"Cinderella" to have a ball in the Kamas Theater
A couple of months ago, the Utah Children’s Musical Theatre presented "Alice in Wonderland" in the Kamas Theater.
It was the first time the venue was used for a live-stage production and it was a success, according to Utah Children’s Musical Theatre director Pamela Lockwood.
"There is so much talent out here," Lockwood said during an interview with The Park Record. "The kids who were part of the production came from all over the east side of Summit County and they knocked it out of the park."
So, Lockwood is working on a new children’s musical version of "Cinderella" that will run at the Kamas Theater from Sept. 14 through Sept. 24.
"We’ve been working pretty extensively and the sets are starting to look pretty good in the venue," Lockwood said. "Also, we can use the screen and project images during the live theater performances, to enhance the production."
In addition, the Egyptian Theatre has donated some lights and a spotlight.
"Randy (Barton) thought we could use them and gave them to us," Lockwood said.
"Cinderella" is an all-ages performance that includes a cast of 20 kids.
"They are awesome," said Lockwood, who is a professional acting coach. "The thing that impressed me is this cast is a bit younger than what I have usually worked with.
Our oldest actor is 13 years old, and they are all great little performers."
Lockwood liked the idea of presenting "Cinderella" because of the parts that were available for boys.
"A lot of guys think the production is mainly a girls show, because it’s a fairy tale and it was a Disney movie, but in reality, there are a lot of guy parts," she said. "We have the prince, the king, pages and half the mice are guys."
Austin Burns, 12, a student at South Summit Middle School, plays the Prince, and said he was a little nervous about doing such a big role.
"I was a bit scared at first, but once I got into it, it was a blast," Burns said. "The prince has an attitude and during the play, you will see that a lot. He also gets angry some of the times. It’s not exactly bipolar, but pretty close."
While preparing for the role, Burns watched a variety of movies and got some ideas about how he wanted to act the role.
"Also, while I was learning the script, I saw how the character was written," he said. "I learned lines and learned the dances."
Of course, the story is also about Cinderella, her two stepsisters Dyspepsia and Migraine, portrayed by Aspen Russell and Gabby Robbins, respectively and the mean stepmother, acted by Chyna Drysdale.
Cinderella is played by 11-year-old Nicole Webb.
All the actors, with the exception of Robbins, who attends the North Summit Elementary, go to South Summit Middle School.
Russell, 13, thinks playing her character is fun.
"I like acting mean and not being like my daily self," she said. "The roles show that they both are not very bright and I feel they are jealous of Cinderella. That’s why they push her around."
Eight-year-old Robbins said she likes her role because it brings her out of her shell.
"I’m usually shy when I get on stage, but I like that the stepsisters are main parts and I like playing a main part," she said. "It’s fun because I get to practice more."
One of the more misunderstood characters is the stepmother, who Drysdale said isn’t really wicked.
"My character isn’t really evil, but very secretive," Drysdale explained. "She acts nice, but is really mean. I like her and she’s a fun part to play."
Webb, who was also Alice in "Alice in Wonderland," said she is just happy to be able to perform in the production.
"I think it’s fun to do plays, because you get to express yourself and get into a character," she said. "I like scenes where you have to do accents and stuff like that."
The "Cinderella" script is a little more sophisticated than some of the other children’s theatre scripts, Lockwood said.
"Everybody knows the story of ‘Cinderella,’ but we’ve added our own touches to it," she said. "I actually took parts out of another script that I had written and put them into this one and found that these kids could handle it all."
The cast has been rehearsing for six weeks, which is a relatively short time for a show that is opening next week.
"Usually, other theatres rehearse for three or four months, but I’ve found that sometimes bores the kids to tears," Lockwood said. "The play is a little more than one hour long. It’s a children’s show, so it’s not terribly long."
While the theater will still be screening films in the evening, there are plans in place that would allow a season of live theater.
Lockwood, who also runs the Uinta Conservatory for the Arts located next to the Kamas Theater, has been working with theater managers Sharee and Kevin Harris to make this endeavor possible.
"We would like to make this area an arts destination and bring in people all year round," Lockwood said. "It is an amazing place out here."
The Utah Children’s Musical Theatre will present "Cinderella" at the Kamas Theatre, 30 N. Main Street, Kamas, from Friday, Sept. 14, through Monday, Sept. 24, at 6 p.m. with Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. There will be no performances on Sunday. Tickets are $9 for adults, $7 for students and senior citizens and $6 for children ages 11 and younger. A family pass is also available for $39. For more information, visit 2012cinderella.eventbrite.com or uca-arts.com.
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