Watauga High School to perform “Cinderella Enchanted”

Families of the High Country: We recommend you purchase your tickets in advance to see “Cinderella Enchanted.” Tickets are available for purchase at the school’s front office. Tickets may also be purchased Saturday, April 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at WHS.

For the last 29 years, Watauga High School’s drama department has pushed expectations of the scale and quality that high school theater can achieve with its massive annual musical productions held each Spring.

This year, for the department’s 30th anniversary, students from art programs all over the school are coming together to put on Rodgers’ and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella Enchanted,” a show which co-director Sarah Miller said is a showcase of an immense variety of talent — from actors, dancers, musicians and crew alike.

“It’s not your typical high school theater we do in Watauga,” Miller said. “People who have never seen a show here might have a preconceived notions of what theater at this level can be, but with all of our productions, we hope to show our audiences the potential of the form. We challenge our students to find the best in themselves and each other, which results in amazing work.”

“Cinderella Enchanted,” which was originally presented on television in 1957 starring Julie Andrews, was the most widely-viewed program in the history of the medium at that time. It’s since been adapted several times for the screen, but according to cast members Emma Bednar, Andrew Brown, Alice Knight and Katlyn Woolard, the show’s true home is on the stage.

“When you step back and look at it, a large ensemble musical is this amazing place where 100 people can come together and share their love for theater and music,” said Andrew Brown, WHS Senior Playmaker and the show’s Prince Charming. “It’s a very surreal and humbling thing to think about — then you tack on 600 people in the audience coming to see the show. There is such a great community aspect and being around that is just awesome.”

WHS Senior and fellow Playmaker Emma Bednar, who takes on the eponymous role of Cinderella, echoed her castmate’s sentiments.

“People in the show are really supportive, so it’s not only fun being onstage, but offstage as well,” Bednar said. “You get so much great feedback, and there is a family aspect and energy to the show. We feed off each other, and each group is in the moment.”

Katlyn Woolard, another senior Playmaker, who plays the role of Queen Constantina, said the energy and feel of a large production musical was different from her other theater experiences, both on stage and in the house.

“In a musical, the feeling is different because we not only share this mutual love for theater, but also a love for the music, dancing and other aspects of the production — and we feel that in the audience, too,” Woolard said. “People who come to see the show are excited. Onstage, you can feed off that energy and it really makes you happy that they are excited to see the show.”

Alice Knight, a Playmaker and WHS Sophomore who plays The Fairy Godmother said the energy and ensemble aspects of “Cinderella” drove her to elevate her performance.

“Large scale musicals like this are such a community focused thing,” Knight said. You get excited because the house is excited to see you tell a story and to celebrate the work. It’s awesome to see the pay off after so many people have put so much work into the show. It’s such a focused and collaborative work, it makes me want to work harder myself. This show matters so much to Mrs. Miller and Mr. Walker (Co-Director Zach Walker) and every member of the cast, and it matters to me because I want to be a part of this community. This program has become so amazing that it make me want to rise — it makes me want to do my best, and to put my best out there because I know the people around me are going to support me, and that they are doing their best as well.”

“Cinderella Enchanted” will run at 7 p.m. April 19-21 at Watauga High School. Tickets are available for purchase at the school’s front office starting Thursday, April 12 and running to opening day. Tickets may also be purchased Saturday, April 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at WHS.

The Saturday showing of “Cinderella” will be preceded by an open gala celebrating 30 years of theater at Watauga High School. Alumni of the program are invited to attend. The event will also honor WHS Directors Sarah Miller and Zach Walker, who recently were presented with the North Carolina Theater Conference Excellence in Teaching Award.