ZACH Theatre in partnership with Deaf Austin Theatre (DAT) announces the cast of
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella playing January 25 – March 5 at The Topfer at ZACH with a cast and crew of deaf and hearing actors.

Co-Directed by Producing Artistic Director of the Lyric Theatre Michael Baron and DAT Artistic Director, Dr. Brian Cheslik, The Tony®-nominated musical fairytale Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella will come to life in The Topfer to start the New Year for 2023.

Photo Credit Suzanne Cordeiro

This fresh new musical and family favorite will be performed in both American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English with supertitle artistically incorporated into the scenic design and fully inclusive experience from the time patrons arrive at the theatre.

Broadway veteran SANDRA MAE FRANK (Deaf West’s Spring Awakening) will play the title role of Ella. Sandra recently was Co-Director (with Michael Baron) of the critically acclaimed production of The Music Man at Olney Theatre in Maryland and can currently be seen as Dr. Elizabeth Wilder on “New Amsterdam” on NBC.

“Since beginning pre-production work, I immediately found that we share theatrical mindset. It’s been an amazing collaborative and directing partnership that I hope leads to future endeavors between Deaf Austin Theatre and ZACH as well as Deaf Austin Theatre and Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, which is where Michael is based as artistic director,” expressed director Dr. Brian Cheslik. “This production is so important because it provides a space for deaf performers who have long been ignored in this industry. It will help people to realize that yes, deaf people can enjoy music and perform in musicals too. We can do anything hearing people can do…even here! We just do it a different way.”

On why bringing Cinderella to the stage was important, ZACH Producing Artistic Director Dave Steakley said, “With over 50,000 deaf and hard of hearing residents in Austin, I want to make sure ZACH is serving the members of our community, especially the students at Texas School for the Deaf. It occurred to me that Rodgers + Hammerstein’s newer Broadway adaptation of Cinderella would be a good story because this version puts her in the driver’s seat of her life’s journey. Likewise, I want us to produce a work that puts our deaf director, choreographer, actors and production team in control. It has been a very exciting process so far, and I know the result will be a highly original interpretation of this classic tale that is joyous and moving in its inclusivity.”

Steakley continued, “Brian Cheslik is the leading deaf director in our state and he knows ZACH well as he has signed many of our performances over the years. It made sense to pair him with Michael Baron, who is at the forefront of productions which collaborate between ASL and English, having helmed several productions across the country as the hearing director. The creativity is sparking between these two great artists.”

Photo Credit Suzanne Cordeiro

Special Events in celebration of Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella:
• Pride Night on Thursday, January 26, 2023

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella
When: January 25–March 5, 2023
Where: The Topfer at ZACH | 202 South Lamar | Austin, TX | 78704
Tickets: Start at $25 available at ZACH’s box office – 512-476-0541 x1,

This enchanting Tony®-nominated musical fairytale will put a spell on audiences of all ages. In partnership with Deaf Austin Theatre and performed simultaneously in English and American Sign Language, Rodgers Hammerstein’s Cinderella showcases some of your favorite tunes including “In My Own Little Corner,” “Impossible,” and “Ten Minutes Ago,” in this funny, modern adaptation from the delightful Broadway revival. Add a dash of romance, a splash of stage magic–and POOF!–you’re guaranteed to have a ball!

Age recommendation: Six and up
Run time: Approximately two hours with a 20-minute intermission.

Tickets are available online at, by phone at 512-476-0541 Tuesday through Friday, 12–5 p.m. Free, short term and convenient parking available at the front entrance. ZACH Theatre is wheelchair accessible. Student Rush Tickets are $17 one hour before show time (with valid ID). A limited amount of Pay–What–You–Will tickets are available the day of for Mainstage preview performances November 16–20 only. Groups of 8 or more may request reservations by calling 512-476-0594 x245 or by emailing

ZACH XP memberships are $39 per month and give access to all 2022-23 season Mainstage and Family series shows. ZACH XP Members get early-access to reserve seats. Visit to learn more.

Photo Credit Suzanne Cordeiro

Sandra Mae Frank – Ella
Trey Harrington – Topher
Meredith McCall – Madame
Kenny Williams – Sebastian
Mervin Primeaux-O’Bryant – Marie/Fairy Godmother
Krissy Lemon – Gabrielle
Sara Burke – Charlotte
Gregor Lopes – John-Michel
Christopher Tester – Lord Pinkleton
Heba Toulan – Ensemble
Emily Catalfamo – Ensemble/Ella Swing
Lee Walter – Ensemble/Singing Voice for Marie
Mariel Ardila – Ensemble/Singing Voice for Ella
Taylor Flanagan – Ensemble/Singing Voice for Gabrielle
Jordan Barron – Ensemble/Singing Voice for Jean-Michel
Michael Baron – Co-Director
Dr. Brian Cheslik – Co-Director
Allen Robertson – Musical Director
Cassie Abate – Choreographer
Mervin Primeaux-O’Bryant – Assistant Choreographer
Stephanie Busing – Scenic, Properties & Projections Designer
Chris Evans – Projections Assistant
Jeffrey Meek – Costume Designer
Serret Jensen – Hair and Makeup Designer
Annie Wiegand – Lighting Designer
Fabian Garcia – Assistant Lighting Designer
Anna Alex – Sound Designer
Shannon Richey – Stage Manager
Danielle Grisko – Assistant Stage Manager
Casey Boriskie – Assistant Stage Manager
Kailyn Aaron-Lozano – Lead Director of ASL
Laila Hanaumi – Director of ASL
Shannon Ploeger – ASL Interpreter Coordinator

About ZACH Theatre
A non-profit organization, ZACH creates intimate theatre experiences that ignite the imagination, inspire the spirit, and engage the community. As Austin’s leading professional producing theatre, ZACH employs more than 300 actors, musicians, and designers annually to create its own diverse array of nationally recognized plays and musicals under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Dave Steakley and Managing Director Jamie Herlich Mclalwain. Each year, ZACH serves nearly 140,000 Central Texans – 57,000 of which are children and youth who participate in our education and outreach programs, as well as inspiring camps and classes. Founded in 1932, ZACH is the longest continuously running theatre company in the state of Texas, and one of the ten oldest in the country. Visit for more

Connect with ZACH:
Twitter @ZACHtheatre