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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment July 18, 2018

11/7/2017 1:16:00 PM
Musical cast made a close-knit team
Sisters High School’s production of “Cinderella” was demanding — and successful. photo by Jerry Baldock
+ click to enlarge
Sisters High School’s production of “Cinderella” was demanding — and successful. photo by Jerry Baldock

By Charlie Kanzig

The Sisters High School music program completed its successful four-show run of Cinderella Sunday afternoon, November 5.

After months of preparation, cast members were left satisfied, reflective - and a bit worn out.

Director Rick Johnson had nothing but praise for the 50-plus students involved in the production, from the actors to the chorus, the artists to the light and sound crew.

"It's definitely a group effort," he said.

The Rogers and Hammerstein musical, written in 1957, is a comedic take on the classic fairy tale, originally produced for television.

After opening night a few of the cast members shared their thoughts about the performance and about the importance of having musical theater at Sisters High School.

Senior Ethan Ferwalt, who played the comical and quirky role of Lionel, steward to Prince Charming said, "Fun. This is my second time doing this, I was in Urinetown two years ago, which taught me to love musical theater. On opening night of Cinderella I was backstage having the time of my life! At one point, while walking backstage with Prince Charming (Cole Blakelock) to one of our scenes, I turned to him and realized just how much this (musical theater) is my life force. It's part of who I am."

Ferwalt says importance of musical theater in school is equal to that of a math class - which says a lot for a guy who has applied to MIT.

"Schools have math because it teaches the skills of problem-solving, thinking on your feet, working with others in a really ambiguous setting, and proving yourself up to the task. I think musical theater does all those things and more.

"We are a community," he said. "I have 60 people that I am very closely affiliated with and we are all in it for the same product. We all make mistakes and help each other out."

Alana Lukens, who wowed the crowd as Cinderella, elaborated further: "Musical theater provides a safe place for a diverse group of students. I think that everyone needs to find their niche in high may be sports, it may be art, but having that option - like our music program - makes kids feel safe and more encouraged."

Sophomore Mariana Fernandez said being in the play was an adventure.

"It has been an adventure and a roller coaster, too," she said.

Fernandez acknowledged that Sisters High School has a strong emphasis on sports, so it is good to also have the arts.

"For us to get out there and show everyone what we have to offer shows a whole other side of Sisters High School," she said.

Senior Jose Luquin talked about getting out of his comfort zone, going from a member of the choir last year to being on stage as an actor this year. As a cat, in fact. "Being in the play was a big step for me," he said. "I wanted to be open and not be afraid, and being on stage made me feel like I was really being part of something. It helped that so many friends were around me. Instead of being frightening, it was exciting."

Kendall Griffin, who played the wicked step-mother, said, "It has been a very unique experience. It's another way to come together and create something and share it with the community, which I think is special for everyone. To show what we are capable of at Sisters High School and how strong we are in so many different aspects."

Lukens said it has broadened her as a person.

"I feel so much more well-rounded, I have dipped my toes into the waters of so many different activities while in high school and none of it's bad," she said. "You learn a lot from trying new things. It helps you come together as a person."

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