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Cinderella Casts A Spell at Marshall Performing Arts Center

Megan Potter as Godmother and Faith Engen as Cinderella  
Megan Potter (left) as Godmother and Faith Engen as Cinderella. Photo Credit: Joe Olivieri, UMD photographer

Daring adventures, magic spells and dreams come true are the reasons we love fairy tales. Now, with a grant from the Pachel Foundation combined with the talents of the UMD Theatre department, we are able to experience the magic in their adaptation of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.

The show runs Apr. 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28 at 7:30 pm and Apr. 22 at 2 pm in the Marshall Performing Arts Center. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling the MPAC box office at 218-726-8561. To request disability accommodations, contact Sherise Morgan, UMD Theatre, 218-726-8564.

There will be a special "Royalty Day" after-show event for families and children on Sun., Apr. 22 immediately following the 2 pm performance. Families are invited to meet the characters of the show and are encouraged to dress up in their favorite fairytale gear.

Cinderella hasn’t always been on the horizon for UMD. The cost of performing a show with so much emphasis on magic created a big challenge in being able to create the effect that is necessary for the show to be successful. “People come in with expectations, and you don’t want to let them down”, said Ufema.

But in the spirit of a true fairy-godmother, the Pachel Foundation provided a grant that will give the show the magical effects that are required to bring this fantasy to life. With the help of other generous donors who contribute to UMD’s Theatre department, the show benefited from the talents of well-known Minnesota Ballet scene designer Ann Gumpper, and the cast will be dressed in costumes fit for royalty.

The play, originally written for the Julie Andrews television performance, is one of the few stories that has never been adapted to Broadway. UMD will be able to set the standard for this tricky performance under the direction of Professor Kate Ufema of the UMD Theatre Department. In her nineteenth year at UMD, Ufema, with the help of over 100 people working on the show, intends to give the tale her own special touch.

Ufema said, “The reason that we chose this show is because we are committed to training our students, but we are also part of a community that can appreciate a family-friendly show. It’s important for us to be able to bring together people of all ages to be entertained.”

Written by Jessica Coffin, April 2012

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