This year, Leesville’s theatre department is presenting the magical Cinderella— the well known tale of a beautiful girl harassed by her awful step family who, with the help of a sassy godmother, finds love with Prince Charming.
Cue “10 Minutes Ago,” the sappy love ballad that chimes in when Cinderella and the Prince first lay eyes on one another.
Ellyse Hampshire, senior, will play the lead role. She has been in several of LRHS’s productions and has also been in chorus for four years. With pretty vocals and a small stature, Hampshire is a great representation of Cinderella. Most theatre department savvies expected her for that role.
MaryRobert McGrath, junior, is playing the godmother. McGrath has also been in several productions. With a rich voice great for belting out those sassy, motherly chords, McGrath does a wonderful job.
Now this leaves Prince Charming. Unlike the other two leads, an unknown in the theatre departement is playing Prince Christopher. An undercover acting talent, recognized only in chorus for his rich, spot on voice, Jake Van Ollefen came out of the wood-work this year to play the much anticipated part of Prince Charming.
“It was definitely shocking to get a lead my first time auditioning, but Ms Covington [the chorus teacher] asked me to try out, so I kind of assumed she needed me for something important,” said Van Ollefen.
He has never acted before but has been in chorus all four years of his high school career.
“I decided to audition because lots of people told me it would be a lot of fun,” continued Van Ollefan, “and being a senior, this year wasn’t too busy for me so I decided to broaden my horizons.”
As for receiving the role of prince charming, Van Ollefen was flattered.
“It definitely means a lot. It shows they [the directors] have confidence me. But it’s also going to be hard to live up to; it is every girl’s dream to be swept away by Prince Charming, and I’m not sure how good I am at sweeping. I think I should leave that to Cinderella,” he continued jokingly.
As for working on the show, Van Ollefen is most excited about getting credit for his talent.
“I’ve never gotten a lead, never really been top dog, so it’ll be nice once the final curtain closes to get that recognition,” concluded Van Ollefen.