Ella Enchanted: The Musical
book by Karen Zacarías
music by Deborah Wicks La Puma
adapted from the book by Gail Carson Levine
directed by Casey Stangl
October 27, 2017 - November 12, 2017


As a baby, Ella is given the “gift” of obedience by a misguided fairy and cannot disobey any order. Now a teenager, the strong-willed Ella must outwit her evil stepmother, escape hungry ogres and hold on to her best friend, all while getting rid of the troublesome curse and finding her own voice. Expect delightful music and plenty of girl power in this wonderfully modern and musical Cinderella story. 

Previews: October 27–November 3, 2017
Regular Performances: November 4–12, 2017

Recommendation: Grades K–6. Theatre for Young Audiences … and Their Families is just that, a multi-generational experience for all ages (unfortunately, no children under the age of four and babes-in-arms). The only requirement is that each audience member occupies a seat and sits quietly through the performance while having a wonderful time.

Running Time: Theatre for Young Audiences performances are never more than 90 minutes.

By special arrangement with Miramax.

Karen Zacarías (Playwright) I have written 10 young audiences musicals with my good friend, composer Debbie Wicks La Puma. You may have seen our musical Jane of the Jungle when it was at SCR or Frida Libre at La Jolla Playhouse. I wanted to adapt Ella Enchanted because I think it's important that young people discover they have a voice and a choice. My other fun musicals include Einstein Is a Dummy, Looking For Roberto Clemente, Cinderella Eats Rice and Beans, Chasing George Washington and Ferdinand the Bull. Your parents might have seen my telenovela play, Destiny of Desire, here at SCR. I was born in Mexico and now live in Washington, D.C., with my husband and three kids; at home, we speak Spanish and English. I founded an award-winning arts program, Young Playwrights’ Theater, which has taught more than 75,000 children how to write plays. I hope one day you may write a play, a story or poem about things that matter to you.

Deborah Wicks La Puma (Composer/Music Director) I am a composer and music director who loves working at SCR, where my musical Jane of the Jungle premiered. Some other favorite shows that I have music-directed at SCR include The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, James and the Giant Peach, A Year with Frog and Toad, Imagine and The Only Child. I have been doing shows for kids and grown-ups for more than 20 years, and my favorite thing to do is write musicals including Elephant and Piggie: We are in a Play! at the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.); Einstein is a Dummy at the Alliance Theatre (Atlanta, GA); and Ferdinand the Bull at Imagination Stage (Bethesda, Md.). I started playing piano, singing and writing songs when I was nine and studied music at Stanford University and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. My husband and I have three daughters, who are the heroines of our fairy tales.  Check out my website: crunchynotes.com.

three obedient daughters, who nevertheless happily express their will.

Gail Carson Levine (Author) I grew up in New York City and began seriously writing in 1987. My first book for children, Ella Enchanted, was a 1998 Newbery Honor Book. My other books include Fairest; Dave at Night, an American Literary Association Notable Book and Best Book for Young Adults; The Wish; The Two Princesses of Bamarre; and the six Princess Tales books. I am also the author of the nonfiction book, Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly, and the picture book Betsy Who Cried Wolf, illustrated by Scott Nash. I live with my husband, David, and our Airedale, Baxter, in a 1790 farmhouse in the Hudson River Valley of New York State. 

Learn more about the production, cast & creative team with a peek into the program. Read full artist bios, in-depth articles and more.

Bellusci, Daniel
Daniel Bellusci (Prince Charmont) I started acting in the eighth grade. My best friend wanted me to audition with him for what became our first play, Bram Stoker’s Dracula. We had a lot of fun being in the play because it was a comical version and we got to do silly voices and accents. I had so much fun that I’ve been doing plays ever since. I do lots of musicals around Southern California and I love to read and listen to music. I also can solve a Rubik’s cube! I’ve lived in Granada Hills my whole life and went to California State University, Northridge.

