Audrey Cook, 16, is finally living her dream as a Disney princess.

“It’s such a fun character to play,” said the Victoria West High School junior.

Victoria West High School students will present “Getting to Know Cinderella” at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday at the Victoria West auditorium. Tickets are available at the door: $5 for seniors, students and children and $8 for adults.

Tuesday evening, the cast rehearsed with their costumes in preparation for the big show. Audrey ended the show in a white ball gown with a sparkling tiara atop her head deeming her an official princess.

“When I heard it was Cinderella, I was so excited,” Audrey said. “It’s one of my favorite Disney movies.”

Audrey has participated in theater since she was in eighth grade but playing a strong character is a first, she said.

She typically plays younger roles because of her height, but she was eager to play the leading lady.

“I got to read for (Cinderella) a lot, so I was hopeful,” Audrey said. “I wanted it with all my heart.”

Not only does Audrey play Cinderella, but she also choreographed the hour-long show. During last year’s district musical, she assisted with the choreography.

“I just really loved that. It was so much fun,” she said. “Sometimes I enjoy that more than being in the show. This year I got the best of both worlds.”

She said working on the choreography makes her closer to each of the cast members because she works with each of them.

The district canceled its district wide musical this year, which led theater director Kathy Montgomery to cast Cinderella as a campus musical.

“It allowed our seniors to have a musical their senior year,” Montgomery said.

Half the Cinderella cast and crew are seniors, she said. The cast is made up of band, choir and theater students.

One of those seniors is Jacob Padron, 18. He plays Prince Christopher.

He said he always wanted to be the lead in a musical, and the prince role was his last chance as a senior.

“I was excited because I never got to be a leading guy before,” Padron said. “I was stoked for it. I was excited to show what I got.”

Jacob is a choir student and has been since his sophomore year, so the musicals are where he gets to show off his singing ability.

As one of the choir students he gets to help his fellow cast members read music and work on their singing.

During Tuesday’s rehearsal he and small bits of the cast moved through their choreography for Audrey to tinker with.

“You need to hit this marker before you split,” she said as she pointed to the stage floor.

Padron said it’s great to watch his co-star shine as a choreographer.

“I think she’s fantastic,” he said. “It looks wonderful.”

Montgomery said the cast didn’t have as many rehearsals as she would have liked, but despite that, they are making great strides to be ready by Thursday’s show.

“I’m extremely impressed by the dedication of these students,” she said. “They juggle so much stuff. I just have an amazing bunch of students.”

Samantha Douty is the education reporter at the Victoria Advocate. She grew up in Corpus Christi and graduated from UT-Arlington with a bachelor's in journalism.

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