One of the many things I love about the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut is their inclusion of children in the local community. One July 15, 2017 this was proven with Missoula Children’s Theatre production of Cinderella. From Missoula, Montana this traveling theater company works with many different children of all ages around the country. Once again they come to the Garde Arts Center for another production.
There was much excitement at the Garde for this event to take place. The directors were wearing name tags in order to identify themselves to parents who might have questions. In the lobby with advertisements for Garrison Keilor and Michael McDonald was filled with parents anxious to see their child on stage, some for the first time.
Carrying flowers and balloons they entered the theater, but not before taking a photo of their child on the call board they had set up. Once inside they were treated to renaissance music with a stage set with purple and blue curtains all set to go for the production. Many parents, family, and friends were reading the orange program, on the back some family members had posted a congratulations to the young cast members.
Before some of the parents entered inside several of them checked out the mural the children had drawn hanging on the concession stand. The mural containing several pumpkins, glass slippers, crowns, and cats was a hit as they waited patiently to order something to eat or drink. When the time finally came for the show to start everyone headed into the theater.
Once the lights dimmed, Shane Valley welcomed the audience to the show. After thanking the audience for their participation in this special event the show began. With the classic tale of Cinderella as a hit among the audience with singing pumpkins, a troupe of beggars, and a couple of town “criers” there was nothing short of entertaining the crowd.
Once the classic tale ended the cast gave a bow with the director Joshua Wood giving a bow. Explaining to the audience that the cast of sixty two children were given all of a week to learn lines, sing music to the accompaniment, and be prepared for the show all in one week many applauded. After thanking Emily Nan Phillips, the assistant director who was in character the entire time as Patches, a poor beggar, the lights came on.
Once the cast had finished taking their photo together in costume many parents, family, and friends rushed to take their own with a child in the cast. With many flowers and balloons being given out as congratulations to the young cast brought magic and light into The Garde Arts Center in New London, CT.