A Dark Retelling Of The Cinderella Story
On the ninth of March I had the distinct pleasure of taking in some live theatre at a local fine arts school who put on a play called The Ash Girl. We all might be familiar with the more recognizable sanitized version called Cinderella.
This play had all of the elements of Cinderella, but with a deeper, darker theme of self-reflection and self-empowerment. The Ash Girl has to confront her demons which were the seven deadly sins. She must go through the forest and face Sadness before attending the ball and meeting her Prince Charming.
The Ash Girl is consumed by Sadness because of the death of her father and the way her step-sisters and her evil step-mother treat her. Sadness was a pivotal character because she was always inside the Ash Girl’s head trying to bring her over to the dark side and to keep her down. After she is surrounded by the seven deadly sins and nearly taken down by
Sadness, the Fairy Godmother shouts “remember who you are or you won’t wake up”. In life sometimes we have to buck up and save ourselves, which is exactly what the Ash Girl did. As in the Disney version, she gets the fairy tale ending that is predicted.
I had a front row seat for all of the action, which is why maybe it was so impactful for me. My head was spinning in circles trying to figure out the inner workings of this play. The minimal set design and the excellent acting abilities of the students all blended together and made for a fantastic and entertaining play. I was expecting to jump out of my seat in every scene. That’s not a criticism- that’s making people be on the edge of their seats, literally.
The actors were so good that it made me uncomfortable. We all face our own demons and we never quite win the battle, because if we did life would be no fun. My personal demon, so to speak, is depression. Every month I have a day where I throw myself what I like to call a “pity party”. Then, the next day I’m right as rain. But unfortunately, it affects everyone around me. I wish I knew when the “pity party” was to begin because then I would know my triggers and be able to control my emotions, but with medication and counseling from a very good doctor, I fight it every day- and usually win.
What demons are you facing?