The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas is looking for performers to help bring a classic fairy tale to the stage this summer.

In-person auditions for the musical “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella” are set for April 8-10, 2022, at the Arts & Science Center’s main building, 701 S. Main Street, in Pine Bluff. Auditions are by appointment only, and can be arranged by completing the form at asc701.org/auditions. Video auditions are also being accepted through April 10; performers may submit their video with their registration through the same link.

The performances will be held July 22-24 and July 29-31, 2022, and performers must be available for all shows. Rehearsals begin in late April.

The production is sponsored by Simmons Bank.

“Cinderella” includes roles for ages ranging from teen through older adult. The roles include that of Ella (soprano); Prince Topher (baritone); Ella’s cruel stepmother, Madame (mezzo-soprano); stepsisters Gabrielle and Charlotte (both mezzo-soprano); and Marie (soprano), a quirky eccentric who is later revealed as Ella’s fairy godmother in disguise.

Other roles include that of Jean-Michel, an enthusiastic revolutionary; Sebastian, the prince’s Lord Chancellor; and Lord Pinkleton, Sebastian’s second-in-command and the herald for all royal events. There are also numerous ensemble roles available for teens and adults.

In “Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella,” the smart and beautiful young Ella lives in the care of her wicked, self-absorbed stepmother and stepsisters, Charlotte and Gabrielle. Her only friends are “crazy Marie,” revolutionary student Jean-Michel, and the animals in the woods. Meanwhile, Prince Topher is trying to learn his place in the kingdom. When his advisor Sebastian suggests throwing a ball so the prince can meet potential brides, Ella and Topher’s different worlds come together.

The Arts & Science Center’s theater programs director Lindsey Collins will direct, with Joel Anderson as assistant director.

“While the story of Cinderella has always felt like a timeless fairy tale to me — the notion of being whisked away from the toils of our lives by a prince (or having a host of singing mice and bird friends to share in the day to day) — this reimagining instead feels timely and so welcome,” Collins said.

This version of the Cinderella story opened on Broadway in 2013 with an adaptation for the 21st century, while keeping the well-loved musical stylings of Rogers & Hammerstein intact.

Collins explained, “Douglas Carter Beane created a new book for the show with the goal of creating a fairytale for today. The show’s focus shifted from love at first sight to themes of social justice, of calls for charity, generosity, kindness and the ability to reform those around us through forgiveness. The King and Queen are removed; Jean-Michel, a firebrand concerned with the needs of the poor in the community is added and becomes the love interest of one of the not-so-wicked stepsisters. More importantly, Topher (the prince) becomes a well-intentioned and three-dimensional young man though one riddled with self-doubt; Ella becomes a young woman seeking to challenge the status quo. Her fairy godmother rewards her with the invitation to the ball; her glass slippers and magical gown as a reward for her selflessness and compassion.”

Collins encourages anyone regardless of experience to audition. There are also many behind-the-scenes opportunities.

“This production is for everyone, no matter how much or how little theater experience you have,” Collins said. “For those that might be hesitant to audition because they think it’s impossible that they’ll be cast, I have one thing to say, ‘Impossible things are happening every day.’”

For more information, contact Collins via email at [email protected] or call 870-536-3375.

“People should really know that it is a big commitment,” Collins said. “A lot of people put a lot of time and effort into putting on a show, especially a musical, but the juice is definitely worth the squeeze.”

About ASC

The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas (ASC), 701 S. Main St. in Pine Bluff, is accredited with the American Alliance of Museums. ASC presents programming in the visual arts, performing arts, and the sciences through exhibits, performances, classes and local partnerships. Gallery admission is free. ASC is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday–Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. In 2021, ASC opened two new facilities as part of its “ARTx3” campus — The ARTSpace on Main and ART WORKS on Main, at 623 and 627 S. Main St. For more information, visit asc701.org or call 870-536-3375.

Support for ASC is provided in part by the ASC Endowment Fund, the City of Pine Bluff, the Pine Bluff Advertising & Promotion Commission and the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Division of Arkansas Heritage and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional operating support is provided in part by the Windgate Foundation, Ben J. Altheimer Foundation, Kline Family Foundation, Relyance Bank and Simmons Bank.