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Act 1 Presents “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” for the Holidays

by Tom McNamara ’92, M’21 Nov 22, 2023
Cinderalla Promo 1

Photo Caption: Rosie Dunphy as Ella and Ryan Plunkett as Topher in DeSales University’s Act 1 production of “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.” Photo by Jack Lerch.

Act 1 DeSales University Theatre is pleased to announce the Act 1 premiere of “Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” as the holiday production of its 54th season.

The musical opens on Wednesday, November 29, and runs until Sunday, December 10, on the Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts.

Originally written by Rodgers and Hammerstein for television in 1957, this production is a recent Broadway adaptation with a new book written by Douglas Carter Beane. 

Ella dreams of escaping the drudgery of a life under her stepmother’s thumb while Topher, the prince and future king, questions his role as a leader. A fairy godmother disguised as a beggar orchestrates events so the two will meet with both helping each other learn who they truly are. 

Winner of the 2013 Tony Award for the Best Revival of a Musical, the production features Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved songs, including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” and “Ten Minutes Ago.” These numbers accompany a contemporary story that is both romantic and hilarious.

Directing the production is guest artist Amanda Pasquini, associate director of education at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. Previously, she worked for Scott Rudin Productions and was assistant to the producer for the Broadway productions “Hello, Dolly!,” “1984,” “A Doll's House, Part 2,” and “The Book of Mormon.” Pasquini is also a freelance director and performer. 

“Working with the incredibly talented students of DeSales University has been such a joy. It's a pleasure to lead ‘Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella,’ a musical that has been defying the impossible for decades. In this new retelling, created for the 2013 Broadway Revival, Ella not only seeks to find her prince, but seeks to create a better reality for her community.”

 Amanda Pasquini, associate director of education, Walnut Street Theatre 

Stephen Casey is the choreographer for the production while Rebecca Pieper is the musical director. Paul Hsun-Ling Chou is the conductor. Sam Roff, scenic designer, created the fairy-tale world, and Sam Fleming, costume designer, coordinated the costumes. Eric T. Haugen, production manager and head of design, serves as lighting designer, and David M. Greenberg, sound designer.

“Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella” opens on Wednesday, November 29, and runs through Sunday, December 10, 2023. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays at 2:00 p.m., and Saturday, December 2, at 2:00 p.m. Ticket prices are $30 for adults and $28 for students and seniors Monday through Thursday and $34 for adults and $32 for students and seniors Friday through Sunday. There are two talk back performances with the cast on Sunday, December 3, immediately following the matinee performance and Monday, December 4, following the 9:45 a.m. performance.

Students who attend DeSales or another Lehigh Valley college or university can purchase tickets for $8. Group discounts are available for all performances. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Labuda Center Box Office at 610-282-3192 or by visiting the website at

To improve accessibility for all patrons, the Saturday, December 2, 2:00 p.m. performance will feature Open Captioning for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing and Audio Descriptions for patrons who are blind or visually impaired. During Open Captioned performances, all dialogue and sound effects are presented in real-time on an LED screen that is adjacent to the stage. During Audio Described performances, all action and physical appearances are described live through a headset. Tickets are half price for patrons using these special services on this date. Please call Box Office Manager Eric Pierson at 610-282-3654, ext. 1, for more information.