Magic of ‘Cinderella’ comes to Eagan stage
A ‘princess parade’ for girls will precede each performance
“Cinderella” director Dennis Swanson had one word to describe the latest production from Eagan High School Summer Community Theatre: magical.
In fact, there’s magic every step of the way – before, during and after the show.
Young girls who attend “Cinderella” are encouraged to come dressed as princesses and take part in the “princess parade.” Twenty minutes prior to the start of each performance, all the little princesses in attendance will be called onto the stage and introduced to the audience.
And immediately following the performances of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, the audience will have a chance to meet and mingle with members of the cast, including Cinderella, Prince Charming and the evil Stepmother.
The actor playing Cinderella, Jacqueline Evans, says she looks forward to meeting with the “little princesses” in the audience after the show, as she understands the appeal of the fairy-tale princess.
A 2007 Eastview High School graduate who recently completed her bachelor’s degree in vocal performance at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, Evans went the extra mile to score the role of Cinderella – literally.
Evans drove from Ames to Eagan for the audition in the spring, then made the trek back to Ames the following morning. She made the same long drive for the callback audition.
“When I heard they were doing ‘Cinderella,’ I was like, ‘I have to do this.’ I saw the Cinderella movies as a kid, and I recently saw it at the Ordway,” Evans said of her interest in the role. “It’s just this timeless story that everybody kind of grew up with.
“This is the first time in my life that I’ve ever worn a tiara – I’m never taking it off,” she added with a laugh.
Evans isn’t the only cast member who was charmed by “Cinderella” as a child.
“I saw the movies when I was younger – I liked the characters and fell in love with the music,” said Mike Leach of Apple Valley, who’s cast as Prince Charming.
The production has elements that will appeal to fans of musical theater, as well as kids enchanted by the Disney versions of the story, according to Meg Krekeler, a regular actor with Eagan Summer Community Theatre who’s playing the evil Stepmother in “Cinderella.”
“When kids come to see the show, there’s definitely that Disneyesque aspect, but with our own unique stamp,” said Krekeler, a speech coach at Eastview High School. “It’ll feel like the world of Cinderella you’ve come to know and love.”
“Cinderella” runs July 13-28 in the auditorium at Eagan High School, 4185 Braddock Trail. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 students/seniors, and are available by calling (651) 683-6964 or going online to www.eagan.k12.mn.us. A free performance of “Cinderella” for senior citizens is at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 12.