By Matthew Sockol
MILLSTONE – Pupils at the Millstone Township Middle School are inviting all members of the community to attend their upcoming production of “Cinderella.”
“Cinderella,” a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, will be performed by middle school pupils at the Millstone Performing Arts Center, Dawson Court, at 7 p.m. March 3-4 and at 2 p.m. March 5.
Tickets may be purchased at www.millstoneperformingarts.com with an admission price of $8 for students and $9 for adults. Tickets may be purchased at the door for $10.
The middle school’s production of “Cinderella” is being directed by Lisamarie Cappuzzo.
Seventh-grader Emma Bogusz, who plays the title character, considers Cinderella to be an inspiration.
“Cinderella is very humble and she never gives up,” Emma said. “She’s always wishing and dreaming.”
Emma is looking forward to playing her first lead role and said she sees similarities between herself and Cinderella.
“I probably wouldn’t let people treat me the way her step-family treats her, but like her, I have high hopes,” she said. “I never give up.”
As the understudy to Cinderella, sixth-grader Abigail Nazario also considers the title character to be a positive figure.
“She’s courageous and kind,” Abigail said. “When people are mean to her, she’s not mean back.”
For seventh-grader Zak Kheder, he and his character the Prince have similarities of their own.
“He’s a man who is just coming back from his studies,” Zak said. “His parents are pushing him to marry, but he has no interest in anyone, at least not until he meets Cinderella.”
Eighth-grader Claudia Pellicone finds enjoyment in portraying the Fairy Godmother.
“She’s really fun to play,” Claudia said. “She’s a magic character who is always appearing out of nowhere, but she tries to keep her magical powers a secret at first. And she cares a lot about Cinderella.”
Claudia made note of how she and the Fairy Godmother are similar.
“I’m hopefully like her,” she said. “Like me, she can be bubbly and she corrects Cinderella on a lot of things. I also tend to correct people.”
As the understudy to the Fairy Godmother, seventh-grader Ellie Mashkevich considers the character to be a positive influence on Cinderella.
“The Fairy Godmother is sensible,” Ellie said. “She brings Cinderella back to Earth.”
Viewing her supernatural character as not having much in common with herself, Ellie said she enjoys the challenge of being someone different.
While her character is older than herself, eighth-grader Angela Spadaccini noted that she and the Queen have a similar personality.
“She’s very funny, but she can be serious at times,” Angela said. “She wants what is best for her son, the Prince. Like her, I can be both serious and funny.”
In order to portray a motherly figure, Angela said she is using her mother for inspiration in the role.
Although she is portraying Joy, seventh-grader Emma Morris described the role as being nothing like the character’s name.
“She is never happy,” Emma said. “She is always grumpy and never smiling.”
As one of Cinderella’s stepsisters, Emma enjoys portraying an individual who is not like her.
“It’s fun to play Joy because it is completely different,” she said. “When I’m her, I try to become unhappy and I also make her sassy.”
Also playing a stepsister is eighth-grader Alexandra Miller, who described her character Portia as being the less intelligent of the sisters.
“Portia never knows what she is doing,” Alexandra said. “She ends up doing what Joy tells her to do.”
Alexandra considers her character’s personality to be what makes her enjoyable to portray.
“I like how Portia is ditzy,” she said. “To be like her, I act ditzy.”
Eighth-grader Demetrios Paisis is looking forward to playing his first major character when he portrays the Herald.
“I’m the messenger and I like being able to read from the scroll he carries,” Demetrios said. “And it’s great being one of the leads.”
As the Chef, eighth-grader Corinne Mendelsohn views her character as bringing some comic relief to the performance.
“The Chef is excited because when she finds out a ball is taking place, she finally gets to do her job after five years,” Corinne said. “She’s a comedic character and I get to be funny when I play her.”
The production of “Cinderella” is assisted by student stage managers.
Handling the duties of a stage manager for the first time, seventh-grader Isabella Castellucci spoke positively of the experience.
“it’s fun to set up the stage and go over people’s scripts,” Isabella said. “We get to know what everyone does.”
Eighth-grader Kira Ventrella, who is serving as a stage manager for the second time, is looking forward to the upcoming performances of the musical.
“It’s a lot work, but it is a lot of fun to work with the actors and see the show come together,” Kira said.