Children’s Theatre Company Turns Cinderella Story on End

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
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Nov 06, 2009 / 0 comments

What happens to the Glass Slipper is the least of our worries.
Children’s Theatre Company Turns Cinderella Story on End With Hilarity and Splendor this Holiday Season

MINNEAPOLIS—Expect the unexpected: that’s the message Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) is spreading this holiday season. Glass slipper? Check. Charming prince? Check. But, at CTC, spinning Cinderella into a thoroughly fresh fairy tale involves a little heart and hilarity.


Children’s Theatre Company

Reed Sigmund and Dean Holt (Dorcas and Pearl)


Enveloped in outrageous costumes and often at the center of the show’s physical gags, Reed Sigmund and Dean Holt attempt to steal the show as Cinderella’s ugly—and over-the-top—arch nemeses, stepsisters Dorcas and Pearl. The actors, along with the addition of Autumn Ness, as Cinderella’s evil stepmother, bring to life the English panto: a holiday theatre tradition that includes outlandish physical comedy, outrageous gags, modern-day references, audience participation and asides, and men cast as women. 

“This is a Cinderella of tenderness, beauty and wonderful comic energy and invention,” says Peter C. Brosius, CTC artistic director. “The actors have embraced the wonderful elements of the English panto with gusto—from the spectacle of the palace, to the slapstick madness of the stepsisters, to Cinderella’s story of hope and redemption, there is a banquet of the senses here. It is fresh, unexpected and full of surprises.”

A tender and timeless love story, Cinderella is set amid a gorgeous and opulent scenic design by Eduardo Sicangco, and stars Erik Pearson as a debonair Prince Eric, and young Maeve Moynihan as Cinderella.  Moynihan, returning to the CTC stage, perfectly captures Cinderella’s warm and hopeful spirit. Her previous credits include: Korczak’s Children, Esperanza Rising and Ramona Quimby (CTC); A Christmas Carol and Little House on the Prairie (Guthrie Theatre); and The Grapes of Wrath (The Minnesota Opera).  Pearson has appeared locally at the Guthrie Theater and studied at both St. Olaf College and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.


Prince Erik, Children’s Theatre Company

Erik Pearson (Prince Erik)


Bringing much of the panto form’s hilarity and outrageous gags to life, are the dynamic talents of Sigmund, Holt and Ness. Ness and Sigmund are in their tenth seasons at CTC. Among Sigmund’s most note-worthy productions:  A Year with Frog and Toad, HONK! The Ugly Duckling and as classic character “Ernie” in Bert & Ernie, Goodnight!  A versatile talent, Ness’s credits include The Magic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Romeo & Juliet, The Snow Queen and Prom. An Ivey Award-winner for his role in CTC’s Reeling, Holt has been in more than 50 of CTC’s productions, including the extremely popular If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.


Cinderella, Children’s Theatre Company

Maeve Moynihan (Cinderella)


Costume design for Cinderella is also by Sicango, whose inventive work for Ramona Quimby filled the stage with mermaids, gypsies and headless characters in the 2008-2009 season. Among Sicango’s highly acclaimed credits are: The Spring Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall; Carmen and Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci for the New York City Opera; the Broadway revival of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; and the World Premiere of The Harlem Nutcracker.

Choreography is by Joe Chvala, founder and artistic director of the acclaimed dance company Flying Foot Forum. Chvala has directed, choreographed and been commissioned to create new works for the Guthrie Theater, Walker Art Center, Minnesota Opera and Zenon Dance Company and is a recipient of the Ivey and Sage Awards.

A holiday treat for CTC guests, Cinderella features original music, created by three-time McKnight Fellow and international composer Victor Zupanc and presented by a seven-piece live orchestra. Equally as enchanting is the work of Eric J. Van Wyk, whose puppet design brings Cinderella’s mice and birds to life.  Lighting design is by Paul Whitaker, and Sean Healey co-designs sound with Victor Zupanc.



Cinderella opens Fri., Nov. 13 (previews begin Tues., Nov. 10), and runs through Sat., Jan. 2. Holiday show tickets range from $29–$44 for adults and $20–$32 for children (17 & under), students and seniors and are available by calling (612) 874-0400 or by visiting



Also, upcoming in the 2009-2010 season are: a charming production of Mr. McGee & the Biting Flea, by Australia’s Patch Theatre; According to Coyote, Iron Ring, Disney’s Mulan, Jr. and The Biggest Little House in the Forest.



Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) is the first theatre for young people to win the coveted Tony® Award for Outstanding Regional Theater (2003). Founded in 1965, CTC serves more than 300,000 people annually and is one of the 20 largest theater companies in the nation. CTC is noted for defining worldwide standards for youth theatre with an innovative mix of classic tales, celebrated international productions and challenging new work.

Photos courtesy and Copyright of Ann Marsden.