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Cinderella cast became family

By Jonathan King,
Published on Sunday, August 24, 2014

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Karen Thomas plays the queen.
 

Karen Thomas plays the queen.

 

One moment, Cinderella is on stage, singing, “It’s Possible!” The next moment, she’s kneeling on the floor to show a young spectator that dreams do come true.

American Callboard Theatrical and Dance Visions of Greer present Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella” at the Mauldin Cultural Center. It played Saturday. The show provides audiences an entertaining evening, but also gives young dancers a chance to showcase their talents in a different environment.

“Felicia Abbott (producer and founding member of Dance Visions) is a genius,” said Karen Thomas, who plays the queen. “I think it’s just amazing that not only is she doing this for her dancers, but to bring in every kind of talent so her students can be well-rounded.”

Kat Stoneback, who plays Cinderella, said of her role, “It was something I’d never really done before, because in most of the shows I do, I’m more comical. It was something that I had to embrace head-on. I liked the challenge.”

Stoneback has been involved in theatre for years, but this is only her second community theatre production. “With high school (plays), there’s not as much dedication,” she said. “It’s not something you go out and say, ‘I’m going to audition for this because I want to be part of this.’ It was refreshing finding this dedication, and also challenging trying to work with everyone.”

Blake Stokes, however, is new to the world of theatre. “I honestly didn’t know what I would be getting myself into, but I really enjoyed it,” he said of his role as Prince Christopher. “It’s definitely going to be a highlight of my life.”

It’s easy to see why. The acting and vocal talents of Stoneback, the antics of the stepsisters, the young smiling faces of the ensemble, and the obvious ingenuity used to create a magical show from limited resources blend to make an enjoyable production.

The element that shone through the most was a sense of family. Stokes said, “You can’t do it by yourself, but once you become a unit, it all flows together.”

“I love the cast so much,” said Stoneback. “We all became a family.”

“All those volunteers out in the community, this is what you need to do,” said Thomas. “This is how you can become involved . . . it does become a huge family, and there’s something for everyone.”

 

 

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