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Cinderella Background

Nov 3 - Jan 5, 2020

Best enjoyed by Grades K - 12

Student Matinee

This event has passed.

You’re invited to a beautiful Victorian Holiday party—but be prepared to check your coat, and all sense of tradition, at the door, because anything can happen in this high-spectacle, glamorously shameless musical comedy. We’re really not supposed to say, but there may be… A hype cam? Cake? T-shirt cannons? Jokes ripped straight from the headlines? Absolutely yes! With a track list filled with modern pop hits and an updated script that spins stunning elegance into madcap, sidesplitting comedy at high speed, this is one party you won’t want to miss!

Adapted by John B. Davidson
Original Music and Arrangements by Victor Zupanc
Directed by Peter C. Brosius
Choreography by Linda Talcott Lee
Music Direction by Jason Hansen

  • Run time

    2 hours with one intermission

  • Best enjoyed by

    Grades K - 12

  • Stage

    UnitedHealth Group Stage


About the Show

  • This show is done in the pantomime style, meaning it contains original music, traditional holiday carols, and current popular songs; jokes and references to pop culture; tons of audience interaction; and lots of slapstick comedy.
  • Children’s Theatre Company has produced this show 15 times!
  • The UnitedHealth Group stage seats up to 745 people per performance. 
  • We know that teachers are the best judge to determine the right fit for their unique group of students. We recommend Cinderella for students in Kindergarten-12th grade due to the length of this performance. Check out the synopsis and content advisories for full information.

Content Advisories


Language: 1 out of 5 stars
Cinderella is called mean names by her stepsisters. The stepsisters call each other mean names.

Themes and Situations: 2 out of 5 stars
Cinderella is an orphan. Her stepmother and stepsisters are mean to her.

Violence & Scariness: 1 out of 5 stars
The stepsisters tear Cinderella’s dress. The stepsisters engage in exaggerated comedic fighting and squabbling. Stepsisters lock Cinderella in the broom closet.

Sensory Advisories: 2 out of 5 stars
Volume will be high during musical numbers. There are many moments of audience interactions, and the performance ends in a dance party.

Potentially Anxious Moments: 2 out of 5 stars
Volunteers are called up onstage from the audience to help the stepsisters try on the glass slipper. One adult audience member is chosen by the stepmother to flirt with the stepsisters. This audience member is engaged with many times during this performance. There are many moments of audience interactions and the performance ends in a dance party. Stepsisters and Stepmother come into the audience space.

Plot Synopsis

this is a complete synopsis of the play, so it is full of spoilers


Lights rise on a Victorian Christmas party. A family is singing a traditional carol. As they sing, guests begin to arrive. The host begins to tell the children at the party the story of Cinderella. As he tells it, a curtain rises and we see the kitchen of the home where Cinderella lives with her stepmother and stepsisters. It is morning and, as usual, the stepsisters, Dorcas and Pearl, are ordering Cinderella around. The stepmother reads in the newspaper that the prince is throwing a ball for all eligible women in the kingdom.

A mouse appears in the kitchen which causes the stepfamily to panic and attempts to kill it. Cinderella saves the mouse and asks to attend the ball. Stepmother informs Cinderella that she is no allowed to attend the ball because royalty don’t want to rub elbows with a servant. Cinderella leaves the kitchen and the stepmother chooses an eligible bachelor int he audience for the stepsisters to practice flirting with.

Moments later, the mail is delivered and the Stepmother reads the audience submitted letters aloud. The mail also includes invitations to the ball for all the ladies of the house, including Cinderella. containing invitations to the ball for all of the ladies of the house including Cinderella. Dorcus and Pearl begin to fight over who will be chosen to dance with the prince. Cinderella asks again if she can attend the ball but stepmother tells her she can only go if she finishes her work and can find something appropriate to wear. Her friends, the birds and the mice, appear. They help Cinderella complete her chores and imagine together what dancing at the ball will be like. Cinderella realizes that even if she does get her work done, she has nothing appropriate to wear.

There is a knock on the door. It is a woman begging for food and warmth. Cinderella invites her inside to warm herself by the fire and offers to share her small bowl of soup with her. In a moment of magic, the beggar woman waves a wand and all of the cleaning is magically done. After the chores are done, the woman reveals a beautiful gown from the closet. Cinderella is thrilled—now she can go to the ball!

