The message the students were left with: good things happen to good people. Find someone to tell if you are being bullied or ridiculed. Those who bully or are mean to others will be taken down at some point. Stand up for yourself and speak out. These messages were artfully incorporated into this variation on a much-loved ancient fairy-tale which origniated in Ancient China.
In the performance, the mean-spirited step-mother and step-sister were blatant in their cruelty to "Ella," demeaning her at every turn, forcing her to clean up after them, stealing her clothes from her body, and hiding her away when company (the Prince) came calling. Of course, she also had to clean the fireplace, and after getting ash all over her dress they decided to call her "Cinder Ella," laughing gleefully at this new nick-name. Poor Ella just didn't know how to overcome this constant assault.
Once the students began to recognize the story, they were able to anticipate the announcement of the Prince's ball, the fruitless attempt by the step-mother and step-sister to transform into palace-worthy beauties, and then the arrival of the beautiful golden (pumpkin) carriage which graciously carried a sparkling Ella along to the ball. No-one was surprised that the forgotten silver shoe fit only "Ella," and all was right at the end when the Prince asked for her hand in marriage.
The performance was an excellent fit for the school's current theme of A Community in Harmony.
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The Princeton Montessori School serves children from infancy through eighth grade. The school is located on 20 acres and is accredited by the Middle States Association and the American Montessori Society.