Disney Dreams Come True

Thespians throw a “Prince and Princess Tea Party”


Brooke Huffman

Bottom Row: Michelle Yoder (11), Annette Oliphant (12), Emily Gann (12) and Anna Decker (11) Top Row: Wesley Nichols (12), Lizzie Kayser (11), Avery Schlattman (10), Cassie Tarrant (10), Ashley Haperberger (10), Shaina Feinstein (11), Amanda Yoder (10) and Michael Gannon (10).

Brooke Huffman, Co-Editor-in-Chief

In preparation for the upcoming production of “Cinderella,” thespians threw a Prince and Princess Tea Party on Oct. 19 in collaboration with Educators Rising. The primary purpose was to advertise, but it’s impact stretched much further than that. With the help of more than 30 volunteers, 14 of which were dressed up as various Disney characters, and around 20 kids, the party made its mark on both the community and the theatre program.

While the Thespian Executive Board, comprised of seniors Alison Flitter, Annette Oliphant, Dylan Lindke and Julia Deters, and sophomores Brooke Huffman, Lizzie Kayser and Michelle Yoder, were behind the idea, Kayser was placed in charge of planning the event.

“I had always wanted to do something, since Cinderella’s our first show that will appeal to a younger audience, I kind of wanted to do something to connect them with our theatre program through this show,” Kayser said.

The party may seem simple, but behind the scenes it had so much more depth.

“It was a little bit stressful, but I think it turned out pretty well, I basically took all of our ideas as an exec board and figured out how to realistically put them together. I had to figure out where all the volunteers went, what activities we would do and how that would work with the different age ranges of kids we had, and how to make it the best experience for them,” Kayser said.

The actors cast as the variety Disney icons that entertained the kids were seniors Annette Oliphant (Evil Stepmother), Dylan Lindke (Knight), Emily Gann (Fairy Godmother), Julia Deters (Tinkerbell) and Wesley Nichols (Prince Charming), juniors Anna Decker (Evil Stepsister), Lizzie Kayser (Anna), Michelle Yoder (Cinderella) and Shaina Feinstein (Aurora), and sophomores Amanda Yoder (Belle), Ashley Haperberger (Ariel), Avery Schlattman (Rapunzel), Cassie Tarrant (Elsa) and Michael Gannon (Lord Pinkleton). For many of the actors dressing up like the characters was a childhood fantasy, and they were happy to be involved.

“It was so fun to dress up as a princess! I’ve always wanted to get to dress up as a princess and interact with little kids, it was pretty much a dream come true to me,” Deters said.

The event began with Lord Pinkleton, the town cryer played by Gannon, announcing each of the kids and dividing them into two groups. From there the groups split, one heading to the dressing room for makeovers and the other was sent on a quest to find Cinderella’s missing slipper. The magic was everywhere, and quite literally, as Gann tossed “fairy dust” on the kids mid-makeover. After the groups switched activities, they were sent back into the theater for pumpkin painting, snacks, and a mini ball. Gann, Nichols, Decker, Kayser, Michelle Yoder, Feinstein, Amanda Yoder, Schlattman and Tarrant performed songs as their respective characters, before joining everyone to dance across the stage to classic Disney tracks.

“I think the goal of it was both to advertise Cinderella, that was the surface level goal, and to fundraise, but I think the main thing that we’re trying to achieve is to build community connections,” Kayser said. “When you’re younger there’s not really a lot of opportunities to learn about theatre and things like that, and the fine arts. I think this showed a lot of kids what we have to offer, and really gave them a good day.”

Deters, who is a member of both Educators Rising and the Thespian Troupe, commented on how much she loved the event.

“I love working with kids, so it was an amazing experience for me. I think even people who don’t work with kids as much enjoyed it too. It was great to see everything we worked on seem like magic to the kids and watch them have fun with what we put together for them,” Deters said.

Don’t worry if you missed your chance to join this year – the event is going to be annual after its major success.