New faces made magic happen in “Cinderella”
MATTAPOISETT— In some ways, the drama club’s production of Cinderella last weekend seems more of a Cinderella story for Baylen Brunelle, who played the prince.
Though Brunelle has been a member of the drama club since he was in seventh grade, he has always served as part of the stage crew. However, with a new director he decided to try something different and audition for a role in the cast.
He was surprised to get a lead part.
“I actually thought there were people who did better than me. But I was really thrilled,” Brunelle said. “I remember I was in gym class when the sheets were posted, so the teacher let everyone in drama club run over to the door” to see the list.
Victoria Kvilhaug, who played Cinderella, was also not expecting a lead part.
“I was pretty surprised,” she said, explaining that, “A lot of the people who auditioned were really talented, so it could have gone to anybody.”
However, a strong connection to the play made the role all the more special for her.
“I really love this show in particular because, Cinderella is my favorite Disney princess,” Kvilhaug said. “My grandmother has called me ‘Cinderelli' since I was little, so it was really great to get to see her face and how excited she was about it.”
Brunelle modestly admitted that the role is “a lot harder for Cinderella, who has these fast costume changes.”
The drama club decided to do Cinderella because it was a simpler show, and they lost a month of rehearsal waiting for the new director, Gregory Silver to be hired.
“Cinderella is a good play that everyone knows the story to and you can have some fun with, but it was cheap enough that we were able to do it and spin a profit for it, which will help pay for ‘Anything Goes’ in the spring,” Brunelle said, to explain the decision process.
The play’s simple lines and familiar plot also left a lot of room for cast members to be creative. The stepsisters, who provided many of the play’s comic moments, ad libbed almost all of their lines.
Both leads had worked with the old director, Paul Sardinha, and acknowledged that working with Silver was different, but in a good way.
“Greg is really easy to work with and supportive of our creativity,” Kvilhaug said.
While Brunelle was close with Sardinha, he also spoke well of Silver.
“Paul was amazing. He did the jobs of what would would normally take five people. He did the music, choreographed it, picked the plays, built the sets, all by himself, basically. He built an entire house for one of our plays,” Brunelle explained. “So it’s hard to compare to that, but honestly I think the new director is doing an amazing job.”
Though the role of the prince seems like a major role, it’s actually not as intense as Cinderella, or even Pierre, the crier who served as a narrator for much of the play.
“In the very first act [the prince is] only in one scene,” Brunelle said, “By the second act he has a lot more lines”
However, coming from the technical side of theater, Brunelle loved the chance to hang out backstage for most of act one.
“I love that I was able to be backstage for so long. Because it’s not just stage left and stage right. This is a brand new lighting board that we’ve never used before. So the lighting person had to figure this board out really fast,” Brunelle said, adding that, “Costume people are working every single night, it’s not like they just design the costumes and that’s it.”
He also credited parent volunteers and people like Spencer Perez-Dormitzer, who comes in just to do the sound on the production.
Kvilhaug was also quick to credit all of the backstage work for making the magic of the production happen.
“The students have really stepped up and put in a lot of work. The lighting crew, the sound crew, the techies,” she said. “Everyone has put in so much effort, and it’s really shown.”