Highland High School presents 'Cinderella'

By Mark Reynolds
Posted 2/28/24

This past weekend the Highland Drama Club presented Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic musical “Cinderella.” Jenna Merced performed in the lead role as Cinderella and Kamrin Doyle as …

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Highland High School presents 'Cinderella'


This past weekend the Highland Drama Club presented Rogers and Hammerstein’s classic musical “Cinderella.” Jenna Merced performed in the lead role as Cinderella and Kamrin Doyle as Prince Christopher. Walters-Storyk Design and Holistic Health and Happiness were key sponsors of the musical.

The story-line of the musical is well known: Cinderella’s father has passed, which leaves her to care for her selfish and demanding stepmother and stepsisters.

The Prince of the Kingdom is turning 21 and his parents decide to host a ball in order to find a suitable bride for their eligible son. Cinderella’s is left behind by her stepmother and sisters to go to the ball but Cinderella’s Godmother appears and magically transforms her into a beautiful young women and provides her with an elegant dress and a Coach that brings her to the ball.

Cinderella dances with the Prince and they fall instantly in love but she fails to tell him her name. Cinderella was warned that she must leave the ball by midnight before the magic wears off. As the clock tolls its bell, Cinderella rushes off but loses one of her glass slippers. In the days following the ball the Prince tries to find Cinderella and has all of the young women try on the glass slipper. Once he finds Cinderella, the slipper fits perfectly. The two marry as the entire cast sings the concluding song, “There is Music in You.”

Dan Shaut conducted the pit orchestra, saying they started practicing two months ago. He said mostly high school students were in the orchestra but were assisted with a few teachers from the Music Department, Vincent Rizzi on drums, Jodie McCaffrey on piano, Karen Adamec on flute and student teacher Ms. Leary.

Shaut said that Richard Rogers wrote “really beautiful melodies and harmonies that keep getting stuck in my head. It was a good challenge for the kids.”

Lorelei Amato directed the musical and began working with the students late last year.

“Since early December we’ve been working with two different phenomenal vocal Directors, Andrew Hogan and Dr. Elizabeth Gerbi who helped the students learn the initial music and they’ve been practicing and holding their own vocal rehearsals,” Amato said.

Amato, who teaches Social Studies, said at the very beginning the students knew that a full scale production required their full commitment.

“I’ve been doing theater since I was ten years old, so it only made sense when they needed someone to step in that I volunteered myself,” she said.

For senior Jenna Merced, Cinderella was her first performance in a lead role.

“I was so excited to find out that I was Cinderella and so honored and especially today there were so many little girls here in Cinderella dresses. I was so happy to be that role model,” Merced said.

Merced said, “I’ve always enjoyed singing and acting. I didn’t know we had a theater club and my friends introduced it to me and when I got in I couldn’t stop. It’s the excitement of being on stage and at the end when you feel so accomplished and did something with such a big cast that I feel whole. It’s wonderful, I love it.”

Kamrin Doyle, who played Prince Christopher, said this was his first time on stage. He initially turned the part down because of numerous other commitments but after someone dropped out he filled the opening just two weeks ago.

“I’ve met a lot of new people and everyone in this play is so nice. They are all very encouraging and have helped me along the way,” he said. “My choir director worked with me for about two hours a day.”