Col­lege’s take on Dis­ney clas­sic

Beauty and the Beast an am­bi­tious pro­ject for stu­dents

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

A tale as old as time will be told at Tawa Col­lege on Fri­day when the school’s mu­si­cal pro­duc­tion of Beauty and the Beast opens.

The all- singing, all- danc­ing ex­trav­a­ganza is a Broad­way ver­sion of the 1991 Dis­ney film, with songs from the movie com­ple­mented by more writ­ten es­pe­cially for the stage.

Not since 2006’s Oliver! had Tawa Col­lege staged such an am­bi­tious mu­si­cal, chore­og­ra­pher Sara Scott said.

A cast of 60 singers, ac­tors and dancers will be joined by a 12-piece orches­tra. The back­stage crew brings the to­tal stu­dent in­volve­ment to 80 and par­ents had pitched in with stage de­sign too, Scott said. ‘‘It’s quite a com­mu­nity thing.’’ Cos­tum­ing was the big­gest chal­lenge, be­cause peo­ple ex­pected to see char­ac­ters who are can­dle­sticks, grand­fa­ther clocks and plates come to life, Scott said.

‘‘Peo­ple know there’s a teapot and a wardrobe in it.’’

Year 10 stu­dents had fash­ioned pa­pier- mache heads for such char­ac­ters to wear, Scott said.

The stu­dent cast de­voted all of last week, their school hol­i­day, to day- long re­hearsals in an­tic­i­pa­tion of open­ing night, and spent nine to 12 hours a week on the show all of last term.

Stu­dents got huge value out of in­volve­ment in a play, Scott said.

‘‘It’s as im­por­tant in your edu- cation as maths and English.’’

Stu­dent Jono Har­ris, 16, who plays the mayor, said the stan­dard of the pro­duc­tion im­pressed him. ‘‘It’s a lot more pro­fes­sional than I thought it would be.’’

Beauty and the Beast was a real chal­lenge for stu­dents, with both comic and dra­matic act­ing re­quired, as well as singing and danc­ing.

David Wil­liams, 17, who plays the Beast, said he was ner­vous about open­ing night.

‘‘It’s lots of fun, but there’s a lot of pres­sure to re­mem­ber lines.’’

Belle, also known as Sara MaloSi­olo, 16, was so touched by the emo­tion of the mu­si­cal’s fi­nal scenes that she broke down in tears dur­ing re­hearsals. ‘‘I started crying. ‘‘I couldn’t get the lines out,’’ she said.

The play was as much a chal­lenge for the di­rec­tor as the ac­tors – mu­sic teacher Isaac Stone is not only di­rect­ing the stage act­ing, but also con­duct­ing the orches­tra.

Stone was last in­volved in a Tawa mu­si­cal was when he was a stu­dent ac­tor in Oliver! in 2006.

Beauty and the Beast, Tawa Col­lege, Au­gust 2, 8, 9, 10 at 7.30pm, and 4pm mati­nee on Au­gust 4. Tick­ets $20 adults, $10 chil­dren and col­lege stu­dents from the Tawa Col­lege of­fice, phone 232 8184.

Photo: AN­DREA O’NEIL

Beauty cos­tumes: Giv­ing a sneak preview of cos­tumes for Tawa Col­lege’s Beauty and the Beast pro­duc­tion are Nikki Hur­nen, 13 (Chip), Olly Scott, 16 (Cogsworth) and Jono Har­ris, 16 (as Lumiere). Be­hind are Beauty and the Beast – Sara Malo-Si­olo, 16, and David Wil­liams, 17.

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