Calfas Caitlyn
​​​​Caitlyn Calfas (Hattie/Ogre/Giant) I was only six years old when I got bit by the acting bug. My dance studio did a production of Annie, which was one of my favorite movies as a kid. I got to play the role of Molly and remember having so much fun making people laugh. Of the musicals I’ve been in, some of my favorites are The Little Mermaid, A Chorus Line, In the Heights, Legally Blonde and 42nd Street. In college, I competed in the real-life “Pitch Perfect” and got to sing with my a cappella group in places like Alaska, New York City and at The White House. I love camping, tap dancing and playing with my kitty, Lollipop. I grew up in Los Angeles and am a proud graduate of UCLA’s Ray Bolger Musical Theatre program. I pinky-promise I’m not as evil in real life as Hattie is in the play! caitlyncalfas.com

Fishman, Arielle
Arielle Fishman (Olive/Ogre/Giant) I’m very excited to be playing Olive because my favorite kinds of characters are funny, unique and they march to the beat of their own drum—just like she does! I’m also excited to be back at SCR, where I played a flying, swimming and gravity-lacking princess in The Light Princess. Recently, I played the roles of Chloe in Arcadia; Lucy in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; and Lydia in Pride and Prejudice—all of whom happen to be sassy little sisters with fabulous English accents! I love performing because I have the best time learning about my character’s personality and point of view.

Gelman, Joel
Joel Gelman (​​​Sir Peter/Ogre/Giant/Squire) My brother and I always have loved making each other laugh! Then we figured out we could make other people laugh, too—usually by doing funny voices and falling on our bums. I got to do a couple of fun voices and crazy dances here at SCR in The Light Princess and Pride and Prejudice. I’ve also done some silly roles on TV, including a terrible medical student on “Henry Danger,” a confused homebuyer on “Modern Family” and an annoyed police officer on “New Girl.” I can’t wait to laugh along with you today!

​​​Ann Noble (​​​Mother/Dame Olga/Ogre/Giant) This is my fifth show at SCR, after Flora & Ulysses, The Light Princess, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and Anastasia Krupnik. Since then, I’ve done The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, which originally starred Lily Tomlin, where I played a woman with a terrible haircut; Stanley Ann, a one-woman show about Barack Obama’s mother, who led an incredibly courageous life; and Hedda Gabler, a classic play about the original “mean girl.” My love for theatre started in high school, where I was blessed to have some wonderful teachers who fostered my interest in writing and performing in plays. In fact, that’s what I do when I’m not acting: I write plays and teach other people, even kids, how to write plays about themselves and the world around them. As an actor, I mostly work with my home theatre company, Antaeus (“ann-tee-us” rhymes with “come see us!”), where we do the “classics,” which are plays that are very old. While it’s fun to do new plays, it’s also wonderful to tell a story from a long time ago…today.

​​​​​Ella Saldana North (​​​​Ella) As a kid, I started out doing dance recitals dressed as a bear and singing Christmas carols for my dad’s camcorder. Then I got schooled at a place called UCSD (the University of California, San Diego) and went on to have many acting adventures. You might have seen me here at SCR as Bean in Ivy + Bean, Kayla in Jane of the Jungle or Elisa in Anastasia Krupnik. I sang in Spanish and got a heart transplant in Destiny of Desire. I got to dance a lot in West Side Story. I played a sassy girl in Family Planning and even got nominated for a cool award called the Ovation. And I fulfilled my dream of voicing a cartoon character by playing Cecilia on “The Cleveland Show.” I want to thank my family and friends for their love and support. Never stop learning new things and follow your dreams! ella-north.com.

