Cinderella, is a classic that most people still love to see and little girls still love to be.
Portsmouth High School Show Choir members will be presenting the play Cinderella in just two weeks (November 16-18th). Emily Crandall is the high school music teacher and the theatre director. Crandall says there are a total of 43 students who will be involved in the play.
Luke Roddell, a junior, plays the honored part of Prince Charming. Last year, he played the Wizard in Wizard of Oz, but he says that he is very excited to be playing this lead role. Roddell says that he has been singing in some form in school, since he was very young and that he really likes that. Roddell said he is a better singer than a dancer. He was quick to add, “I’m not very coordinated and my feet just don’t want to go where I want them to go.”
Adrian Jordan, a senior, who is playing the Herald, said his character manages the help in the castle. He too, has acted before in high school plays. When asked whether he preferred singing or acting, he said, “I’d rather sing, I don’t like my talking voice.” He humorously said he practices in front of the mirror all the time. And, he even added that he practices dancing in front of the mirror too.
Brady Fannin, a junior, who is playing the part of the King, said he has acted in the last two plays at the high school. He said, “I have two songs to sing and I have to dance too.” He said he was looking forward to doing the play and acting with his friends.
These three boys said that at the end of every school year, they try out for Show Choir and it is then usually posted after graduation for the next school year. Then, right at the beginning of the school year, they have to try out for the play and that no one that is not in show choir, can be in the play.
The advice the boys said they would give to someone who is interested in theatre, although it is fun, you will have to put in the work. They continued on the time that they have to put in, while in the play.
Lauren Donges, a senior, who plays Joy, one of the wicked step sisters, said she enjoys playing this sort of mean part. She said she was ready to sing, dance and act her part.
Hanah Martin, is a junior, who plays the part of the evil stepmother. She is a character actor who said she has played several evil-like parts. She said, “I started acting at age five, and I plan to do this in college. I plan to major in musical theatre.”
Reagan Grooms, is a sophomore, who plays Portia, the other evil step sister, she said of playing the evil part, ” I love it, it’s so funny it really suits me. Usually when we are doing the parts, we might throw in some line and it usually works, and she lets us keep it.” She likes choir and theatre, but is also a softball player and she likes both in different ways.
Speaking with these girls, they said that doing play and keeping up with their school work, is not always easy. Martin said, “It’s extremely challenging, especially if you are taking honor’s classes.”
Sarah Lemaster, a junior is playing the Queen, and she too has acted in the plays before. “I like being the mother. I do sing with the king and the prince. I’m really excited about this.”
Alainnah Scott, also a junior, is playing the Fairy Godmother, and is also not new to acting and singing. “I love doing plays. I love both singing and acting about the same.” She continued, that she liked playing the nice part, but that she could play an evil part too. She added, ” I really get into it on show night, I really don’t think about it then.” Scott along with the other girls has attended Portsmouth all of her life also, and this seemed to be an important fact with all of these kids that spoke to the Times.
Sara Born, a senior, who plays Cinderella, spoke of playing such a close part with Prince Charming, Roddell, and when asked how well they worked together in such close proximity, she said they had good acting chemistry to do these parts. She, with the other girls, giggled when asked if she had to kiss him and said that they hadn’t practiced that part yet. Being a senior, she said about her future, “I’d like to go away to college.” She just finished up her applications at this point. As for playing a lead role, Born has not yet done that until now, and she said, “This is my first time, and I’m very excited. I feel very well prepared.” This last group of girls, had high praises for Crandall and said she is a wonderful director.
Crandall taught at the elementary school before moving up to the high school and she has been teaching for nine years, and because of that, she has had these particular students almost all of her years of teaching. Her mother, Judy Smith, who is now her accompanist, is a retired teacher and they said they taught in rooms side by side at the elementary, which is quite unique. Speaking about the main cast for the play, it was noted that most of them were upper classmen, but that all of them were very well spoken, and many of them preferred to sing rather than act. She said she felt that, it was due to the fact they were more used to singing. “I try to pick something that we’ve never done and is not done a lot around here.” She continued, ” I always look at the four years, I look at my senior class and I try to give them a well rounded four years of shows, we’ve done modern, we’ve done golden age, classic, they’ve covered all the bases.”
When asked about what the kids called her ‘strict time’, Crandall said, more like stress time and that she goes without food, all that good stuff. She said she has a really good husband that takes care of her during this time. She also said she has a good mom and dad. She wanted to mention that their wood shop teacher was a first year teacher, and he has been helping her with sets. They rent costumes for the plays, which helps with the preparation and everything.
Sitting in the cafeteria at PHS and listening to some of the singing, the audience will be very pleased with the wonderful voices these kids have and their acting is also something to look forward to. At a time when so many people are quick to criticize the youth of today, it seems this group shows some of the best examples of how many of the youth are positively representing themselves and sharing their talents with the community.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928