For many years, the Beacon Falls Youth Theater Company has taken over the Woodland Regional auditorium for their June musical, and this year is no different. Following their performance of The Wizard of Oz, the children are ready to put up Beauty and the Beast with just under forty rehearsals until their show date.
Directing the show is Woodland’s history teacher, Jillian Jackman. With the help of a few Woodland students, each scene is carefully mapped out creatively with a detailed set and abundance of property materials.
“I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to find props without the resources we have nowadays,” said Hannah Semrow, the show’s prop designer. “Especially for the younger age group.”
Since the students’ age in the theater ranges from eight to fourteen years old, the Prop and Set Committee need to take into consideration potential safety hazards, like glass windows or even working doors.
“Our stage manager came up with a book drop in order to gather all of the books we need as props throughout the show,” said Semrow. “I think it’s a great way to collect props without being wasteful.”
This community service project is a great way to teach the students about helping others and how their work can make a difference. After the show, the books will be donated to libraries, charities and children’s hospitals.
The set committee is being run by Claire Cummings, Woodland senior and profound member of the drama department. Parents of all students (actors and volunteers) will help collect materials and build the replica of the Beast’s castle.
“Having parents offer their time brings to life the community of the Beacon Falls Youth Theater Company,” said Jackman.
Also helping the students will be Ian Youngs, Woodland’s music director. Since Youngs started at the elementary schools, the kids are comfortable learning from him as they understand his teaching methods.
“It’s important that Youngs comes to help the kids because as an actual teacher who knows some of these students; they will be able to understand what he is trying to tell them,” said Evan Moore, a teenage volunteer. “Unfortunately, he can’t come everyday, but he will teach our stage manager [Hannah Mudry] the songs so she can help the kids too.”
Mudry works by organizing all aspects of tech and communicating effectively with the parents and students. She is also learning the ensemble music material, so Youngs only has to focus on the named characters.
Although the date of the show is still tentative, the team is working hard to put on a great show while providing back to the community.