Cinderella is a comedic adaptation of the beloved fairytale. Cinderella lives alongside a motley band of mice in her “lower-middle-class castle,” where she is forced to clean and cook for her stepsisters and wicked stepmother. At first, she dreams of escaping and becoming a princess, but soon falls in love with mathematics and science, too. When a ball is announced by the Royal Prince, Cinderella adventures outside her home to meet him. Aided by the “magic,” craftiness, and spirit of the mice, Cinderella earns the prince’s gaze – but is forced to flee at the stroke of midnight. When he reunites with Cinderella, he asks her to marry him. And she says… No.
Roger Pavey, Sr. lives in LeClaire, Iowa, near the Mississippi River. He enjoys researching and writing about forgotten stories in history, with a focus on how larger historical events affected the lives of common people not remembered in textbooks. He is also the author of the 2011 novel “Where the Bones Rest.” By day Roger works as the Executive Director of Community Action of Eastern Iowa. By night he is a husband and father, with four fantastic kids. In between, he reads and writes.
Andy Pavey is a writer hailing from the tiny riverside town of LeClaire, Iowa. Enthralled with creative writing since he was very young, he is thrilled to be working with Drama Notebook to inspire others to think outside the box. Andy enjoys writing (of course), reading, backpacking, and riding his bicycle. He currently studies at Grinnell College, where he hopes to obtain an undergraduate degree.
Excerpt from the play:
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Cinderella. A young girl who dreams about her future.
Cordelia. Cinderella’s stepsister. Can be effectively played by a boy or a girl.
Ursula. The other stepsister. Can also be effectively played by a boy or a girl.
Stepmother. Cinderella’s stepmother.
Hector. Carries around a bag of cheese puffs in every scene. Like a father figure.
Micestro. Never manages to speak. Represents art and expression.
Bella. Thinks everything is romantic. Represents love and dreaming.
Jaques. An athlete. Wears or carries athletic gear every time we see him.
Will. A professor. Represents wisdom and learning. Will has no tail.
Marie. Marie is a scientist. Named after Marie Curie, she makes her own magic.
Allie. Represents business and logic. Allie looks like an accountant.
Pipsqueak. The littlest mouse. Pipsqueak represents continuing childhood.
The Royal Party:
Royal Prince. The Prince is formal to an excess.
Footman 1. The first guard of The Prince.
Footman 2. The second guard of The Prince.
Crier. The royal announcer.
Frightened Child/Ball Attendee. A child not costumed in period clothing. Can later also fill a Ball Attendee role.
Ball Attendees. Members of the crew or additionally cast actors and actresses.
ACT 1 – Cinderella’s Lament
Scene 1: Time’s march
Setting: Cinderella’s lower-middle-class castle. The dwelling of Cinderella, her Stepmother, Cordelia, and Ursula should not be overly ornate. One or two large mouse holes are constructed along the back wall of the set. The set also includes a table with a few tattered books on it.
(Theatre is as dark as safely possible. A ticking clock sound begins, and the mice enter. Mice, other than Hector, are stomping in time to the ticking clock, but make no other sound. Sound effects are added as indicated below. The actor playing Frightened Child is pre-seated in a reserved seat in the audience, hopefully to an unsuspecting audience.)
Tick, Tock, Crinkle,
Tick, Tock, Crunch,
Tick, Tock, Belch,
(clock sound and sound effects continue until noted)
(Screams two or three times.)
(Spotlight comes on to illuminate Frightened Child and Hector. Hector is carrying a bag or large tub of cheese puffs, perhaps labeled with “Ye Olde Cheese Puffs” in large letters. Hector looks nonchalant, eats a cheese puff, crunching as loudly as possible.)
Rat! Giant rat!
(Frightened Child runs out of the house. Hector shakes his head, turns to continue walking up the aisle (not stomping), joining the other mice on stage, where the lights are coming up. Sound effects fade out at this point, but the clock continues.)
(Micestro steps out, raises baton. Music starts. Mice, other than Hector, continue to stomp and clock continues to tick. Micestro is conducting the unseen orchestra, and the stomping mice. All the while the mice are slowly littering the stage with food wrappers, dirty socks, gloves, etc., making a general mess that Cinderella will have to clean up. Micestro waves his baton like a conductor, motioning for Jacques and Bella to move out of the pack of stomping mice. Jacques and Bella dance away to a previously unlit part of the stage where Cinderella is revealed scrubbing the floor with one hand, and reading an atlas with the other. She appears to be oblivious to the mice, the music, and the stomping.)
(Micestro, the music, the clock, and the stomping all end with a flourish. Right after the last tick of the clock there is a long and loud fart sound and Hector lifts his leg as if he is the one who farts. Micestro bows. Whichever mouse is standing closest to Hector coughs and gags at Hector’s fart.)
Bravo, Micestro! What do you call that number?
(Micestro starts to answer, but is interrupted before he can speak.)
Did you hear that human call you a rat?
I sure did, Will.
Rats and humans are the vilest of all lifeforms. Rats are big and scary, and they like to eat mice!
Mice [Ad lib] Ooooo, that’s awful, that’s disgusting, etc.
It’s true. And we know what humans do to mice. They test new brands of shampoo on us to see if our hair falls off.
Mice [Ad lib] Barbaric, I like my hair, rodent cruelty!, etc.
They imprison us in little mazes and make us work for food.
Mice [Ad lib] Slave labor!, how would they like living in a maze?, etc.
Both rats and humans are vicious predators.
I want to scream and jump up on a chair every time I see a human!
Yeah, humans sure don’t have much going for them…
Except for our own Cinderella. She ain’t so bad, for a human. Not much to look at though, is she? Kinda goofy looking.
I can hear every word you are saying, Hector.
You are beautiful, Cinderella.
Yeah. True enough. But you don’t have hardly any fur…and you dress funny.
Leave her alone, Hector.
It’s okay, Pipsqueak. He teases me because he loves me.
(Sits next to Cinderella, or on her lap) What are you reading Cinderella?
It’s an atlas.
No, Bella, it’s magnificent. An atlas has maps and pictures of all the wonderful places in the world. Places with mountains, and caves, and pyramids, and oceans. And even if you never have the chance to go to any of those places, you can still feel like you have been there after you read about them, and learn about the people who have been there. Will gave me this book when I was just a little girl.
I found that one in a garbage can in the alley behind the shoe store.
It still smells like dirty feet, but the maps and the pictures are amazing.
Read us the princess story again, Cinderella.
Not again. Not the princess story. It’s always the princess story. Every. Single. Day.
(To Hector) At least she knows how to read. You think books are a snack.
(Cinderella removes a princess story book from the table.)
Books like that one are no snack. (Hector sticks out his tongue, making a face) More like broccoli…without the cheese.
Once upon a time, a beautiful orphan girl was locked away in a dungeon. She was forced to work all day and all night, scrubbing the floors until her fingers bled.
(The mice, except Hector, act out the story as Cinderella reads.)
I’d rather hear more about the atlas. That princess book is high in fiber and low on taste.
(Still reading, ignoring Hector) The fair maiden always sang a happy tune while she worked, because she was as beautiful on the inside as she was on the outside.
(Cinderella sings a few bars. The tune needs to be consistent throughout the play. The Director and the actress cast as Cinderella can work to create something that works well).
Even though she was locked in a dungeon and was forced to clean all day long, she still found a way to hold happiness in her heart, and she shared it with everyone by singing a song more beautiful than the birds could sing.
I think I’m going to be sick.