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Cinderella coming to Morris High School

Published: Monday, April 7, 2014 9:19 p.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, April 8, 2014 9:47 p.m. CST
(Heidi Litchfield - hlitchfield@shawmedia.com)
Carol Marie Gaska who plays Cinderella sits with her fairy godmother played by Robbi Hicks in the Morris Community High School spring Musical Cinderella.
(Heidi Litchfield – hlitchfield@shawmedia.com)
Morris Community High School junior Adam Roseland plays Prince Christopher, opposite Cinderella, played by Carol Marie Gaska.
(Heidi Litchfield – hlitchfield@shawmedia.com)
Madeline Sandgren who plays the wicked stepmother in this week's musical, Cinderella at Morris Community High School, performs next to juniors Haley Zorn and Arielle Robinson who play the stepsisters.

MORRIS – A Disney princess is many little girl’s dream growing up, and senior Carol Marie Gaska gets to have her dream come true as she portrays Cinderella in the Morris Community High School spring musical, “Cinderella.”

The musical will open Thursday in the Morris high school auditorium and will play four shows, including a Sunday matinee.

“It was amazing to be chosen to play Cinderella,” Gaska said. “She was my favorite princess when I was little.”

Gaska said there are difficulties to performing as a Disney princess that everyone knows.

“Everyone has a lot of expectations about Cinderella,” she said. “I’m not sure this version, or my portrayal will live up to those expectations.”

Gaska said performing in a musical is all about the character enhancement, unlike the fall play where it is more like real life.

Playing Cinderella steps away from the typical roles she’s played in the past – normally she is typecast as a mother figure – although it isn’t so far from her own personality. She said by the world’s standards, she is not a princess, but in her own head – she is one in a couple of different ways.

“Because of my personality I usually am cast as a mother figure so I thought I would get fairy godmother or the stepmother,” Gaska said. “Being Cinderella is a growing experience, and I’ve become more aware of the effort it takes to play a nicer, softer character. It’s difficult but wonderful.”

One of the motherly roles is the role of fairy godmother, which is played by senior Robbi Hicks, who originally hoped for the role of Cinderella.

“I wanted to be Cinderella, but I love the fairy godmother role,” she said. “She’s sassy She fits me.”

She said the challenges of playing a motherly role are hard for her, but worthwhile.

“Motherlyness is kind of hard when you’re not a mom yet,” Hicks said. “I’m typically typecast for the more outgoing characters, which fits me because I’m always outgoing.”

While the mother role of the fairy godmother is a kind, sassy part, the wicked stepmother has to draw on an inner meanness to pull it off, something senior Madeline Sandgren doesn’t have in her.

“There is one scene where I have to be really mean,” Sandgren said. “I’m good at being sarcastic mean, but I’m not a mean person and they keep telling me to yell harder.”

Sandgren has always played adults in her performances because she feels her maturity comes across in her acting.

“I think a lot of people appreciate a mature personality,” she said. “There always has to be one person who is mature.”

Regardless of their past roles and the typecasts they feel they fit into, each of the lead female roles has been embraced by the students who have spent the past nine weeks preparing for their parts.

“I’m very excited about this show,” said Alyssa Napolitano, Morris High School Choral Director and musical director. “Everyone of the cast fits their role perfectly.”

The Rodger and Hammerstein’s Cinderella cast includes more than 40 Morris High School students which includes roles of Cinderella’s animal friends who help her prepare for the ball and a magical transformation of three mice into white horses.

“We have some amazing technology surprises for the audience,” Napolitano said. “I’m really proud of the students.

Cinderella is under the direction of Napolitano, technical direction is by Laura Wills, student director is sophomore Michael Kren and stage manager is Emaly Garcia.


If You Go

Cinderella April 10: 7 p.m. April 11: 7 p.m. April 12: 7 p.m. April 13: 3 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased in the Morris community High School office. If you prefer reserved seating for $10, please contact Alyssa Napolitano at anapolitano@morrishs.org

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