College’s take on Disney classic
Beauty and the Beast an ambitious project for students
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.
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.