Get swept up in JCT ‘Cinderella’ fantasy
Stories with happy endings never go out of style, even if it’s just in fairy tales. This year, the Jamestown Community Theatre will present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” a timeless, musical comedy production that tells the tale of one of the happiest endings ever written. Cinderella is the classic story of a young girl who rises up out of the ashes and is swept away by Price Charming to happily-ever-after simply by having the perfect glass slipper shoe size.
The feel-good production comes together under the keen, powerhouse direction of Mary S. Wright. With a cast of 50 Jamestown residents, spanning in ages from 7 to 70, Wright has been successfully directing plays and musicals for JCT for the past 20 years. “This year’s sets are amazing,” boasts Wright. “We having moving clocks (to make sure Cinderella gets home by midnight) and moving clouds. There are castles everywhere. We even fly in a beautiful gown to Cinderella, across the stage as she prepares to go to the ball.” The night of fantasy continues with tap dancing mice and singing horses all coordinated under the encouraging eyes of Wright.
There’s some special talent a watchful audience should keep an eye out for. In addition to Hayley Carlisle (Cinderella) and Jan Trousilek (Prince) pay special attention to the performances of Sarah Farrelly (Portia), Tom Wiggin (Herald) and the hilarious Debbie Murphy (Jester). There’s a singing trio, Ella and the Cinders, delightfully harmonized by Allie Brown, Dana Larkin and Natalie Toland, all put together under the masterful keyboards played by Walter Sage.
Directing this monumental production is not an easy task for anyone. When questioned how Wright finds the energy and strength to handle the task, she replied she gets her energy from her assistant director, Annie McIntyre. McIntyre extracts her current theatrical expertise from working as an actress 20 years ago. She teamed up with Wright during the production of “Willy Wonka” in 2009. The cast is selected from a series of auditions and callbacks. “Kids don’t realize they all get in,” says Wright. “Just waiting and being on line is enough for me. Being involved in theatre helps a young person feel good about themselves. It builds their self-esteem. Kids who get applause get good grades.” Wright doesn’t stop with just the children. She also brings parents and adults into the production. “It builds generational peer relationships.”
The Jamestown Substance Abuse Prevention Task Force and Patty Vandal first approached Mary Wright, a teacher for 40 years, to start the JCT program with a $500 donation back in 1990. This November will mark the 20th Anniversary of the Jamestown Community Theatre. Over the years JCT, together with its board of directors and countless volunteers have been able to raise funds to keep the production numbers flowing as well as purchase and upgrade their entertainment equipment. JCT pays the Jamestown Recreation Center a fee for the two-week theatre run. The collected fee, in turn, helps the rec center support a teen center; youth sport activities and contracts out for different group activities, which further advance the Jamestown community.
Buying a ticket to JCT’s rendition of “Cinderella” this year will almost guarantee the theatergoer a delightful evening of fantasy and hope. Bring your family and all your friends, sit back and dream once again of meeting your own Prince Charming, who can sweep you off your feet, take you away from all your cares and worries and live happily-ever-after.
Tickets, the same price as last year, are $13 and $8 in advance, can be purchased at Baker’s Pharmacy, the Cathryn Jamieson Salon, Conanicut Marine Store and the Secret Garden. At the door, tickets are $16 for adults and $11 for children and seniors. Performances are at the Jamestown Recreation Center on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 14, at 4 p.m., Friday, Nov. 19 and Saturday, Nov. 20, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 21, at 4 p.m. For more information, call 423-2121 or visit the JCT website at www.jamestownri.com/jct/JCT/ Welcome.