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Evangel Heights students excited about staging 'Cinderella' story

| Wednesday, May 14, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
(From left) Brennen McCall, Aleksey Checkeye, Hannah Jones, Megan Joyce, Angelia Gottron, Maura McCall, Katie Pugliese, Andrew Schilffarth and Emerson Watkins (front) rehearse a scene from Evangel Heights Christian Academy’s “Cinderella.”
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Aleksey Checkeye (left) and Hannah Jones rehearse a scene from Evangel Heights Christian Academy's production of 'Cinderella.'
Erica Dietz | Valley News Dispatch
Brennen McCall and Aleksey Checkeye rehearse a scene from Evangel Heights Christian Academy's production of 'Cinderella.'

Evangel Heights Christian Academy in Sarver takes the stage as the final area high-school musical of the season — Rodgers and Hammerstein's “Cinderella.”

Kristen Weidner will direct for the first time after getting her feet wet last year as assistant director.

“We have 40 students in our cast,” Weidner says, “along with 17 stage members and many parent volunteers. The students have spent so many late nights learning lines, songs and choreography. The community will be very pleased to see the talent flow out of these students.”

Junior Aleksey Checkeye says she feels honored to portray the title character. “I couldn't be more excited, because I get to transform into a new character throughout the play. The difficult part for me is my stage fright. I am, by nature, shy and timid. Thankfully, I am surrounded by my boyfriend onstage (who happens to play the other lead role as Prince) and my best friend, too. This is my sixth musical, and it always pushes me out of my comfort zone. I can't wait for showtime and to see it all come together.”

Senior Brennen McCall doesn't have to use his acting chops onstage to show affection for Cinderella. “My girlfriend plays Cinderella, so it's safe to say this role is pretty enjoyable for me. I'm so proud of her,” McCall says.

He'll be performing in his fourth musical, but this year is the first time he has “gone big with a lead role.”

“I'm thankful I got the part, and I'm confident that this year's musical is going to be one of the best productions Evangel Heights has ever done.”

Junior Hannah Jones admits she's loud and outgoing in real life, and she is utilizing her natural traits in her role as Godmother.

“This is my sixth musical and my favorite part of the year. I can barely wait. This is an amazing opportunity playing Godmother. ... I feel comfortable on the stage and love the fact that Godmother plays mom to Cinderella and lets her dreams come true.”

Musicals are a way of life for senior Eli Harvey, playing the role of Herald.

“I have been in every musical since fourth grade, and my character Herald is the King's right-hand man. I get to ad lib a lot and improvise. I love to be spontaneous and on the fly. I love acting, and this role allows me to think of things to do on my own with the character.”

Joyce Hanz is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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