USM Theatre Thrills Thousands with 'Cinderella'

12/6/2012 12:00:00 AM

(Leavenworth, Kan.)—A University of Saint Mary record crowd of over 3,500 turned out for the USM theatre program’s production of Cinderella, with Saint Mary theatre students performing 10 shows over the final days of November and opening weekend of December.

The USM’s production of Cinderella, selected for this year’s edition of the always popular and family-friendly holiday production, opened to the general public Nov. 30 after a run of afternoon matinées for school classes and the Girl Scouts. Additional public dates—including a Sunday afternoon matinée added to meet community demand—were held on Dec. 1 and 2.

The Saint Mary production was based on the Rodgers & Hammerstein version that debuted on television in 1957, and received excellent word-of-mouth reviews from theatregoers.

Van Ibsen, director of USM’s theatre program, said “we’ve had great responses from the community on shows before, but we’ve never had this kind of response from the community. Word quickly spread about the quality of the show.”

Ibsen added that he was proud of the theatre students, who, in turn, were thrilled by the level of community support.

“They were excited to play to packed house after packed house,” Ibsen said. “They were excited both by the audiences, and how appreciative the audiences were to meet with them after the show.

“Our students went well beyond the call of duty on this play, and worked harder than many previous casts. Even though they were tired, they never failed to muster up the energy necessary to do a production like that.”

The USM theater program has two additional productions upcoming for the current academic year, including God of Carnage at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 7, 8, and 9, and The Learned Ladies at 7:30 p.m. on April 18, 19, and 20.