Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ comes to life on Leach stage

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On April 7, 2010

Take a step back in time into an enchanted world of dancing roses, a singing candelabra and menacing wolves as the Miner League Theatre Players bring Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to Leach Theatre this month. The entire family will enjoy Missouri University of Science and Technology’s latest production, which features a cast of 62 performers, including 20 area children.

Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 15, through Saturday, April 17, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 18, in Leach Theatre of Castleman Hall on the Missouri S&T campus, 10th and Main streets in Rolla. The show is part of the Leach Theatre Family Series.

Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for students and youth age 18 and under. Tickets are available between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and one hour before each performance in the Leach Theatre Box Office, located in Castleman Hall. Patrons who purchase 10 or more tickets will receive a $1 discount on each ticket; those who purchase 15 or more tickets will receive a $2 discount on each ticket.

“This has been a huge undertaking,” says director Jeanne Stanley, assistant professor in the arts, languages and philosophy department at S&T. “But it’s been really fun. The students and everyone else involved have so much talent and have been great to work with – I can’t wait for them to showcase their hard work.”

Stanley says the cast includes children as young as 5 and community members older than 50. She also says she’s increased the children’s roles to include them in more musical numbers.

Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature, the stage version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast includes the memorable songs from the film by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, along with new songs by Menken and Tim Rice.

The role of Belle will be played by Illysa Harms, a senior in mechanical engineering from Cheney, Kan. The Beast will be played by Joe Thieman, a senior in mechanical engineering, from Springfield, Ill. Timothy Strack, a senior in ceramic engineering from Raymore, Mo., will play the Prince.

Lorie Francis is the musical director and Dave Cress will conduct the 10-piece orchestra. Francis and Cress are lecturers in the arts, languages and philosophy department at S&T. Gessell Caudill of Rolla’s andFLEW! Studios choreographed the production.

Beauty and the Beast involves more than 150 costumes, the majority of which were made by costumer Barb Mulligan from St. Louis. Mulligan and Stanley collaborated on the children’s costumes, and some of the main character’s costumes were rented. Alpha Psi Omega National Theatre Honor Society will sell roses for $5 each during the show to help offset these costs. These light-up roses will be a fun way for the audience members, particularly children, to help “Save the Beast” during the performance.

Additional information about the performance is available online.

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On April 7, 2010. Posted in Events, Top Headlines