HAMPTON — A pumpkin carriage will carry one special girl to the ball this weekend as the Winnacunnet High School drama club tells the tale of how a glass slipper wins her the heart of a prince.
The name of the play technically cannot be advertised for copyright reasons, nor the titular character's name, but WHS students are pretty confident the story's premise is known to most. Senior Katharina Brandt said it has been an honor to play one of the best-known princess characters in fairy tale canon.
"It's a huge honor," said Brandt. "Especially with such an amazing cast. It's been amazing to put the whole show together with everyone."
The play is set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, then 2 p.m. on Sunday, the performance in the WHS auditorium. Music will be performed live by a student ensemble in the orchestra pit.
The students say this version of the princess tale sticks to the main storyline but goes a little deeper into the characters than other renditions do. Brandt says her main character is dynamic, sometimes sweet but admittedly a little crazy. Her stepsisters, often portrayed as nemeses, draw sympathy as they struggle to be good enough in the eyes of their mother, Brandt said.
"They're mean... yes," said Brandt. "At the same time, you kind of feel bad for them because of who they've become through growing up with the stepmother."
The play also puts a spotlight on the prince's family and how his parents are eager for their son to find happiness - as well as have their grandchildren.
"They also have a little bit of ulterior motives," said Adele Sinagra, who plays one of the mice that befriend the main character. "They long to hear the pitter-patter of feet on the ground."
Jada Miles said she enjoys playing the fairy godmother and how the script gives more depth to her character than some other versions. Miles said the audience gets to see the fairy godmother think critically through problems along the journey.
"You get to kind of see her development more, and you get to really help (the main character) get to the ball in a different way," said Miles. "She has to think about it rather than just waving a magic wand."
And, "She's more sassy," said Miles, which she said is fun.
This will be the last play at WHS for the group's seniors, who described this weekend's performances as bittersweet. One senior, Jayson Cassetta, said he is looking forward to studying theater design at college. The group reflected Wednesday during rehearsal on how they became a close-knit group together starting with some of their first plays like "9 to 5" and culminating with this weekend's fairy tale classic.
"We've kind of become a family out of this," said Miles. "At the same time, it will be good to see the new talent come in and see the underclassmen blossom like we did."