A Cinderella Tale

TDA partnered with “Artists for the Orphans” in Kansas City to help them raise funds by putting on the play, “A Cinderella Tale”, based upon the movie, “Ever After. In the story, a young girl loses her father and lives with her cruel stepmother and 2 step sisters. The story builds towards the romantic climax but has elements throughout of standing against injustice, a heart for the poor and seeing others beyond what is on the surface.

Our TDA families made up 90% of those who worked faithfully and diligently on this project for 3 months. Out of 29 cast members, 20 were students, most of whom were from TDA. The project was a truly multi-generational experience with the youngest student actor in 5th grade and the oldest actor an amazing 67! Six TDA students were crew members, without whom we would not have been able to put on the performance.

We interviewed the director, Donna Gilliland and asked her a few questions:
What was a highlight of the practices?
Working on the dances, without question! All the adults were in the waltz, which was beautiful! Actors and actresses of all ages greatly enjoyed those practices.
What were some highlights from the performances?

The first highlight was definitely a part where one of the stepsisters was supposed to rush in and bump into her other sister. She did it so hard that she fell on top of the other character and both fell to the floor. The audience then laughed on and off for nearly 10 minutes with many of the actors breaking character and joining in. This spontaneity served as a great ice-breaker and helped the audience to relax and enjoy the rest of the show.

The next highlight was the gypsy dance where one of our TDA alumni/actors came into the audience, giving an excellent dance performance. Our audience also loved the gypsy fight scene which was beautifully choreographed.

What were 3 of the most amazing answers to prayer?
  • How much grace, joy and unity covered the cast. There wasn’t any complaining or backbiting; everyone seemed to receive grace to work hard and hang in there, treating one another with kindness and honor.
  • We had some really unusual and extreme costume and prop needs this time, like Leonardo’s flying contraption and our heroine, Danielle’s dress. It was challenging to find appropriate costuming, and we are so grateful to Deb Callow, Marie Kline and Shelley Jacobson for their invaluable help and skill with costuming and props.
  • Another answer to prayer was that the cast and crew remained healthy; with so much sickness going around. The cast seemed untouched and we feel this again, was the grace of God.
Are there any thanks you'd like to express?
  • Yes! I would like to say a giant thank you to all the cast, crew, seamstresses, set builders, drivers, assistants and administrators for their valuable time and effort!
  • This was an amazing opportunity for TDA students to do a professional show in which they worked with 3 professional actors. Our student actors also benefitted from getting to be on a true stage.
  • We were so blessed by the award winning professional photographer Larry Jansen, who worked with us on this show.
  • Finally, I would like to say a special thank-you to Mrs. Fraser who never forgot the time she spent years ago with Derek and Renee Loux as they discussed TDA and OJC having some kind of future partnership. That dream became reality with A Cinderella Tale!