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"The Ash Girl" Presents at Cinderella Twist at St. Lawrence University


Last updated 11/16/2015 at 4:54am

"The Ash Girl" Presents at Cinderella Twist at St. Lawrence University

A fairytale mashup will hit St. Lawrence University's Gulick Theatre stage with Timberlake Wertenbaker's telling of "The Ash Girl," which will be performed Wednesday, Nov. 4, through Saturday, Nov. 7, beginning at 8 p.m. each night.

Jennifer Thomas, assistant professor of performance and communication arts and director of this semester's MainStage Production, describes "Ash Girl" as a "Collision of Cinderella and the seven deadly sins."

"One of the things that intrigued me about this script is the continued fascination with this Cinderella story ... it goes back thousands of years," Thomas said.

This new take on the classic fairytale weaves poetry and movement together to tell a tale of a journey filled with grief, depression, hope and ultimately forgiveness. The play follows Ashgirl into a forest, where she encounters a slew of animals and deadly sins, ranging from her friends the wise Owl and useful Otter to the sinful Slothworm and Greedmonkey.

"What we get there is this examination of variety," Thomas said. "It's an option that allows for huge creativity. It's a great initial collaboration project for us as a group."

While this isn't Wertenbaker's most famous script, Thomas said she chose it because she wanted a flexible sized cast for her first show at St. Lawrence. Although the play may be produced with as few as 10 cast members, she was able to recruit a full roster of over 20 students.

The cast includes Jillian Andrews '18, Maggie Cummins '16, Paige Currie '19, Annie Dietderich '16, Giancarlo Filippi '16, Kevin Frommer '17, Noa Graham '19, Devin Guilfoyle '19, Gabrielle Gurney '18, Nicole Hamilton '19, Louise Holdridge '18, Parker Johnson '19, Wali Khawaja '19, Nicole Kubishta '19, Corinne Leduc '19, Austin Liebers '17, Chloe McElligott '16, Lexi Perlow '19, Emily Reiniger '16, Makayla Rogers '19, Rhonny Rosario '16, and Taylor Sukdolak '16.

As a veteran of St. Lawrence's MainStage productions, Annie Dietderich, who portrays Mother/Ma-ma, has enjoyed the twist on a classic fable.

"I love that this play is a deeper and more relatable version of Cinderella, in my opinion," she said. "I like that it has darker themes."

Annie isn't the only member of the "Ash Girl" cast and crew with input on the production. As a new initiative this year, Thomas has worked with the students to launch a behind-the-scenes blog, titled Flipping the Stage. In an effort to open exposure to their audience, "Ash Girl" cast members constantly post photos, updates, and reflections on the website.

"We love to share our work, but one of the things we often talk about in the theater world is that what we make is ephemeral," Thomas said, "It exists in the moment and it becomes part of history and is only tangible through memories. Audiences are only really invited in for two hours, with this we wanted to invite them in at an entry point during rehearsal."

Admission is free, and all performances are open to the public. Gulick Theatre is located in the Noble Center at 23 Romoda Drive. Canton, NY View a campus map at

For more information, contact 315-229-5166.


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