​Erika Schindele (​​​​​Lucinda/Bird/Mistress Manners) Since I can remember, I’ve loved playing in a world of make-believe.  I’ve always wanted a fairy godmother and now I get to play one! As an actor, I’ve been able to meet people and visit places I could only imagine. I was shipwrecked in Twelfth Night and married to Thomas Jefferson in 1776. At SCR, I have been seen as Belle in A Christmas Carol and I was a bride chasing after her husband who was trying to find An Italian Straw Hat. I swept the stage floors as Cinderumplestiltskin in The Stinky Cheeseman, showed my stripes in Jane of the Jungle, was a girl with long braids in Sideways Stories, a princess in Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! and Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business, made new friends in The Brand New Kid and spent A Year with Frog and Toad (twice!). Though I’ve encountered many people in my theatrical journeys who have touched my life, my dad and mom will always be my heroes.  For my prince, Brent.
Creative Team
Casey Stangl (Director/Choreographer) I studied dance in the first grade and got to be on TV! That was in Iowa, on "Bill Riley’s Talent Search." Each week, kids performed on the show and, if they won, they got $25 and a chance to compete at the Iowa State Fair. I made it to the State Fair several years in a row and loved watching all the talented kids. But even though I loved singing and dancing, I didn't want to be a performer when I grew up. I liked seeing how everything got put together and I imagined whole shows in my head, so I became a director. That means I choose who will be in the play, work with designers to help create the sets and costumes and help the actors create their characters. I like being the person out front, taking it all in and knowing that I helped to make it happen!

Keith Mitchell (Scenic Design) I am so excited to be at SCR! I have designed many shows you may have seen like Anastasia Krupnick, Junie B. Jones and A Little Monkey Business, Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells Batman Smells! and Ben and the Magic Paintbrush. I enjoy painting and recently illustrated a book, written by JoAnn Dickinson, called I Love to Go Camping. I am an artistic associate (friend) of Rogue Artists Ensemble, a theatre group that makes shows with puppets, and we just created a really spooky show called Kaidan, that’s in an old warehouse. I also make sets for commercials like Taco Bell and Star Wars TV Dinners and this year, I made a throne for all the 2018 Winter Olympians to sit in! I am a University of Southern California Trojan alumnus, a member of the United Scenic Artists, Local 829, and the Art Directors Guild, Local 800.

Angela Balogh Calin (Costume Design) I am very excited to be back at SCR and collaborate with Casey again. I have designed costumes and/or sets at SCR for 16 Theatre for Young Audiences shows and more than 35 other productions including The Monster Builder, The Roommate, Abundance, The Whipping Man, Peter and the Starcatcher, Rest, The Whale, Trip to Bountiful and others. I also designed sets and costumes for more than 80 productions for the Alliance Theatre, Hollywood Bowl, Denver Center Theatre Company, A Noise Within, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, Chautauqua Theatre Company, Pasadena Playhouse and many local theatres, as well as companies in my native Romania. I have worked extensively in film and television in the U.S. and Romania, having design credits with I.R.S. Media, Cannon Films, PBS, Full Moon Entertainment and Romanian Films. I graduated with an MFA in set and costume design from the Academy of Arts in Bucharest.

K​aryn D. Lawrence (Lighting Design) I am a theatrical lighting designer, which means I love to paint with light!  I fell in love with lighting design while studying acting at the University of California, Irvine. From magical twinkle lights to flashy rock ‘n’ roll strobes, I have fun making pretty pictures on stage. I have designed numerous plays and events including SCR’s Theatre for Young Audiences productions of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, The Light Princess, A Year with Frog and Toad and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, as well as Into the Woods, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, Annie and Seussical for SCR’s Theatre Conservatory. One of my favorite designs each year is lighting the haunted mazes for Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights! When I’m not playing with lights, I’m riding my horse in the mountains near my home in Los Angeles.

Jeff Polunas (Sound Design) is excited to be sound-designing this production at SCR. I have designed many TYAs including Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, Flora & Ulysses, The Light Princess, Ivy + Bean: The Musical and Anastasia Krupnik. During the summer, I love designing for SCR’s Summer Players, which I have been doing for the last six years. I attended San Diego State University and UC Irvine, where I earned degrees in theatre and sound design. I love what I do and have designed for productions from San Francisco to San Diego. I enjoy taking the sounds we hear and creating something magical from them.

