Insight News

Feb 11th

Traci Allen connects with Can-do Girls Club, Wayman Praise Dancers following Cinderella performance

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dnp 4754-2CTC’s newest Company Actor Traci Allen is currently enchanting Twin Cities’ audiences with her portrayal of Cinderella in Children’s Theatre Company’s holiday production Cinderella. Her performance has garnered praise from audiences and critics alike. According to City Pages, “Allen is magnetic as Cinderella, merging weary innocence with grace. It's a performance that carries plenty of dramatic weight, which adds a real heart to all the frantic comedy.” Allen’s performance was most appreciated by girls and young women from North Minneapolis who belong to local groups dedicated to their empowerment: the Can Do Girls Club and the Wayman African Methodist Episcopal Church Praise Dancers. Both groups attended the performance on Sunday, November 17 followed by an exclusive post-show discussion with Allen.

For the Can Do Girls, seeing Traci portray Cinderella was inspiring. According to director Shanae Hill, “Being able to sit and talk with Cinderella who was played by an African American woman was amazing! It was nice to have another adult woman talk to the girls and let them know that with hard work-they can do anything despite skin color or anything else.”

The co-hosted event was a part of Children’s Theatre Company new ACT One initiative to create a more accessible, diverse, and inclusive culture within the theatre’s audience and company. ‘ACT’ stands for ‘Access, Connect, and Transform.’ CTC is expanding access with its new ACT Pass, created to break down barriers around attending live theatre. With a goal nothing short of transformation, CTC partners with local service organizations like Wayman AME Church and the Can-Do Girls Club to connect with the community, deepen engagement, and explore together the relevance and transformative power of live theatre in young people’s lives.

dnp 4860-2Allen, having changed out of her ball gown joined the girls in the house of CTC’s UHG Stage immediately following Sunday’s performance and spoke candidly about her experience as a student at Howard University, and talked about how she, like every girl dreamed of one day being Cinderella. The children were captivated.

Monique Stumon from Wayman AME claims, “The girls had some up-close and personal time with someone that looks like them.” Most of the girls, ages ranging from three up to teens are aspiring singers, dancers, or performers so they were aghast claiming, “I can’t believe she had a leading role like Cinderella!”

- Following the event of the girls said, "Now I am going to work harder so I can be on that same stage one day." Stumon concluded “It made them feel like they could do something that seemed impossible but it really isn't because Traci is just like them.” Cinderella will run at Children’s Theatre Company through January 5, 2014. A limited number of tickets are sold for $10 each Sunday for the following week’s performances. For more information on Cinderella or CTC’s ACT Pass program created to bridge economic realities of low income youth and families, visit


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