After an appearance on local television to promote their spring workshops, seven princesses from Ahwatukee Children’s Theatre (ACT) were invited to make a guest appearance at this year’s Phoenix Comicon, May 24-27 at the Phoenix Convention Center downtown.

ACT hosted three workshops this year where teen-aged actresses had the chance to test their skills as Disney princesses and promote this summer’s big production of “Cinderella.” The girls did such a good job during an appearance on TV, one of the producers, who was also in charge of booking personalities for Phoenix Comicon, asked them to make an appearance on May 26.

“It was just one of those things where they were just in the right place at the right time in the right persona,” said Michele Rubino, executive director of ACT.

The girls will do a short workshop at Comicon and spend the rest of the time signing autographs and posing for pictures.

Though none of the girls have been to Comicon before, they’re excited about the appearance. If it’s anything like the experiences they had at the workshops, they know they’ll enjoy it.

“It feels good to have someone so happy to see you,” said Madeline Kretchman, one of the girls playing a princess. “It’s fun. They ask so many cute questions.”

The girls say they were asked all sorts of questions about their princes, if they all had sleepovers in the castle together, and if there was any drama among the princesses.

“It’s cool for the kids because they get to hang out with the princesses, but it’s also really great for us because it really tests our skills,” said Ahwatukee resident Kiarra Goldberg. “There’s so much improv because they ask so many questions. You get caught up in your own story.”

Brooklynn Rydman, also from Ahwatukee, said she remembers going to a similar workshop at ACT when she was younger. She was excited to have a chance to take part in it now that she’s older and can have a chance to be a princess.

“Even though I knew the girls and I knew they weren’t the real princesses, I still loved it,” Rydman said. “We had some kids from theater this year and it was the same thing. They know you, but they’re so star-struck they still get excited.”

Rubino said the group didn’t have as much of a turnout as they were hoping for for the spring workshops, but those who did come loved it and it’s definitely an idea they’ll do again in the future. The fact that the girls were invited to make an appearance at Comicon proves what a great group of actresses they are.

“Comicon is all about pretending and getting into imagination and characters, and I really think that’s basically what theater is anyway,” Rubino said. “I think it’s sort of a weird mix because when I think Comicon I usually think super hero comics, but princesses are make-believe too, and I think they’re trying to do something that will attract young girls. It’s really fun.”

While the workshops may be over the princesses are now preparing for ACT’s summer camp, which will be putting on a production of “Cinderella.” The camp is open to children in kindergarten through age 19. Rubino expects a cast of close to 60 kids in the final show, which will be shown at the Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N. Arizona Ave., at the end of June. For more information about ACT, or to sign up for the summer camp, visit or call (480) 705-9319.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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