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Cinderella: The Magic of Children’s Theatre

By: Kyle Ennis

This summer, the Waldorf Theatre department will be producing “Cinderella” as a children’s theatre play. This production is part of the requirements for a May term class directed towards theatre majors.

Students can learn a lot from being apart of “Cinderella”.

Children’s’ theatre is much different than other styles of theatre. There are many aspects in children’s theatre that aren’t taken into account in more traditional theatre. Many children’s theatre productions will include audience involvement to keep kids focused and add some fun for them.

With audience involvement comes a lot of problems that weren’t considered during rehearsals of the show, and can open up a whole new array of things that could go wrong.

Imagine you’re watching Dora the Explorer as a child, and she asks you to help her find something. Naturally, one starts yelling at the TV: “IT’S OVER THERE!!” Dora pauses briefly, and continues talking, almost as if she doesn’t hear you–which she can’t.

However, in live children’s theatre, the actors listen and respond. Often times, performers will have to improvise to help the children focused on the task at hand, and keep them under control.

Actors are also tasked with staying in character–especially throughout curtain call and after the show. Most children are caught up in the magic of it all and often don’t realize that it’s all just a show–which is a good thing. It is the job of all involved to maintain the illusion for the children until they get in the car to drive home. That can often be very taxing on the actors and technicians.

Even with all that being said, children’s theatre is an amazing experience for the actors, technicians, children, and even the adults involved. As a performer, there’s nothing better than watching a child’s eyes light up with amazement, curiosity, and pure joy during a performance.

The Waldorf Theatre department invites all to attend “Cinderella” this summer.