Students to star in storybook selection

printed in the Greece Post, March 10, 2005

Olympia's production of "Cinderella " opens next week.

By MELISSA LANG / mlang@mpnewspapers.com

Olympia senior Tricia Coleman has played a peasant in the past, first as a freshman in "Brigadoon, " followed by a junior-year role in "Fiddler on the Roof. "

So she always hoped to end things with a princess part - to have a ball before the clock strikes midnight on her high school musical career.

But did she ever think she'd land the starring role in a fairy-tale favorite like "Cinderella, " which opens one week from today?

"I only wished, " she said during a rehearsal Monday. "This means a lot. "

Tricia is one of about 70 students involved in the upcoming production, under the helm of first-time Olympia director John Barthelmes.

"I've been wanting to direct high school musicals, " said Barthelmes, who performs regularly with community theater groups but said he still misses the company of student actors. "There's something different about a school show. There is such pride in the production - everyone has a job, and they're all really proud of what they do. It's nice. "

Case in point: Freshman Ryan Swift, who has performed in many a middle-school musical but was thrilled to land the role of a steward in "Cinderella, " his first turn as an Olympia thespian.

"This is different - the costumes, the stage are on a larger scale, " he said. "In middle school, things are more makeshift. So I'm really enjoying this. "

Plus, he said, it's always the most fun doing shows everyone seems to know.

"'Cinderella' is magical, " he said. "And every girl's dream is to become her. "

Junior Aaron Polak - who will play the prince - is looking forward to opening night, and the audience he expects to attract.

"I'm having a lot of fun so far, " he said. "I know the little kids are really excited to come see it, too. "

Fast facts: Olympia High School's upcoming musical production of "Cinderella "

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, March 17; 7 p.m. Friday, March 18; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, March 19

Where: Olympia High School auditorium, 1139 Maiden Lane

How: Advance tickets are $8 and available at Wegmans. Remaining tickets will be $9 at the door.