Two weekends ago Satya and I were invited to the African American Shakespeare Company's production of Cinderella on opening night. Both of us were very excited to go but we really didn't know what to expect.
I was already excited to take my bi-racial daughter to see a production of Cinderella with a cast of all people of color. Representation is so important for every little kid to see positive reflections of themselves in all realms from entertainment, to literature, to careers, to teachers, doctors, and politicians. I was really excited for Satya to see a Cinderella where the main character was not your standard Disney princess. From the reaction on people's faces and the looks of all the elders that were in attendance it was very important to them too, saw a lot of emotional and proud faces at the end.
We got way more than we bargained for-Cinderella was so funny and empowering! Me and my daughter were cracking up the whole time! The ugly step sisters (who were played by two men in dresses), Devin Cunningham and Jourdan Olivier-Verde, were so funny and played their parts so well.
This was not your usual helpless story of a damsel in distress needing to be rescued by some non-descriptive looking Prince Charming. And that's just what we loved about it! The main character, Cinderella, played by Paige Meyers was so sweet and sincere. There was an underlying theme running through the play of self love and women's empowerment. If Cinderella loved herself enough that the right man would come along and appreciate her for who she was one day. As a mom of two daughters I loved and appreciated this message. Yay for women's empowerment!
I was so happy to share this play with my daughter. The play clearly resonated so positively with her. As soon as the house lights came back on at the end of the production, Satya turned to me and said "Well that was really good!" When I asked her what she liked about it she said Cinderella was so beautiful, the step sisters were so funny, and she liked how Cinderella loved herself.
At the end of the play the cast members were out in the lobby meeting and greeting everyone. All of them were mobbed with fans. Me and my daughter didn't want to stand through the crowd and wait for pictures. So we walked back to our car. Upon exiting the parking lot I was hit with a deep wave of regret for not having Satya meet the stars of the play. She seemed like she was feeling the same way. So I pulled the car to the then ample parking in the back of the theater and we ran in hoping to catch Cinderella at least. We were so happy to see she had stayed back with a few stragglers. Satya was almost too shy to ask for a picture but she got up her courage and said Hi. Cinderella was a true gracious and warm queen, who made every little girl she met feel like a princess. Looking at Satya's smile for the picture and what the night meant to everyone in attendance almost had me tearing up while taking the picture. We got to meet the ugly stepsisters too, who were really nice.
We immensely enjoyed our visit to the African American Shakespeare Theater Company and want to thank them for inviting us to attend! We recommend going to see a play there as soon as you can, you won't regret it.