We return to the scene of the Victorian Christmas Party. The children listening to the story are happy that it looks like Cinderella will attend the ball.

The curtain rises again and we see Dorcas and Pearl getting ready for the ball and running Cinderella ragged with their insistence that she help them prepare. Cinderella escapes and the girls continue to get ready and practice dancing with the prince. Cinderella appears in her new dress and tells her stepmother that she has finished her chores. But the stepsisters tear Cinderella’s dress to shreds and the stepmother rips up her invitation! As they leave for the ball, Cinderella is left alone and in despair.

Back at the Victorian party, a little girl listening to the story begins to cry—she is sad that Cinderella won’t be able to go to the ball. The host comforts her, telling her to keep listening….the story isn’t over yet! He makes her laugh by singing a silly song.

In the kitchen, Cinderella lies weeping on the floor in the tattered remains of her dress. The beggar woman appears again. She urges Cinderella to follow her into the garden. There, the beggar woman transforms into Cinderella’s fairy godmother and, with a wave of her wand, transforms a pumpkin into a coach and mice into horses and presents Cinderella with a beautiful gown to wear to the ball. As Cinderella prepares to leave, the fairy godmother warns her that she must return home by midnight. At midnight, the magic will end, and all of Cinderella’s fine things will disappear.

At the palace, the prince is clearly hesitant to attend the ball. He argues that a king needs more than a queen and he doesn’t yet know how to please his kingdom. He is introduced to all of the eligible women in the room. A servant boy trips and falls. All of the guests are disgusted but the prince shows kindness and helps him. The stepmother and Dorcas and Pearl arrive, disrupting the ball with their rude manners and blatant attempts to woo the prince. They fling t-shirts into the audience while Stepmother flirts with Lord High Chamberlain. A chase ensues with the stepsisters running over the crowd to get to the prince. Suddenly, Cinderella appears and the prince is immediately taken with her beauty and grace. Cinderella dances with the servant boy which shocks all of the guests. The prince interrupts the dance, praising the boys dance moves, but asks for a chance to dance with Cinderella. Forgetting all of the other guests, he spends the rest of the night dancing with Cinderella. The stepsisters look on while eating pizza from the audience. Then, as the clock begins to strike midnight, Cinderella flees. The prince is distraught that he has lost her, but when he finds her glass slipper on the stairs, he vows to search the kingdom until her finds her.

Back at the house the next morning, the stepmother, Dorcas, and Pearl are bemoaning the fact that they were entirely overshadowed at the ball by the beautiful stranger who appeared and captivated the prince. When they hear Cinderella humming a song from the night before under her breath, they realize she is the girl from the ball! They lock her in the closet and hide the key. Just then, the Lord High Chamberlain appears at the door. He has been sent by the prince to have every woman in the kingdom try on the glass slipper. Dorcas and Pearl try everything they can think of to get the shoe to fit, but they fail. The audience tells the Lord Chamberlain that Cinderella is locked in the closet and they begin searching for the key. Just then, the prince enters and immediately recognizes Cinderella. She tries on the slipper, and it fits perfectly. Leaving her stepmother and stepsisters aghast at the turn of events, Cinderella invites the mice to live at the ball with her and the prince.

At the Victorian Christmas party, the little girl is delighted at the happy ending to Cinderella’s story.

At the palace, as punishment for their treatment of Cinderella, the stepmother and stepsisters have been put to work, cleaning and preparing for Cinderella’s wedding. Cinderella and the prince enter and exchange their vows. Afterward, Cinderella reveals that her real name is Ella and promises that everyone in the kingdom will be treated equally. The prince refers to the fairytale to see what should be done to the stepsisters but Ella stops him. She forgives her stepmother and stepsisters for their cruelty and invites them to share in her happiness. They join in the wedding festivities as Cinderella and the prince celebrate their marriage.

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Flipgrid Discovery Library

Flipgrid is an asynchronous education engagement tool that allows students to access specific media or curriculum-based resources while interacting with classmates and educators via video. CTC’s Flipgrid topics explore technical theatre, mindfulness, songwriting, playwriting, and more. Copy the topics directly to your Flipgrid classroom to get the creativity started!


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More Information

Cinderella Student Matinee

Nov 3 - Jan 5, 2020

This event has passed.