Cinderella by Devon Carney

Dancers Kelsey Ivana Hellebuyck and Humberto Rivera Blanco. Photographer Brett Pruitt and East Market Studios.
Dancers Naomi Tanioka and Andrew Vecseri. Photographer Brett Pruitt & East Market Studios.

Choreography: Devon Carney
Music: Sergei Prokofiev
Lighting Design by Trad A Burns
Set and Costume Design by Peter Farmer


Once upon a time…

In a land far, far away, there was a family that lived in a humble cottage. There was the kindhearted Cinderella and her widowed father now remarried to her selfish mean-spirited stepmother and her two disagreeable daughters, Petunia, and Daisy. Cinderella is disliked by her two stepsisters since she is kind to all and has a natural inner beauty that shines forth unlike them. The stepmother forces her to be their servant and never gives her a proper place to sleep.

On this day, the two stepsisters, being of bad and competitive temperament, begin to quarrel over a scarf, like they always do. They are so agitated that the only way their mother can resolve the fight is by tearing the scarf in two that they are sewing. When the sisters and mother leave, Cinderella is alone with her thoughts. She pulls a painting of her mother from its hiding place and is overcome with longing to be with her again. Cinderella’s father ultimately finds her weeping and they comfort each other. The absence of Cinderella’s mother is painful for both. The stepsisters and their mother return to henpeck Cinderella and her father but the atmosphere quickly changes as mystery and darkness fill the room and a beggar woman appears asking for food. The stepsisters and their mother are appalled, but Cinderella is sympathetic and offers the beggar a loaf of bread. Then, just as mysteriously as the beggar woman appeared, she disappears.

An invitation arrives inviting every eligible maiden in the kingdom to a lavish ball at the Palace, in attendance will be the handsome Prince Charming who is heir to the throne of the Kingdom and must choose a bride. Now, the stepmother overjoyed at the ball invitation, immediately brings to the house a Dress Maker, a Jeweler, and then a Dance Master who all have the unenviable task of preparing Petunia and Daisy for their debut at the ball. Everyone leaves for the ball except Cinderella since the stepmother will not allow her to go. Wishing she could go; Cinderella lets herself be carried away by dreams beyond the confines of the cottage. Suddenly, in a cloud of mystery the beggar woman again unexpectedly appears. Cinderella goes to find more bread for her and then in an instant, Cinderella’s fairy godmother appears, and the kitchen is magically transformed into a garden. With the help of the Fairies of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, and other enchanted garden creatures like Grasshoppers as well as the Fairy Godmother’s Attendants, Cinderella’s rag dress is transformed into an exquisite gown. Before Cinderella departs for the Ball, her fairy godmother warns her of one very important rule – she must leave the Ball by the stroke of midnight!


At the Palace…

In the Royal Palace, the court jester welcomes the invited guests as they arrive. They are followed by the stepmother and her two daughters. Soon after this the prince makes his arrival and greets all the guests that have been assembled. Beautiful music is heard and an enchanting woman appears. It is Cinderella! The prince and Cinderella fall in love as the courtiers whirl around them. But, as the clock strikes midnight, Cinderella’s beautiful dress turns into rags and she must depart, forgetting to tell the prince her name and leaving only one of her slippers. The prince discovers it and is comforted by the thought that if he can find the woman whose foot fits this glass slipper, he will find his true love.


In Cinderella’s Cottage…

Cinderella awakens. She thinks that she may have imagined her time at the ball and meeting the prince and then the magical slipper in her apron proves that she was not dreaming about the ball but that it was very real. The stepsisters awake reveling in their success at the party and how much Cinderella missed. The prince enters with the slipper that Cinderella left at the ball and the stepsisters futilely attempt to try it on one at a time. As Cinderella helps, the matching second slipper falls from her apron, and the prince suddenly recognizes her. Cinderella forgives her stepsisters and their mother. The Fairy Godmother appears and unites the lovers, who live happily ever after….

This production of Cinderella premiered February 17, 2023, by Kansas City Ballet at
the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

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