WEINER, AR (KAIT) - A popular fairytale is the focus of a live production at a Region 8 elementary school.
Weiner Elementary Gifted and Talented students will present Cinderella at the Weiner Cafeteria.
Lavish stage productions have become an expectation at the Weiner Elementary School of Innovation.
Other productions the G.T. program produced in past years include the Holocaust drama Who Will Carry the Word?; A Midsummer Night's Dream; It's a Wonderful Life!; Bye Bye Birdie; and Alice in Wonderland.
These productions require a lot of work from students, teachers, and parents. Patricia Hesse, Weiner G.T. teacher, said while some may not want to put in the effort, the outcome is worth it.
"The personal growth I witness in students has convinced me that children truly need quality experiences in drama," Hesse said. "Students need to develop the ability to speak confidently before a crowd. They need the opportunity to problem solve when it really matters. They need a chance to use creativity for a real purpose. They need to view criticism as a valuable tool. They need the personal satisfaction of giving of themselves to an audience, and they need the joy that comes from working, working, working to achieve something truly outstanding, something memorable."
While the production gives the students all of those things, Hesse said it also allows for teaching moments.
Along with the play, students discuss topics related to the storyline. In the case of Cinderella, Hesse said lessons of fairness along with kindness versus appearance were key to teaching her students about life's lessons.
Something special to note about this year's production is a special dance solo performed by the Queen, Sadey Bowen, and the Prince, Jake Vanaman.
Cheryl Angelelli, paralympics champion, and her partner Sergio Sanchez, met the students in Memphis on Sept. 19, 2015, and taught them a dance routine especially choreographed for them.
Hesse said the dance is breathtakingly beautiful, highlighting the grace of Sadey in her wheelchair.
Hesse said it is something the audience will long remember.
The students are putting on a number of performances including productions for the public on March 11 at 6:30 p.m. and March 13 at 2:00 p.m.
There will also be three additional performances for area schools including Newport, Tuckerman, Riverside, Brookland, Concordia Christian Academy, Harrisburg G.T., and Cross County.
Admission to the play is $5 per person, with money going to improvements to the stage. The school performances for students are free.
The Weiner Cafeteria is located at 313 North Garfield St. in Weiner.
Copyright 2016 KAIT. All rights reserved.