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Students slip into Rodgers and Hammerstein production

By: Eileen Wilson, Telegraph Correspondent
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The genius of Rodgers and Hammerstein will take center stage as Folsom High School Performing Arts opens their production of “Cinderella” on Nov. 17. “This play had been on both Ginger Ekroth (the musical director) and my short list for a number of years,” said Tamara Mosier, drama teacher and director. “We wanted to do a fairytale musical.” And Mosier has directed a multitude of successful shows during her 16 years at Folsom High School. “Some of my favorites have been ‘Anything Goes,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ and last year we did ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ set in the 1960s,” she said. Mosier may be just the person to direct outstanding theater. She began her career at Folsom High School, fell in love with students and staff, and decided to stay indefinitely. Teaching both drama and U.S. history, she is also pursuing a Master’s Degree of Theater Studies in Direction and Design at Southern Oregon University in Ashland. With a cast and crew of 60 students, plus additional help from alumni students, and even alumni parents, her schedule can get hectic. “It’s very rewarding, but also keeps you on your toes. You have to be organized and really flexible,” Mosier said. With performers from freshmen to seniors, from new actors to seasoned pros, there’s a lot of teaching going on. But with over 100 students auditioning for parts, it’s easy to make sure the quality remains high. “We’ve really picked the cream of the crop for this show. The talent and energy is top caliber,” Mosier said. For Disney lovers, the plot will be familiar. A handsome prince, a beautiful but mistreated stepdaughter — “the story has been adapted for the stage; the timeless enchantment of a magical fairy tale,” Mosier said. But the play is based on the original teleplay version, a classic, according to Mosier, and includes the original Rodgers and Hammerstein lyrics. “The characters are more realistic — less cartoonish, as compared to the Disney movie,” Mosier said. One of Mosier’s favorite songs in the show is “Impossible.” “It’s a song that talks about how impossible things can seem, but then we learn that they can become possible,” she said. The cast is gearing up for large audiences for the family-friendly show. Mosier hopes that in addition to students and the huge group of community members who support the school’s theater, that parents who might not be familiar with Folsom High School’s Performing Arts will bring their younger children. “It’s a classic tale of happily ever after, and it will definitely appeal to the kids,” she said. Student Choreographer Sarah Hill is excited for opening night. Selected through an application process, in part because of her extensive dance experience, the junior has no trouble getting her peers to respect her direction. “It’s really fun,” she said of rehearsals. Some of Hill’s favorite dance numbers include routines that are specific to “featured dancers” — dancers who are in the show specifically because of their dance ability. “I like the Gavotte — it’s a serious dance, a folk dance, almost, and it’s really complicated,” Hill said of the sequence that takes place immediately before Cinderella makes her grand entrance at the ball. She encourages everyone in the community to come to the musical. “You should see the show because not only do students put in a lot of work, but it’s not something you would expect to see at a high school,” Hill said. “It’s a truly professional performance.” * * * “Cinderella” Who: Folsom High School Performing Arts When: 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday Nov. 17-19 and Dec. 1-3, 2 p.m. Saturday Nov. 19 Where: Jill Solberg Performing Arts Theatre, Folsom High School, 1655 Iron Point Road, Folsom Tickets: $10 adults, $8 students, seniors and children