Sean T. Cawelti (Puppet Design & Direction) I was just three years old when I convinced my parents to buy me my first puppet at a swap meet in Orange County. Growing up, I was inspired by movies that told stories using puppets and now, I am a professional puppet designer and director. I studied theatre at UC Irvine and studied puppetry at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. I am the artistic director for Rogue Artists Ensemble in Los Angeles, a theatre company dedicated to telling new stories with puppets, masks and media. I was the Center Theatre Group’s 2015 Sherwood Award recipient and won awards for directing, designing and for writing. Last season at SCR I had the pleasure of designing the puppets for Mr. Popper’s Penguins. I am a member of United Scenic Artists, Local 829. seancawelti.com

Darlene Miyakawa* (Stage Manager) I love musicals! And watching a show develop from the start of rehearsals through each performance is very fun. My job as the stage manager is to ensure that what you see at each performance is what the director and designers envisioned and that everyone in the cast and crew has a safe and good experience. I discovered theatre in my senior year of college. I helped my roommate paint her set and saw another woman walking around with a list on a clipboard; I said, "Hey, I can do that!" Since then, I have worked in opera, modern dance and theatre, working in New York, Texas, Florida, Tennessee and now, here I am at SCR! Sit back and enjoy the show!

The Actors and Stage Managers employed in this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Arielle Fishman, Ella Saldana North, Caitlyn Calfas, Daniel Bellusci and Ann Noble in "​Ella Enchanted." Photo by ​Debora Robinson.
Clockwise from top right: Joel Gelman, Arielle Fishman, Ella Saldana North, Ann Noble and Caitlyn Calfas in "Ella Enchanted." Photo by ​Debora Robinson.
Cairlyn Calfas, Ann Noble, Ella Saldana North, and Arielle Fishman in "Ella Enchanted." Photo by ​Debora Robinson.
​Erika Schindele and the Giants in "​Ella Enchanted". Photo by ​Debora Robinson.
Joel Gelman and Daniel Bellusci in "​Ella Enchanted." Photo by ​Debora Robinson.
Ann Noble, Joel Gelman, Ella Saldana North, Caitlyn Calfas and Arielle Fishman in "​Ella Enchanted." Photo by ​Debora Robinson.
Ella Saldana North and ​Erika Schindele in "Ella Enchanted." Photo by ​Debora Robinson
Daniel Bellusci, Ella Saldana North and ​Erika Schindele in "Ella Enchanted." Photo by ​Debora Robinson.
Daniel Bellusci and Ella Saldana North ​in "Ella Enchanted." Photo by Debora Robinson.
Ella Saldana North and Ann Noble in "​Ella Enchanted". Photo by ​Debora Robinson.
From the Blog
Ella and the GiantsFive Questions for Sean Cawelti, Ella Enchanted’s Puppeteer
Puppeteer and director Sean Cawelti is the creative mind behind the puppets used in Ella Enchanted. ​Learn more about Cawelti, one of the country’s leading large-form puppet designers. read more
Ella Enchanted Book ExcerptSpellbound Ella Makes the Most Out of Quirky, Literal “Gift”
Ella is enchanted; spellbound, she must obey orders. From the book, Ella Enchanted, Ella explains how she works around this “gift.”   read more
Ella EnchantedNot Just a Cinderella Story: The Magic of Ella Enchanted
There’s magic and empowerment in Ella Enchanted. Find out how this musical fills in some gaps in the original Cinderella story and is winning new fans. read more
Karen Zacarias on Ella EnchantedPlaywright Gives Young People a Voice in Ella Enchanted
Playwright Karen Zacarías brings a modern Cinderella story to life in Ella Enchanted: The Musical, while empowering young people to have a voice. Learn more about this prolific, award-winning playwright. read more
Download the Ella Enchanted Study Guide

Leona Aronoff-Sadacca
​Socorro & Ernesto Vasquez


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