Weekender

Students bring ‘Cinderella’ story ballet to the stage

Gillian Dash, Madelyn Wolf, Alyssa Boob and Anna Snellgrove rehearse for the Performing Arts School of Central Pennsylvania’s “Cinderella.”
Gillian Dash, Madelyn Wolf, Alyssa Boob and Anna Snellgrove rehearse for the Performing Arts School of Central Pennsylvania’s “Cinderella.” Photo provided

A very familiar tale will come to The State Theatre on Saturday, when the Performing Arts School of Central Pennsylvania presents the ballet “Cinderella.”

“PASCP’s ‘Cinderella’ is taken from Edward Myer’s full-length ballet,” Artistic Director Rebecca Maciejczyk said. “We made some changes to the original ballet, but our storyline very much follows the story of Cinderella that everyone has come to know.”

The ballet also promises to bring entertaining content appropriate for all ages.

“Bringing a story ballet to the community is always exciting,” Maciejczyk said. “It allows for us to reach a wide audience, and at the same time, provide appropriately challenging performance material to students in each level of our school. The performance roles in this particular production fit very well in this manner and was something I was able to confidently visualize before beginning rehearsals. ‘Cinderella’ is a story that children and adults alike are familiar and can enjoy watching together.”

Maciejczyk is proud of the creative work put in by cast and crew on “Cinderella,” and said offering a full-length story ballet is beneficial to the community and the dancers at PASCP.

“Full-length ballets are exciting for dancers, as (there) are usually an array of interesting characters to portray,” she said. “Interpretation of stories through dance provides thoughtful training and fun for our dancers and audience members alike.”

The production is mostly populated by in-house talent.

“We are proud to say that the majority of our cast is our own talented students, ranging from first grade through high school,” Maciejczyk said. “We also have guest male dancers from Allegheny Ballet performing with us. Some of our own faculty and board members are playing the older character roles in the performance.”

The local artistic endeavors put forth by PASCP are labors of love for students and teachers, Maciejczyk said.

“As an organization, we are committed to providing a place in which all students can experience a joyful pursuit of excellence in their passions by encouraging more people to participate in the arts, nurturing each student’s potential for success and inspiring them to enjoy the arts for life,” she said.

Maciejczyk feels inspired by the work involved with presenting productions and educating students. She thinks that “Cinderella” is the perfect opportunity to see gifted young dancers share their talents, and to experience beautiful music and choreography.

“There will be something for everyone to enjoy, and the length of the production is a manageable length for families with young children,” she said. “Working with the dancers in everyday classes and performance preparations is incredibly inspiring and a constant reminder of what is possible with focus and determination. To see these students progress and grow in confidence is wonderful.”

PASCP’s schedule is ramping up in anticipation of its summer program — classes and workshops for students from 3 years to adults.

“We plan to feature some of our dancers during the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts on the performance shell stage on the HUB Lawn,” Maciejczyk said. “Our full-length ‘The Nutcracker’ ballet will be our next large-scale production set for Dec. 9 and 10 at Eisenhower Auditorium.”

Maciejczyk would love to see even more community involvement in events like this and believes it is a mutually beneficial affair for all involved.

“I invite the community to become involved in our efforts to support youth in the arts,” she said. “Becoming part of the PASCP family can mean many things, from faithful audience members, financial supporters, volunteering time, talents and resources to taking classes or perhaps serving on our board of directors. And you never know when you just might end up on the stage. Some of our parent volunteers have found themselves being invited to participate in various non-dancing performance roles.”

In addition to the “Cinderella” performances at The State Theatre on Saturday, the PASCP’s Central Pennsylvania Youth Orchestra will present its spring concert at 4 p.m. Sunday at Esber Recital Hall on Penn State’s campus.

IF YOU GO

  • What: Performing Arts School of Central Pennsylvania’s “Cinderella”
  • When: 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday
  • Where: The State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., State College
  • Info: www.thestatetheatre.org
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