Pantomime Cinderella captivates Luverne campers

Published 12:35 pm Tuesday, June 25, 2024

By Haley Mitchell Godwin

The 21st Century After School Summer Camp Program welcomed the Florida Arts Council’s Fantasy Theater Factory (FTF) to Luverne School on June 11 for a captivating performance of “Cinderella, A Fractured Fairy Tale.” Students from across the county enrolled in the summer camp, and members of the community attended the unique theatrical adaptation of the fairy tale, which combined drama, comedy, slapstick, music and acrobatics to retell the classic “Cinderella” story in an engaging new way.

Summer camp program director LaFreda Griffin expressed her satisfaction with the event, noting that both students and community members were enthralled by the performance.

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“I was very pleased with the way the performers engaged the students,” Griffin said. “The students stayed attentive and involved. Members of the community were very impressed with the performance and the 21st Century After School Summer Camp is very grateful to have had the Fantasy Factory Theatre from Miami Florida to come all this way to perform Cinderella at Luverne School.”

The program began with an engaging introduction to pantomime theater by FTF’s Associate Artistic Director, Co-Director and Understudy Rommell Arellan Marinassla. Marinas, who also performed in the play, educated the students on theater etiquette, teaching them when to be quiet and when to laugh and respond during the performance.

The high-energy show kept the young audience riveted from start to finish. Following the performance, the floor was opened for an interactive session, allowing students to express their curiosity and share their thoughts. Marinas facilitated a lively discussion, posing questions about the play to the students.

During the discussion, Langston Walters, a rising third grader at Highland Home School, eagerly shared his thoughts in response to a question about the stepsisters’ behavior in the play.

“They were not nice to Cinderella,” Walters said. “They were constantly ordering her around and telling her what to do even when she was already doing it or even if it was something that the stepsisters were supposed to do themselves.”

Fantasy Theater Factory, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit theater organization established in 1978 and incorporated in 1982, has a longstanding commitment to providing quality cultural programming for young audiences. FTF manages the Sandrell Rivers Theater, a state-of-the-art black box theater in Miami, and operates an extensive touring program both statewide and internationally. The organization’s Theater for Young Audiences (TYA) programs focus on childhood literacy and ecology, while also addressing topics such as fitness, history, diversity, self-esteem, peer pressure, and bullying prevention. Additionally, FTF offers cultural arts workshop residency programs for at-risk youth, children with disabilities, and the general student population.

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