The Inner Workings of Beauty and the Beast

Rachael Schafer, Co-Editor in Chief

Beauty and the Beast is a tale that many of us have grown up with. Though the story has been told countless times, both in literature and in film, few can comprehend the task that is bringing this classic to the stage. Given the unceasing popularity of the musical and its many adaptations, The Copper Hills Performing Arts Department has had a tall order to fill for their upcoming production.

The process began in March, at the end of last school year, when Theater Director and teacher, Mr. Jordan Morell, chose the production. Morell had once professed to students he would never do a Disney show, however, this year he chose to do Beauty and the Beast saying that there was potential to involve lots of people. The cast and crew have already been working at full speed. “The students, the actors, and technicians, they will have 2 ½, to 3 months to put this together, which is a monumental task, doing work only after school,” says Morrell. An entire world is being created by mere students and teachers.

The magic will begin with the stage crew. This year for the musical they are learning something known as the “fly system.” It is a pulley system that allows the stage crew to make people or objects seem as if they are flying.  On top of that, stage crew is adapting elements from the movie version into the play. Caleb McFalls, Senior, and productions manager says, “I’m excited to see how we adapt it….especially the transitions from the Beast to the human.”

One thing that makes Copper Hills productions unique, is the use of live music. The musical’s unforgettable score will come from our pit orchestra. One thing that many people don’t know is that the music in Beauty and the Beast is continual. “The score just doesn’t stop….the music is far more integrated into what is going on onstage,” says Mrs. Jenna Baumgart, orchestra teacher and conductor of the pit orchestra. “Without it, the action on stage would be boring. It’s the movie idea put on stage.”

One of Morell’s biggest influences on the adaptation of the play will be how he uses this year’s cast. “Every show is different, people have preset expectations of what the cast should look like. The difference for me is that I don’t want to cling to the stereotypes,” says Morrell. The students who have been cast as leads couldn’t be more excited for how it’s going to look. Robyn Probert, Senior, who has been cast as Belle said, “When you spend so much time in a role being that character, a part of that character becomes part of you, and you part of that character.” The raw emotion caught on stage will be different for each show, and each moment on stage is priceless. “It’s something you don’t get to see every day…allowing people to come and forget the stresses of life..and just come into this other world that we get to show them, that they get to be part of,” says Senior Erik Peterson, who has been cast as Beast.

Like in the castle, everyone is working together to make sure that the magic happens and they’re hoping that you will be their guest. Opening night will be November 14. Tickets are $7 at the door for students and seniors, $8 for adults, or $5 if you buy presale tickets from any cast member. See Mr. Morell for additional details.