DENVER (CBS4) – The Cinderella story is found in an array of international cultures — from Russia and Europe to America to Native American stories to the Hmong of Southeast Asia.

At Denver’s Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy, teachers are using it as a way to introduce young students to theater and get them acquainted with literature from around the world.

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“We’ve learned five different versions of Cinderella from different parts of the world,” said teacher Aubrey Rule.

Splitting into groups, these students study the stories, absorb the diverse cultures, then work as actors to put together scenes and stories.

“They’ll get a chance to actually come up with their own play of one of the versions of Cinderella,” explained Rule.

(credit: CBS)

Students at Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy (credit: CBS)

This project was funded by the Broadway League in New York and implemented by the education team of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts. The goal is to introduce students to literature, culture, and theater in a fun and interactive way.

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“It’s nice to give the kids the chance to actually have this art aspect of their day. Have somebody new come in and show them what drama and performing arts is all about,” said Rule.

As the project continues, the students will rehearse their shows then see the national tour of Cinderella at the Buell Theatre. The kids will also meet with the cast backstage after the play and present their own shows for the cast back in the classroom.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

It’s a chance to introduce, open eyes, and open minds. Which is exactly what education is all about.

Cinderella runs Feb. 3 through Feb. 15 at the Buell in the Denver Center for the Performing Arts complex, and tickets are selling fast.

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You can get more information at 303-893-4100 or visit the Denver Center box office’s website.