Playing Cinderella in Stephen Sondheim's Into The Woods was a lifechanging experience. I learned so much from her character and how that character relates to me as a person. Her story is so much more complex than anybody can read in a storybook. She portrays a quiet strength that intensifies as the story continues and she figures out more about her identity and who she is meant to be. She is feisty and will protect the ones that she loves.
This role really influenced my thought processes as an ingenue that as ingenues we are able to play roles that are powerful and can make an impact on other's lives even if you aren't naturally a belter. You are powerful in your own way. In order to play this role most realistically and honorably to the people who have experienced the loss of a mother in which I myself have never experienced, I talked with women that had lost their mothers at younger ages and I used the insecurities that some of these women have felt into Cinderella's character and some of her physical characteristics and her vocal patterns. From this, I really began to play with the importance of not feeling beautiful because without a mother to affirm that in a daughter, even if it is just a mother figure, not knowing about what makes you really beautiful can make you feel so lost. In the beginning of the show I wanted to play Cinderella as someone who was smart however sacrifices the dreams and desires that she has for others to her downfall. However she also values the feeling of being beautiful to someone. She doesn't realize this until she attends the ball and for the first time in her life since her mother's passing has someone see the beauty in her. I made her really rely on that fact and really chase that even though she isn't really sold on the prince, that she will never find someone who will make her feel beautiful. And due to her life being uncontrollable in nature, I wanted for Cinderella to really try to avoid the anxieties of making her own decisions and for her to figure out with time that no matter what you choose you may miss out on something.
Cinderella in Act 2 to me really portrayed a motherless mother figure and even though she is struggling with serious life changes, she realizes that she must be there for the people around her. She loses everything that makes her significant and even though this happens to her, I wanted to play her as someone who by the end of the show does in fact gets what she wants. Even if it doesn't seem like a conventional journey. For me as a performer personally, I came alive during Act 2. I believe the second that that baby was placed in my arms, I was reminded every night that this was my purpose in life. I got deeper and deeper into the story of Cinderella every night during this act because I played her in a way that she became less 2 dimensional and began to really show her humanity more outwardly. It felt like I wasn't only singing No One Is Alone to just Little Red Riding Hood but as a reminder to Cinderella. That even when you're feeling so alone in a life transition, that no one is really alone. I will never forget this role and how much it has impacted me.