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Carroll County Times
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Manchester Valley stages ‘Cinderella’ as first live musical in three years

A concerned whisper ran through the crowd during a dress rehearsal Wednesday at Manchester Valley High School as the “Cinderella” ballroom scene commenced:

“Where’s the clock?”

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Within a matter of minutes, a large clock face descended, though it had no hands to mark the stroke of midnight.

“It wouldn’t be theater if you weren’t doing final touches until 10 minutes before the show,” said Bobbi Vinson, director and theater teacher at Manchester Valley. “There comes a time when you just have to laugh.”

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With a cast and crew of 72 students, the Mavericks’ musical production of “Cinderella” is a different take on the classic tale of the poor girl who wins the heart of a prince with the help of a fairy godmother.

“One of the stepsisters isn’t quite so nasty and there is an additional love story subplot,” Vinson noted.

Nikol Padilla, 17, a senior, secured the role of Madam, Cinderella’s stepmother, for her first musical at the school.

“I like this version quite a bit,” Padilla said. “There’s more depth.”

Padilla has directed past school productions and had a role in the school’s fall play. In “Cinderella,” one of her favorite parts is her character’s costumes, though she has to be careful with them.

“This hoop is big and the fabric is long,” she said, patting her dress bottom. “I have to work with it and try not to step on it or catch my foot and trip.”

To costume the entire cast in proper attire, the school enlisted help from three theater companies, Vinson said — McDaniel College, Small Town Stars and Players on Air. Some of the props, such as the chandeliers, were purchased, while most of the set and its design were created by students.

“The older kids have experience doing both behind the scenes and onstage,” Vinson said. “We also give seniors the opportunity to direct. They apply their junior year.”

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Students also planned a fundraiser, a Royal Tea that includes crafts, goody bags complete with a glass slipper, games and a visit from Cinderella, according to senior Ashleigh Quick, 18, who organized it.

“There will also be snacks, fruit, juice and cupcakes,” Quick said. “We will be selling light-up wands that you can wave when the Fairy Godmother waves her wand.”

After the tea, guests will be escorted into the theater for a matinee performance, with reserved seating. Tickets for the tea and matinee are sold out.

“It’s a great fundraiser because it is one and done,” Vinson said. “‘Cinderella’ is also naturally a good fit for a tea.”

Though the group staged a fall play and a series of one-act plays in the winter, Maverick Theater has not staged a musical since students who are now seniors were in ninth grade. The group, Vinson said, wanted to do “a strong show that would engage the entire community.”

“It is an opportunity to get young ones interested and excited about theater,” Vinson said. “They’ve worked really hard. They’ve done a wonderful job.”

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Manchester Valley High School Maverick Theater presents “Cinderella” today, tomorrow and on April 29 and 30 at 7 p.m. and April 30 at 2 p.m. at Manchester Valley High School, 3300 Maple Grove Road, Manchester.


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