Nothing is Impossible for the Drama Program


Danielle Corrao

Sarah Brown ‘24, Erika Vargas ‘24, Lily Grochowiak ‘24, and Stella Carlson ‘24 were featured dancers in the Spring Musical, Cinderella. Congratulations to the cast and crew for a phenomenal performance!

Whether it’s in the sound booth, building sets, or chasséing across stage, the Cathedral Catholic High School (CCHS) drama performers exceeded expectations. Students and facilities came together to not only stun the audience with glamor and grace, but also relay a message of kindness. Nothing is Impossible with Cinderella’s magic beaming across the stage.

From as early as February 23, the cast of CCHS’s Spring Musical, Cinderella, met to begin preparations for the show. This required hundreds of hours practicing choreography, studying lines, blocking stage positions, and perfecting vocals before the performance days: 26 April-28 April.

With only two months to get the show ready for the stage, performers, choreographers, vocal coaches, and directors may have felt the task was “impossible,” as coined by the popular solo from the Fairy Godmother titled Impossible. Nonetheless, the spirit of the show carried these organizers forward. Just as Cinderella fought against the odds to win her prince, the cast and crew succeeded in their efforts, despite the intimidating rush.

Lily Grochowiak ‘24 emphasizes the demanding nature of her role, “As a featured dancer we work closely with our choreographer, Amy Stine, to learn and perfect the dance numbers in the show. It feels like we run each number hundreds of times before we put it all on stage.”

The star of the spring musical, Laney Norberg ‘23, reveals, “Cinderella was always one of my dream roles, so I had already begun preparing and understanding the character,” she continues by sharing her method to perfecting this challenging character, “This consisted of reading and re-reading the script in order to hear what the writers intended for the character as well as watching other performances to see what I liked and what I didn’t… a lot goes into perfecting a character for a performance.”

The performance stage, however, was not within the familiarity of the CCHS Theater, where the rehearsals were hosted. Just days before opening night, the Tech team relocated all props and set the stage at Poway Center for Performing Arts (PCPA). This stage not only allowed performers to have more comfort backstage, but also grants room for up to 800 audience members.

Once the PCPA stage was officially worn in from the hours of tech-week rehearsals, the characters took their place behind the curtain. On April 26, the curtain opened to a crowd of local middle schoolers for the first performance— the matinee.

Norberg shares how this first performance was special, “This role was not only meaningful not only to me, but to the middle schoolers as well, because kindness can be a most challenging virtue to maintain in the face of cruelty. I am so thankful that I got the opportunity to show that younger generation how to return and start kindness in the world.”

Norberg, along with several leads of the cast, attended St. Micheal’s Middle School (SMS) in Poway. Because the current drama students at SMS attended the show Wednesday afternoon, the cast felt they were giving back to the programs that built their strong theatrical foundation.

The theater erupted with high-pitched giggles as dancers performed their silly choreography and actors cracked their witty remarks. This adaptation of Cinderella, as written by Rodgers and Hammerstein, it’s particularly humorous and rather untraditional.

Many viewers recalled a desire for the show tune Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo, as popularized by the movie. Regardless, the transformation scene was spectacular as Cinderella, played by Laney Norberg ‘23, spun into her ball gown and rode off stage on a horse drawn carriage.

Not only was the show hysterical, but also highlighted the power of kindness. Cinderella changed the hearts of the townspeople during the infamous “Ridicule” scene, where women publicly offend each other in hopes to inflate their social status. Also, when she revealed her identity to the prince, solidifying their love, Madame—the evil stepmother— begged for redemption. This is when Cinderella uttered the three most significant words in the entirety of the script, “I forgive you.” This makes Rodgers and Hammerstein’s adaptation of Cinderella the perfect candidate for a CCHS production, as it magnifies our Catholic core values.

Norberg emphasizes how this show built her faith, “In the show Cinderella is beaten down by the world multiple times and instead of striking back she turns the other cheek. Cinderella follows in the footsteps of Jesus through her kindness and willingness to forgive, which is what we as Christians are called to do to others.”

When the curtain closed that afternoon, children left with a newfound sense of empathy for others and respect for the CCHS Drama program. The remaining shows were no different: filled with lively audiences and changed hearts.

The final curtain closed and the hard work truly paid off.

As a senior performer, Norberg says her goodbye to the program, “This was my final performance at CCHS and it was a bittersweet moment saying goodbye to the community that welcomed and accepted me for who I am. It was a blessing and an honor to perform in this show.”