May 23, 2014

Cathedral High drama students to perform play at City Stage



Story and photos by Julie Beaulieu

WILBRAHAM – Cathedral High School has a new venue for its spring production of “Seeking Sleeping Beauty” by Mark Billen.

The play will be performed on Friday and Saturday, May 30 and 31 at City Stage in downtown Springfield.

John Anziano, fine arts director, said the high school’s performances are returning to downtown Springfield three years after the Cathedral High campus on Surrey Road was severely damaged by a tornado.

“Before we were destroyed in the tornado, we had really kind of built up our drama program and we were drawing a lot of people from the Springfield area, so, we’re very excited to have City Stage,” Anziano told iobserve.

“We are very excited to be going over there and using their facilities and all of their technologies. It’s really going to make for a wonderful evening for everyone who is able to attend,” he said. “I’m really excited that these students are going to get a taste of what it’s like to be in a professional theater.”

Billen’s, “Seeking Sleeping Beauty,” is a comedy combining several popular children’s fairytales, Anziano explained.

He described the plot of the play: “It's a very interesting story about Prince Florimund, who wakes up in the forest with his companion and they're lost. Well, they bump into Lilac, who is a fairy, and she tells them the story of this sleeping princess, and they have been waiting a hundred years for a prince to come into the forest to kiss this sleeping princess and wake her up.

“Well, the problem is, nobody knows how to find the castle where the princess is. So, in their travels to find this castle, they bump into a number of different fairytale characters … And, they have some very funny, interesting things happen to them on their way to waking Sleeping Beauty.”

Cathedral High School senior Mary Iellamo plays Sleeping Beauty and also designed the show's costumes. She spoke with iobserve about her costume creations.

“There are several fairytales that are involved in this story and they are the classically known fairytale characters, so, I kind of just went off the classic images of them and I drew up ideas for the costumes. And then we looked in our costume closet to see what we had to fit the roles,” she said.

Annie Rodriguez, a senior, student assistant director, and also set designer, provided a preview of the play’s set and props.

“We have a lot of outlandish designs. We have a shoe, for The Little Old Lady who Lives in a Shoe, which is a very big piece. It's about 12 feet long and 10 feet high,” Rodriguez said. “We have a castle that involves a big tower for Rapunzel and a big wooden castle door with the knocker, and we have the gingerbread house.”

Tickets to “Seeking Sleeping Beauty” are $12 for adults; and $8 for high school students and senior citizens; children 6 and under will be admitted free. For advance tickets call the school at (413)782-5285 or go to: