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  • The Elizabeth High School Cafetorium, the performance space for Cinderella.
  • Girls getting ready for the start of the play.
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  • A group of student performers gather before the start of the play.
  • Two student performers embrace backstage.
  • Two student performers pose on stage.

The Elizabeth High School Theater held its annual fall play for a three-day stint beginning on Nov. 4. Four performances were held — three evening shows and one matinee.

Thirty-five cast members, seven crew members and seven stagehands worked together for three months to bring “Cinderella” to fruition.

The performances were divided into two casts, giving more students the opportunity to have large parts. “Dividing the cast gives more people the opportunity to play a larger role, so double casting is great,” said Annika Bankert, who played Melanie with Cast A. “The system is more fair and more fun.”

At the Nov. 3 dress rehearsal, many of the students expressed their excitement and nervousness for their upcoming performances.

“There are butterflies for sure, but we are all very excited,” said Nate Swisher, student actor. “Nervousness is inherent. We’ve worked so hard over these three months that we are very confident with each other. Even if someone forgets their lines, we can help keep moving the play forward.”

When asked how his experience acting in the play might help him in his life moving forward, Swisher said, “I think being a character, filling a role, and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes will be very helpful to me in the real world when I leave school.”

Gracie Vrban, a senior who played the character of Melanie, also shared what she’s gained from working with the Elizabeth High School Theater.

“I’ve been in theatre for about six years now. I’ve learned how to be prepared and manage my time correctly and how to manage other people,” said Vrban. “I’ve become a leader this year in theatre. To be a leader it takes a lot of patience, both with yourself and other people.”

Jennifer Barclay, director of the Elizabeth High School Theater, said that of all the performances, closing night was their best. “I think their best show was closing night. We had a talk after the matinee on Saturday about giving the final performance our all and to the best of our ability,” said Barclay. “In general, I think all of our shows went really well, I’d say.”

Regarding standout performances, Barclay felt that the cast as a whole did an excellent job. “I saw growth from everyone. I know the audience loved Bethany Schmit as Lillian,” said Barclay. “But as a teacher, it was really nice to see growth from everyone.”

In addition to the actors themselves, the crew and stagehands played an integral part in the production’s success. Stage manager Piper Gustafson explained her role in organizing and preparing the set for the play.

“I’ll generally get the script and highlight where transitions should go. I determine which props I think should be used and work with the director to pull everything together,” said Gustafson. “We currently have five people working backstage. We also help clean and maintain the props.”

Director Barclay had positive words for those in charge of the crew and stagehands. “My officers did a really good job of helping everyone and keeping everything going smoothly during the show,” she said. “I’m proud of the work they put forward to have a good show.”

“Mrs. Barclay is absolutely amazing. She hand-makes almost every single outfit,” said Grace Vrban. “She literally sewed my dress over fall break and it fits like a glove!”

“You really want the play to succeed just as much as Barclay does,” said Nathan Movizzo. “It’s a chemistry that works out very well.”

“Barclay is amazing! I really couldn’t ask for a better director,” said Marco Armijo. “She keeps us on our feet and straight in our places.”

Elizabeth High School Performing Arts has several planned future events. Below is their schedule for the remainder of the 2021-2022 school year:

● Holiday Vocal Music Concert — Dec. 7

● Holiday Instrumental Music Concerts — Dec. 8 and 9

● Winter Musical — “Disney Beauty & The Beast” — March 3 and 4

● Pre-Festival Instrumental Music Concert — March 8

● Pre – Festival Vocal Music Concert — March 10

● Jazz Dessert Fundraiser — April 1

● EZTV Film Festival — April 29

● Instrumental Pops Music Concert — May 3

● Vocal Music Pops Concert — May 5

● Theatre Banquet — May 11