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Cinderella Arrives: Curtain rises Thursday for GHS musical
April 10, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

Read more by Jerry Purvis

Photos by Nathan Flowers/Spectrum Photo - Cinderella (Allie Baird) steps out with her Prince (John Boyd) during a ballroom scene of the GHS production of Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella while step-sister Joy (Chelcey Mannel), step-mother (Megan Brady) and step-sister Portia (Olivia Anderson) hatch their schemes. Cinderella shows at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The classic story of a poor girl who becomes a princess comes alive this weekend at Gering High School as students present the musical version of the classic fairy tale “Cinderella.”

Since January, actors have been learning their lines, memorizing the music and remembering where and when to be onstage.

Andy Stobel, who teaches speech and German at the high school, is directing the show. “It took us a while to figure out which show we wanted to do this year,” he said. “At first we didn’t have any ideas, so we got started a bit late.”

He added “Cinderella” is fun show that would appeal to families with younger children. “For the actors, their favorite part has been the music. It’s hard to go wrong with Rodgers and Hammerstein.”

Stobel also pointed out the magic, special effects and new lighting that will be part of the show. “And we have some costume effects that will go along with that,” he said.

He said the best part about directing the show is watching the actors. “They put so much effort into it and you can tell they’re having fun while they’re acting. It’s fun from my end to give them guidance on how the scenes should look and then watch it unfold.”

Stobel has been on both sides of numerous shows, as he performed major roles in “Beauty and the Beast,” “My Fair Lady” and “Pirates of Penzance” when he was in high school at Gering.

“I can rely on some of that background knowledge of what does and doesn’t work,” he said. “It’s always an experiment, as the show looks different in my head than what unfolds on stage. It’s like a puzzle as we make it all fit together. I enjoy that kind of challenge.”

Sophomore Allie Baird is already a seasoned performer, appearing in last spring’s musical “Tintypes” and the fall show “The Importance of Being Earnest.”

“I love working with all the other people involved in the show,” she said. ‘We have some really talented and amazing directors.”

Everyone knows the story of “Cinderella” and has watched the movie version, which gives the show a universal appeal. “I think every little girl wants to grow up to be a princess, and that’s what appealing about the show,” Baird said.

“It’s crazy how we keep working on the show and in the last two weeks, it all comes together,” she said. “My favorite things are singing and acting, so putting it together for people to see is pretty awesome.”

“Cinderella” is scheduled for performance Thursday through Saturday, April 10 – 12 in the Gering High School auditorium. Tickets are $7 if purchased in advance at the high school and $10 at the door.

Allie Baird will play the role of Cinderella. Katie O’Boyle is the Fairy Godmother, John Boyd as the Prince, Megan Brady as the Step Mother, and Step Sisters Olivia Anderson as Portia and Chelcey Mannel as Joy. Andrew Cook and Hayley Grams appear as the King and Queen and Aaron Aguallo as the Herald. Justin Brester takes on the role of the Chef, Josh VanListenborgh as the Coachman, Jon Park as the Footman, Jake Thomas as the Steward and Collin Potts as the Minister. Torri Brumbaugh is in charge of the choreography.

The cast of villagers, townspeople and guests at the royal ball include Brittany Eckerberg, Torri Brumbaugh, Brent Barge, Jacob Pieper, Brock Chitwood, Megan Copsey, Breanna Eckerberg, Dreah Hinze, Zoee Knaub, Devan Hawkins, Jim Eastman, Hadley Kirk, Alyson Buiede, Keagan Heilbrun, Dakota Wademan, Kylee Bairn, Brandy Mendoza, Lexi Melroy, Jade Riedel, Alyssa Zwickl, Sarah Lang, Morgan Smith, Tatum Strong, Carrie Murray, Amanda Horrocks, Gabby Rodriguez, Autumn Buehler, Shania Ortegon, Matt Wolfe, Tomoko Kanke, Kassandra Perez, Danika Atchison, Alex Clark, Mikayla Kreider, Becky Boyd, Jenna Longmore, Brenden Brester, Isaiah Wilson, Ciara Sabala, Jazmine Rodriguez, Jordan Burgener, Brooke Doggett, Audrey Fries, Nolan Nelson, Justin Esparza, Justin Schwartzkopf, Holly Walker, Savannah Walker, Kaili Rimington, Katie Martindale, Bailey Kreider and Kaylee Bohnsack.

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