Months of dedication and hard work will soon culminate in an evening of music and magic when Hannibal High School's vocal music department presents “Cinderella Enchanted Edition” beginning Thursday, Nov. 9.

Months of dedication and hard work will soon culminate in an evening of music and magic when Hannibal High School's vocal music department presents “Cinderella Enchanted Edition” beginning Thursday, Nov. 9.

Vocal music directors Kate Fuller and Sara Kurz have been working with students since the beginning of the school year, making sure the choreography, music and transitions are smooth and vibrant. After the orchestra warmed up at a dress rehearsal Monday afternoon, Kurz shared advice for the cast and crew members who all worked together to bring the musical to fruition in the school auditorium. For everyone involved, the months practicing together have forged strong friendships and an overall team ethic.

“It's been really good to see them have the chemistry on stage — because we see them in class, but not in this situation,” Kurz said. “All of the kids are working together really well.”

Kurz said the stepsisters in the play — Della and Evie Rodenbaugh — are sisters in real-life, and she said they had an instant chemistry as they developed their roles on stage. Freshman Evie Rodenbaugh said she enjoyed the experience and the chance to be a part of the team.

“I feel like there is a sense of community with this,” she said. “Everyone is working together and not working against each other. So it really is a team effort, I would say.”

Rodenbaugh is looking forward to seeing people's reactions and discovering what they think of the show. Nathan Lewton, a senior playing the role of Prince Charming, said he felt bittersweet about the excitement of the big performances coming amid his final year at Hannibal High School.

“I'm not really nervous at this point, I feel like I know all of my parts very well — that I can do a good job without getting up there and being nervous,” he said. “But at the same time, a little bit sad, just because this is also my last musical that I'll be doing here at the high school. I know that we have all been working really hard, and the performance will be well worth my senior year musical.”

Kurz commended Mike Ruhr, who has played drums with the students for years, and his wife, accompanist Cheryl Ruhr. The couple sat down with Kurz to create the elaborate sets that help bring each scene to life.

“He designs it all, and she is the artistic brains behind it,” she said. “All the painting is her idea... They're amazing.”

Kurz said everyone has been working together on speedy costume changes, difficult scene changes and all of the challenging choreography — Kurz remembered when everything came together during the ballroom scene and how rewarding it felt. Jorden VanWinkle, who joined the musical for the first time as a stage crew member during her senior year, discovered firsthand the speed and precision required for each costume and set change. She said she helps Cinderella change costumes, she moves stairs, puts backdrops in place and sets up other props. Along the way, she enjoyed the chance to create stronger friendships with her classmates.

“This is actually my first and last play I have ever been,” she said. “It's very energetic, and everybody just tries to lift everyone else up. It's very fun.”

Kurz said moments like the colorful costumes coming in and Monday's rehearsal with the full orchestra “ignites everything again” with a renewed spark of enthusiasm that radiates throughout the cast and crew members. Kurz said she always enjoys working with the entire group, and she recalled fun moments practicing with small groups of students, too.

“You really get a chance to get to know them, and you can kind of relax a little bit, and just laugh at things and have a good time,” she said.

Kurz said everyone involved in the musical shared feelings of excitement and a desire to hone each detail as they dug in on their final rehearsals. The students will perform Cinderella Enchanted Edition at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, Friday, Nov. 10 and Saturday, Nov. 11, in the Hannibal High School Auditorium. Tickets are $8 each. Kurz said audience members of all ages would enjoy the performance.

“I just think it's going to be a great musical to bring kids to,” Kurz said. “It's magical and there's lot of color and lots of music and dancing. It's very family-friendly.”

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