Granite City High School junior Athena Comer rehearses for an upcoming production of “Cinderella.”
Lead roles are the dream of actors at all levels of the profession.
And Granite City High School junior Athena Comer landed her first lead role in the fine arts department’s stage production of “Cinderella” this spring.
“This is exciting, but it’s kind of scary at the same time,” Comer said.
The lead said she was drawn to acting as a sophomore because she held a reputation for being a shy person and thought the stage would be fun. Over the course of two years, Comer earned supporting roles in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Brighton Beach Memories,” both GCHS productions. Every spring the fine arts department stages a children’s play, and “Cinderella” is the latest in the program.
“You have to be more animated and bring the show they know to life so they can enjoy it,” Comer said on performing for a young audience.
Fine Arts Director John Manoogian , also the show’s director, said Comer “works hard,” and her work in other productions allowed her the opportunity to develop the ability to anticipate the type of performance he wants. He also said she’s working toward “a realistic performance.” Cobe Bailey (Grand Duke), Justin Heavilon (King), Jessica Kelley (Stepsister), Emily Nelson (Stepsister), Lacey Cook (Stepmother), Nick Gerber, Jake Hayes and Sunny Starko (Mice), Jake Cowley (Herald), Brock Wilson (Prince) and Briana Davis (Fairy Godmother) also are in the cast.
“This is a unique play,” Manoogian said. “It’s geared toward really young children whose feet can’t touch the ground in our chairs. This play has mice in it. So, we’ll have actors playing mice. The characters are geared toward a younger audience and they bring magic with them.”
“Cinderella,” originally a European folk tale, reached movie audiences in 1950 in a film produced by Walt Disney. Manoogian said the challenge of staging this play is developing believable characters because the characters are so well-known. The production will include one set that encompasses both Cinderella’s’ home and Prince Charming’s palace.
“Cinderella” is scheduled to be staged at GCHS at 7 p.m. on March 27 and 28. A student matinee performance is scheduled for March 26. Those interested in purchasing tickets can call the high school at 451-5808.