Outlook: Ohio University News & Information


Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Expanded Horizons: A Cinderella story
Senior's hip-hop fairy tale draws sell-out crowds  

Sep 25, 2009  
By Matt Johnson  

Editor's note: Stories in this student-led Outlook series highlight the distinctive summer experiences of students and faculty from across the academic spectrum. This story will also appear in a new all-digital edition of the alumni magazine, Ohio Today. The digital magazine will debut in October.

This past summer, senior education major Matt Johnson served as music director for a new play, "Cinderella: A Hip-Hop Fairy Tale," which was performed by the Columbus Children's Theatre. Johnson wrote the script, lyrics and music for the play in the spring. Here, Johnson describes his journey from auditions through the show's sold-out run in August.





We auditioned 35 kids, ages 10-16, and we decided to keep them all. There were roles for everybody, and what we wanted to do for the summer was make it a workshop experience for the children. We were going to teach them aspects of theater -- how to audition, how to learn songs, acting advice and different things -- to make them better actors, singers and dancers, and just better people in general.



We had a month to rehearse, and we started the stage production in August. We moved quickly. After we started rehearsals, I had to rewrite the play almost in its entirety because it was too long.



I wasn't really prepared for that. It turned out OK, and the kids needed to adapt. That was something they needed to learn throughout the summer. Adaptability is definitely important.



Once we started the actual performances, it was just something I totally didn't expect. Before we even opened, we sold out three shows out of our 12-show run. It was just the anticipation of something new that people were interested in. Once we opened, all hell broke loose. It was unbelievable. Within two days, we sold out our entire run! It was mind-blowing. We added a 13th encore show because there were so many people who wanted tickets, and we were sold out -- again. As soon as we (advertised it), it sold out. It was insane!



We got great reviews. Theatrevault.com gave us a review. It had a couple of criticisms, which I agreed with, but overall the review was very positive, and the public reception was very positive.



We had some hiccups. Even in the performances we had some things go wrong, but overall the experience was wonderful. The kids really enjoyed the experience.

 

Additional reporting provided by Beth Lipton.

 


Related Links
Ohio Today:  http://www.ohio.edu/ohiotoday/ 
Theater Vault article (following this link takes you outside Ohio University's Web site):  http://theatrevault.com/2009/08/review-roundup-cct-sets-cinderella-to-a-new-beat/  
College of Education:  http://www.coe.ohiou.edu/  

Published: Sep 25, 2009 8:59 AM  



Johnson on the set of his musical 'Cinderella: A Hip Hop Fairytale.' 
Matt Johnson shows off the set of the musical "Cinderella: A Hip Hop Fairytale." The Ohio University senior wrote the story, music and lyrics to the musical that began its 12-show, sold-out run last August.
  

Johnson poses with three members of the cast. 
Johnson has fun with three members of the show's 35-person cast. All of the 10-to-16-year-olds who auditioned were given parts in the musical. 


Photo(s) courtesy of Matt Johnson  





Share this story

Bookmark and Share

Email To:

A valid EMAIL TO address is required. You have entered an invalid email format.
Email From:

A valid EMAIL FROM address is required. You have entered an invalid email format.

 

 Top stories

Feb 4, 2003
Residence halls conserve and recycle
 
Feb 5, 2003
E Street to Late Night: An evening with Max Weinberg
 
Feb 17, 2003
Kenner Bush receives prestigious Founders Citation
 
Wilfred Konneker receives prestigious Founders Citation
 
Mar 5, 2003
The Local Girls to perform at Ohio University Lancaster Campus
 
Sep 2, 2003
Local artist Ora Anderson featured on WOUB's 'Afternoon Edition'
 


Sign up for emergency text messages.
Outlook welcomes your feedback, news items and story ideas
Share comments about the site
Submit an announcement
Share a faculty, staff or departmental achievement

Subscribe to the Outlook listserv


Tel: 740-593-1890    Fax: 740-593-1887   E-mail:
news@ohio.edu
All Rights Reserved