St. Catherine School students and staff recently wrapped up their adaptation of the Broadway show Beauty and the Beast, a three-day engagement that was the result of months of preparation.
Directed by Kris Heiser, who is in her 21st year directing the school’s annual play, the show is based on the Academy Award-winning animated film. A total of 144 students were involved in the production, including actors and the behind-the-scenes crew.
The tale of transformation and tolerance follows Belle and the Beast, who is really a young prince who must learn to love and be loved to break the curse of an enchantress.
Eighth-grader Presley Malech, who performed as Belle, said work on the play began right at the beginning of the school year in August.
“It takes so much work to get to the weekend of the play,” she said. “We become like family at the end, and it’s amazing being on stage.”
Fellow eighth-grader Bennett Anderson, playing the Beast, acknowledged that it was “stressful” and “nerve-inducing” to perform on stage.
“For me, it is more about the process than the actual performance because it is fun,” he said. “I have met a bunch of new people that I didn’t normally hang out with at school. It is also fun because the little kids look up to me.”
Seventh-grader Sophia Sweeney said she enjoyed the challenge of making choices while under pressure.
“I love to perform because you learn how to improvise and you learn the importance of deadlines, and in addition to learning, you are having fun and making memories with the people you love,” she said.
Parent Rachel Bliss gave kudos to Heiser, who is also St. Catherine’s middle school social studies teacher.
“Our community is very thankful to have such a dedicated educator that pours her heart and soul into her projects,” she said.