Making a musical – GVT presents world premiere of ‘Cinderellish’

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Greenbrier Valley Theatre (GVT), the State Professional Theatre of West Virginia, presents the never-before-seen musical “Cinderellish.” This world premiere production runs July 30 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 3-6 at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are $30 for general admission, $27 for seniors and $20 for children/students. For tickets or more information, call GVT’s box office at 304-645-3838 or visit www.gvtheatre.org. The program is presented with financial assistance from the WV Division of Culture & History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts.
Emmy Award-winning composer Arnold Margolin and Weslie Brown bring their updated version of the classic fairy tale to GVT. In the play, children’s book author Elizabeth Summers finally has her big chance, until she realizes she’s been mistaken for adult novelist Elizabeth Somers. If Elizabeth can play the part, she just might be able to realize her dreams.
Producing a world premiere musical can be daunting, but with a team of professionals, it becomes the chance to bring something new and original to the stage. It creates an exciting opportunity to contribute to the theatrical world.
Director Cathey Sawyer, GVT’s producing artistic director, is once again taking that chance. Having been a part of 10 world premieres throughout her career, of which she directed half, Sawyer is well prepared to make the leap.
“It’s exciting, but it’s also a little scary. If a show’s been produced before, you have some idea of how it will play to an audience, but with a new script that is a total unknown,” Sawyer said.
A world premiere production requires close collaboration. Playwright and lyricist Margolin has been working with Technical Director Josh Robinson to ensure the stage and settings match what Scenic Designer Richard Crowell, Margolin and composer Brown envisioned.
Brown has also been working with Music Director Kermit Medsker. While many script changes don’t affect him much, score changes do. Being able to adapt quickly between rewrites and cast members is a skill Medsker is lucky to have.
“Rehearsal time must be assigned to teach the actors the new stuff, and it helps if the pianist is a helluva sight reader!” Medsker said.
These collaborations are necessary for a successful premiere and everything must be communicated to the entire cast and crew. For these changes to be effective the, director, Sawyer, is especially important. She must be the one voice all of these changes are heard through, making the transition process easier for everyone involved.

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