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Cinderella comes alive on HCHS stage

South Boston News
The curtain rises Friday at 7:30 p.m. for the Halifax County High School Theatre Department’s comedic version of the classic fairy tale Cinderella.  The show will continue Saturday at 10 a.m. and then again at 7:30 p.m.  All tickets are $5 and will be sold at the door.  In lead roles are Mackenzie Gibson, Carly Hoskins, Jessica Hinds, Emily Slayton, and Jason Fitts.  Bring your children or just yourself for the magic that is Cinderella. / March 10, 2014
We all know the story of Cinderella. We know about the step-mother and step-sisters, the prince, the fairy godmother, the ball, the lost slipper.

So what makes Halifax County High School’s production of Cinderella any different?

Several things make the show a good choice for your weekend plans. In addition to the unusual narrators of the story, two elderly ladies from Louisiana who tell it like it is, there are wonderful young actors and actresses who will be taking the stage in the classic fairy tale roles.

Playing the lead role of Cinderella is a sophomore who has accrued a lot of stage time over the past few years. Emily Slayton takes on the title role of the kind and lovely Cinderella, beloved by all but her step-family.

Emily has been on the stage since she was young, playing in countless children’s productions with Little Theatre. She has also appeared in The Prizery’s summer theatre celebration and in the North Theater’s production of Aladdin last fall in Danville.

At HCHS, Emily was in last year’s Pinocchio and the one act competition team’s production of “A Piece of My Heart,” winning an acting award in district competition.

Emily says, “Who doesn’t love a rags-to-riches story?” And everyone seems to, both in real life and in fairy tales.

Emily also plays soccer for the Comets and is as hopeful and positive a person in real life as her character is in the show.

Every princess-to-be wants a prince to call her own, and Jason Fitts is determined to fit the bill for Cinderella as the Prince.

Although only a sophomore, Jason has already amassed quite a theatre résumé.

From “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Tom Sawyer,” and “The Man Who Saved Christmas” with Little Theatre, to “Oliver” with The Prizery, Jason has stayed very busy. He also appeared in this fall’s competition show, “A Piece of My Heart,” which won both district and conference competitions.

Jason describes the people involved in shows as the best part of his theatre experience.

Senior Jessica Hinds tackles the role of the Fairy Godmother.

This fairy godmother enters onto the stage in a slightly different way from most, and she has a mix of interesting spells in her Mary Poppins-like bag. Jessica was also in “Pinocchio” and “Snow White” with HCHS as well as “A Piece of My Heart.”

A busy person, Jessica is also on the track and cross country teams, the school book club, and is a member of the National Honor Society.

She also participated in last year’s state Poetry Out Loud contest. Jessica hopes to continue her education at Hollins College next fall.

Jessica said, “I like playing new creative roles that test my acting skills and being able to open up as a person on stage and then off of it.”

Two newcomers to the HCHS stage are the king and queen in the fairy tale, played by freshman Mackenzie Gibson and senior Carly Hoskins. Both describe meeting new people as a positive part of the theatre experience, and Mackenzie refers to the friendships as “being treated like family.”

Mackenzie is also on the school’s soccer team and is active in his church.

Carly is involved in the school’s chorus and also sings in her church choir. Carly says, “Cinderella is a great story. It shows that no matter how bad your situation is, your dreams can still come true.”

Make plans to see these young performers this weekend.

The show opens Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the school auditorium and continues on Saturday with two shows at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

All tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door.

No matter how much you think you know about Cinderella, there is always some new twist in the classic tale.

Come witness for yourself, and bring along some children so they can have a magical theatre experience.

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