Pease Auditorium was graced by more than one performance of Cinderella, Friday, Dec. 4.
To start the spectacle, Professor Anne Gajda opened with the Orchestra to a beautiful piece in celebration of the performance. When the piece was finished, the crowd gave Professor Gajda a standing ovation and praise of respect. With a bow and kiss to the crowd, she left the stage and sat with the audience to watch the performance.
Afterwards, an announcer promptly explained that the show would have a narrator, Grace Mauk, to tell what would happen before each scene. The announcer also noted that it was Professor Gajda’s last performance since she would be retiring come January.
The Orchestra warmed up again and then Kevin Miller, the conductor, led them into the opening portion of the show. As the lights came on, Chloe Gray and Abigayle Cryderman played the evil stepsisters alongside Emily Scott who played the Evil Stepmother.
The audience laughed as Gray and Cryderman used slapstick comedy with their skills as ballerinas. But, the true showstopper was Leda Stimac as Cinderella and her graceful technique during the scene.
“I have no idea what made me want to be a ballet dancer. It's physically unnatural, frustrating and painful, but I never quit because for some reason it makes me happy,” said, Stimac.
The first scene was compiled of the stepsister finding out about the ball and getting ready while Cinderella is sad she can’t go. Her fairy godmother, played by Mikhayla Dolson, commands fairies of all four seasons to give Cinderella items to make up her dress, tiara, slippers and cape for the ball. The fairy godmother warns Cinderella that she must be back before midnight or else the spell will break.
The stage went black and Mauk came out again to tell that jesters would entertain the ball as the prince, Patrick McCrae, searched for a bride. Cinderella will enter, dance, be presented a precious fruit from the Prince and leave with him to profess their love to each other.
“My favorite part to dance was the pas de deux with the prince, Patrick McCrae. He's a really good partner and I felt like we worked well together so I was able to focus on dancing without being nervous,” said Stimac.
The stepsisters and stepmother mocked Cinderella and watched as she ran away at the stroke of midnight, leaving behind a single slipper. Finding it, the Prince promised to find the shoe’s wearer.
As the stepsisters and stepmother return from the ball, they tell Cinderella what happened and dance as if they were at the ball again. The stepmother finds out about the Prince trying to find the slipper’s owner and told her daughters, making Cinderella excited as well.
The Prince entered and has the sisters try on the slipper, but they do not fit. By accident, Cinderella’s other slipper comes out which causes the Prince to put both slippers on her feet.
Afterwards, they are married in a forest with the seasonal fairies and the fairy godmother joining them.
Imani Hassan, a junior at EMU, said, “It was really beautiful. I loved the dancing. I loved the costumes. Everyone did a really good job. And the acting was very above my expectations.”
Although she was there because of a classroom requirement, there were many who had gone merely for the sake of entertainment. Ijeanetta Nelson, a 22-year-old EMU alumnus, said, “I was really impressed… when Cinderella had to go because it was midnight and the fairies did the ‘clock dance,’ I liked that part. I would definitely go see it again.”