Cinderella coming to life at NKU

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” is a musical slightly different than the Disney version the younger generation is used to seeing. Disney has the blond-and-blue-dress Cinderella, whereas Rodgers and Hammerstein’s has the brunette-and-white-dress Cinderella.

NKU’s theatre department will be showcasing their version of the classic musical beginning Feb. 17th.

With songs in the musical, created in 1957, such as “In My Own Little Corner” and “Impossible; It’s Possible,” the music of “Cinderella” is just as nostalgic as the story.

Senior Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) major Elizabeth Sunderhaus stars as Cinderella. She stood out amongst the 120 total students who auditioned for the play.

“I’ve had a few other cameos, but this is my first lead role,” Sunderhaus said. “I grew up watching the Disney version and I’m very excited to portray her and be a role model for younger girls.”

“She’s beautiful, has a great singing voice and is a great actress. There are plenty of girls that could be Cinderella, but in my mind she looks like the perfect Cinderella,” Director Ken Jones said.

There are 26 total actors cast in the play and right now they are rehearsing with no set design, no costumes and no props. The actors will not see any of this until Feb. 16, the day before the play’s run begins.

“It’s like in a movie when an actor performs in front of a green screen with nothing there and then all of a sudden in the movie there’s a giant monster snarling behind him,” Jones said.

This process has little effect on Sunderhaus who has been on set either on-stage or back-stage for the past four years.

“I am nervous, but I’ve been here four years. I feel confident because the professors have trained and prepared me very well,” Sunderhaus said.

The reason for lack of set pieces is because Scenic Designer Ron Shaw and assisting students are building and painting set pieces every day up until showtime. These students take required classes to learn how to work in the shop.

The students are working on seven complete settings throughout the play which will be rotated in and out.

To do a show with this many different settings and people involved, Jones believes organization is key, instead of just throwing things up on stage and running with it.

“It’s like a military expedition. Every person has an assignment, even the actors. They have to know when they need to be here, so they don’t get hit in the head with a piece of scenery. They need to know when to move and when not to move,” Jones said. “Also the backstage people need to know when to move the set pieces and where the pieces need to be at any given moment.”

A few theatre tricks the audience can look forward to right before their eyes are a pumpkin turning into a carriage and mice turning into horses. Jones would not reveal how these theater tricks are done, but says it is truly spectacular.

Story by Derick Bischoff