DREAMS COME TRUE: Cinderella takes the G-C stage this week

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Cooper Schmitt, far left, and Hunter Stine, far right, work with Greenfield-Central choir teacher Paul Grizzard during dress rehearsal on the musical production of Cinderella. Monday, April 25, 2022.

Tom Russo| Daily Reporter

GREENFIELD — Cinderella has always been Brynn Elliott’s favorite Disney princess, ever since she was a wide-eyed little girl watching the animated classic movie on repeat.

This week, the teenage actress gets to make a lifelong wish come true when she portrays the title character in Greenfield-Central High School’s version of “Cinderella,” the same Rodgers and Hammerstein musical that has enjoyed a lengthy run on Broadway.

The production runs April 28 to May 1 at the high school.

While other variations have strayed from the original children’s story, Greenfield’s theater director, Carolyn Voigt, said this version follows the typical “Cinderella” plot line.

“I really love this version because the love story between Cinderella and Prince Christopher, nicknamed Topher, is more believable due to several interactions,” said Voigt. “Cinderella is also represented as a more independent, free-thinking leading lady who has much to offer beyond her looks. Her mind and heart are beautiful, too.”

Cinderella’s leading man is portrayed by theater newcomer Zeke Holden, an avid wrestler who has spent far more time on the wrestling mat than the high school stage.

After he saw fellow student-athletes take the stage in show choir and productions, he thought he’d give it a try. He quickly fell in love with performing on stage.

“This just might be something I stick with forever,” said the 17-year-old junior before rehearsal Monday afternoon.

“There’s a feeling you get on stage that you can’t get anywhere else, and the family I’ve made here is incredible,” said Zeke.

This is also the first high school production for his friend, Jaclyn Layton, who portrays Cinderella’s fairy godmother.

Like Zeke, Layton was too wrapped up in athletics to give acting a try, but she’s glad she finally did.

“I get to play the goofy side of this old lady who transforms into a mother figure to Cinderella,” said Layton, 17, a member of the high school’s tennis team.

While she’s acted through Hancock County Children’s Theater over the past five years, this is her first time taking the high school stage.

“The best part of this experience has been the friends I’ve made,” she said. “I’ve met so many great people I’d probably never have met, and lots of great adults and role models, too.”

She’s looking forward to acting alongside her friend, Brynn, who can’t wait to portray her favorite princess.

“It’s been so fun to recreate this blast from the past of my childhood. I’m so excited,” Brynn said at rehearsal this week.

The 17-year-old said she’s seen multiple variations of the Cinderella story “hundreds of times,” including the classic Disney version, a non-animated version and the Broadway musical, “plus every kind of spin-off there is.”

While Brynn takes the stage this weekend, her friend, Lexi Torrez, will be making the magic happen from the sound booth in the back of the theater.

The high school senior has served as head of sound for every Greenfield-Central stage production since the start of her junior year and has taken part in several productions in various capacitites since she was a freshman.

“Cinderella” will likely be her favorite high school production of all.

“The show is so extravagant and so heartfelt. We’ve pulled out all the stops,” said Torrez, who is heading to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology to study mechanical engineering in the fall.

“I definitely hope to join the drama club there,” she said.

Voigt encourages the public to come check out “Cinderella” this week, especially families with kids.

The musical starts at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $8 for students and $10 for adults, and can be purchased at the door or online at gcdrama.org.