BY MARY GARRISON
Cast and crew members have been working diligently on this year's West Point-Clay County Arts Council (WPCCAC) production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella."
The show will debut Aug. 1-2 at Center Stage in West Point and brings together about 80 Golden Triangle residents in cast, behind-the-scenes crew and musicians. And while such a sizable local production can present its challenges, Director Ginger Fowler said she was confident everything would come together.
"With the big scenes â€¦ the chorus or townspeople, it's always challenging in the beginning, just because there are so many people," Fowler said. "When you get 60 or 70 people on stage, even though they're very cooperative and work very hard, it's just a challenge.
"The cast is wonderful," Fowler added. "They're an experienced cast, so my job of directing is very easy. I'm really excited about that. â€¦ Rehearsals are going very well, the set is coming along, the townspeople and chorus are doing very well."
Fowler said as of Tuesday, the full cast met once weekly for Monday rehearsals at First United Methodist Church fellowship hall. Principal actors meet again Thursday evenings at First Baptist choir room.
"Everything appears to be exactly on schedule," said Kathy Dyess, WPCCAC secretary. " People are learning their lines â€¦ they're doing a lot of blocking choreography for things like the ball number. â€¦ It's always fun to see it progress. One of the things I like most about it is that we have people who are not necessarily friends or don't get to interact very often are thrown together with people with like interests and they become friends through their love of theater."
In the same spirit, the local production has provided an avenue for families to spend time together. Children's choreographer and owner of West Point's Academy of Performing Arts Betty Griffin said she'd seen a number of families â€” particularly father/daughter, mother/son and husband/wife teams â€”participating in this year's show. And the production hosts its share of children, as well. Griffin said all totaled, including teenagers, she was working with more than 25 children â€” many of them playing mice â€” on set.
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