotely.

The annual musical is a long-awaited and highly anticipated production at Flintridge Prep — not only for those involved in it, but for the rest of the community as well. No one can deny the rush they feel as the curtains open up on a chilly March evening and the orchestra’s sonorous tones fill the auditorium. Unfortunately, like much else this year, the musical had to be done virtually over Zoom due to the ongoing pandemic. Even so, this new medium provided cast members with new opportunities and experiences that will prove useful in the years to come.

This year’s musical was a rendition of the classic tale Cinderella, a story that is already widely known to many. A young chimney sweep, Cinderella, who is neglected by her stepmother and stepsisters, attends a ball with the help of her fairy godmother and falls in love with the prince. Though the story is a familiar one, however, the way in which the production was put together online was something entirely new. Similarly to how other performing arts groups put their concerts on remotely, much of the musical was a collection of recordings done by each member of the cast. The recordings were eventually compiled together and edited along with short, whimsical animations to create the final video, which was streamed at 7:00 in the evening on March 12th and March 13th.

Of course, the production could not have been what it was without the talented cast and crew that worked exceptionally hard to create such a wonderful show. The main cast included Maxine Park ‘23 as Cinderella, Eli Marion ‘22 as the Prince, and Angela Henderson ‘22 as the Godmother. Additionally, Malia Weiss ‘22, Silvia Gibilaro ‘23, and Grace McConnell ‘24 played the Stepmother and stepsisters Joy and Portia respectively. The King and Queen were played by Nick Palmer ‘21 and Amelie Besch ‘23, and the Herald was played by Oscar Yum ‘23.

The crew, as always, also did an amazing job with the technical side of the musical. Cinderella was directed by Mr. Myers and Mr. Roy, and Nayan Sarma ‘22 was the assistant director. Some other main members of the crew were Danté Carr (technical designer), Ms. Mattei and Ms. Mercante (choreographers), Mr. Hill (music and vocal director), and Christopher Roney (audio engineer). In addition, Victoria Giacomazzi created the animations that were in between some of the scenes in the show.

One of the greatest strengths of the production was its vocals. Every member of the cast exceeded expectations with how well they sounded, and much of the show sounded almost professionally recorded. Another was the dancing. Even though the ensemble couldn’t rehearse and learn choreography in person, everyone’s enthusiasm and willingness shone through, even across a Zoom screen. The smiles and energy of the dancers were infectious, and it was evident that they were still doing what they loved, even if it had to be done remotely.

The rehearsal process, in fact, was notably different from that of past years, despite the obvious obstacle of the cast-wide gatherings having to be online. Since a lot of the recording happened during rehearsals, there wasn’t as much of a final performance to prepare for, but rather a process of putting together the performance over the course of the months the cast had to work.

“Every day after school, in full costume, filming with my phone in front of a green screen…felt weird, but my castmates and the directors made it a whole lot more bearable,” says Park. “There would be times, though, when someone in my family would ruin the recordings by being loud. The Park household is very chaotic.”

“It was just hard to have that same type of community that we can usually get out of working on a project like this together,” says Kyle Snaer ‘23, who played the Steward. “I definitely missed chatting with the cast.”

Despite the challenges, however, the overall process was a lot of fun for the cast and crew. Snaer recalls, “I honestly didn’t know what to expect before I saw the show. It was such a new experience being both the audience and the performer at once, and I enjoyed being just as surprised as my family while watching it.”

Whether online or in person, Cinderella was just as magical as the Brothers Grimm intended it to be. Congratulations to the cast and crew on an exceptional performance and overall production!

If you’d like a full breakdown of the cast and crew members of Cinderella, you can click here.