Burnaby performers step into the spotlight for Cinderella

Young Burnaby performers will be in the spotlight when Children’s Theatre of Richmond offers up its spring production.

The theatre group is staging Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, May 17 to 25 at the Granville Island Stage. In the cast will be local performer Yasmin Pena as the Godmother, along with Kia Peters and Addison Jones-Ramos.

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Yasmin Pena
Yasmin Pena is onstage as the Godmother in Cinderella. - contributed

All three are experienced performers. Yasmin’s previous roles have included Tinkerbell in Peter Pan and the title role in The Little Mermaid, as well as Storyteller in Once on This Island. Addison played the role of young Faith in Seasons: A Magical Musical, and Kia recently reached the semifinals of the Nikkei Matsuri festival’s Star Talent Search.

Cinderella, the musical, was created as a vehicle for Julie Andrews in 1957 and broadcast to the largest television audience of the time. For this production, it will be reinterpreted with a nod to the story’s Asian origins.

The theatre group notes that, while researching the play, the creative team was surprised to discover that the familiar fairytale appeared more than a thousand years ago, in China’s Tang Dynasty, as Ye Xian, the story of a downtrodden girl who confides in a magical goldfish instead of her fairy godmother. The production will reflect the story of Ye Xian through design elements including fabric and colour choices and symbolism.

“Audiences familiar with Asian culture will recognize these references to the heroine who won the heart of a prince with her charming personality and unique beauty,” says a write-up about the show.

The production will include some special features for young audiences (ages two to 12), including backstage tours with some productions and talkback sessions after others. It’s onstage from Friday, May 17 to Saturday, May 25, with both matinee and evening options.

Granville Island Stage is at 1585 Johnston St. Tickets for the production range from $18 to $48. For tickets and full schedule information, see http://www.ctora.ca/cinderella.html

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