SPRINGFIELD -- Like any girl who grew up watching Disney, Skylar Kobitz always dreamed of being Cinderella.
In less a week, she’ll get her chance.
Kobitz will put on the famous glass slipper and join a cast of other Disney-lovers on stage when the Springfield High theatre department delights audiences with 16 showings of “Cinderella” during a six-day run April 1-6.
The all-student cast will perform three daily shows in the school’s gym — scheduled for 9 a.m., 12 p.m., and 7 p.m. — from April 1-5 before concluding the week with a special dinner theatre performance at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 6.
General admission for the weekday performances is $5 per ticket for all ages, while the dinner theatre show runs at $25 per ticket, which includes the play and a full-course meal.
If the past is any indication, audiences will get a lot of bang for their buck.
Under sponsor Joe Simmons, the Springfield High theatre department has grown from a Beta Club fundraiser to a fully-accredited elective with a reputation around town for its large-scale spring musicals. Past productions have included crowd-pleasers such as “The Lion King,” “The Jungle Book,” “The Wizard of Oz,” and last year’s popular “Beauty and the Beast.”
This year, the theatre department will try to top its previous shows with the classic rags-to-riches tale of “Cinderella,” which follows the story of an orphaned girl who is forced to work for her evil stepmother and stepsisters before her fortunes change with the appearance of her Fairy Godmother.
For Kobitz, a sophomore in her second year of theatre, the opportunity to play such an iconic figure was something she couldn’t pass up — even if she needed a little convincing along the way.
“Mr. Joe asked me a few times if I was interested in it, but I didn’t know if I would have the time for it,” she said. “But I ended up thinking about it and deciding to do it, and it turned out to be a good decision because she is my favorite Disney character and I’ve always wanted to be her.
“It was a bit nerve-wracking for the first practice,” Kobitz later recalled with a laugh. “I just kept thinking, ‘This is not gonna go well,’ but I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable as the time has gone on, and everyone is making me feel confident about it and helping me out a lot.”
This will be Kobitz’s first lead role in a production, but she said she’s received plenty of advice from some of her older castmates, particularly juniors Noah Bonura and Mason Sibley, who have plenty of experience to draw from.
Bonura, who will play opposite Kobitz as the dashing Prince, portrayed the Tin Man as a freshman in “Oz” before following that up as the villainous Gaston in “Beauty and the Beast” as a sophomore. Last semester, he played the lead role in the theatre department’s traveling production of “A Hillbilly Christmas Carol.”
Sibley — whose time in the theatre department goes back to elementary school — will serve as student-director, a first for a spring production under Simmons. Sibley last appeared on stage as the smooth-talking Lumiere in “Beauty and the Beast” before moving to the director’s chair for the traveling play last semester.
Sibley said next week’s “Cinderella” production won’t veer far from the original story “that people know and love,” but he added that the theatre department does have “one or two” surprises in store for audiences.
“‘Cinderella’ is a very classic story, and we want to make sure we stay true to that,” Sibley said. “So you’re gonna see a lot of the classic, iconic scenes, but you’re also gonna see a lot of fun we’ve added to it.
“We want the audience to have fun,” he added. “We put a lot of work in our productions, and we want everyone to come see it.”
For more information on the play, call (225) 294-3256 or visit www.springfieldhighschool.org.
A production by the Springfield High theatre department
When: April 1-6
Where: Springfield High gym, located at 27322 La. Hwy. 42
Times: 9 a.m., 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. April 1-5; 7 p.m. April 6 (dinner theatre performance)
Admission: $5 per ticket for general admission; $25 per ticket for dinner theatre show