CLASSIC TALE - Cornerstone Youth Theatre members from left

Cornerstone Youth Theatre presents Beauty and the Beast

Red Deer audiences will soon have the chance to be charmed by the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast, thanks to the talents of Cornerstone Youth Theatre.

Directed by guest director Jessica Belisle, the production features a cast of 62 students and a crew of 25 with Ceanna McKee cast as Belle and Reid Mills as the Beast. Rounding out the team are Laurette Woodward as musical director, Ashley Miller who is serving as the vocal coach and choreographer Tori Grebinski.

This particular version of the show is from Russel House Productions.

Cast and crew are thrilled with the opportunity to present this family-friendly, musical show which opens on Nov. 6th and runs through to Nov. 14th.

Evening shows run at 7 p.m. on Nov. 6th-7th, 13-14th, with matinees at 3 p.m. on Nov. 7th and Nov. 14th.

The show takes place at New Life Fellowship Church.

Belisle, who is based in Spokane, has known Cornerstone Artistic Director Stephanie Orr for many years. The chance came up for her to head north and direct the talented troupe, and she was excited for the opportunity.

She was involved in a Spokane program that was similar to Cornerstone as well. “Stephanie was a staff member there when I was young and I grew up doing theatre there. I also knew her daughter, and we’ve kept in contact over the years.”

Currently, she’s involved with a theatre group in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and hopes to one day launch her own venture.

Orr eventually invited her to Red Deer to oversee Beauty and the Beast, and it’s not only been a hoot but also a rich learning experience as well. “It’s been going really, really well,” she said. “Good kids, good families – a really talented group.”

The classic Beauty and the Beast story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out.

If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity, as they are gradually turning from humans into castle objects – a teapot, a clock, a candlestick, and much more!

As for guiding along a comparatively large cast, Belisle said it takes quite a bit of pre-planning. “We think about how we can ‘layer’ these kids in to make them look good – to make it look structured and in unison,” she explained. Musicals also lend themselves well to large casts – there is lots of room for the youth to be featured and with the right choreography, the visual results can be magical as well.

Seeing young actors truly connect with their characters is also a very fulfilling thing for a director, she said. “They’re invested in sort of an emotional way, separate from learning lines and knowing (other aspects) of the play. They’re opening up themselves to feeling things. That’s encouraging, because you don’t always get that with younger performers because it can be harder for them to make that connection emotionally.

“But with this group, they’ve really strongly been doing that.”

As to the story, even though this one isn’t the Disney version, the themes of the classic story shine through and of course resonate strongly with audiences around the world.

“It’s an endearing story,” she said. Belle decides to open up her heart and mind to the Beast, even though he isn’t the nicest of chaps to start with. “She decides to accept him and kind of befriend him and that’s a new spin on it. She still chooses to give him a chance. That’s endearing, because it goes further than most stories do.

“Love transforms us. And that kind of gives hope to everyone,” she said, adding that the themes speak to our nature as having that desire to be loved, and to have someone who can help us to be better and more beautiful inside and out.

And from the Beast’s perspective, his friends are always urging him to be kind and to be gentle and to be Belle’s friend.

“That’s a great reminder that the kinder you are, the more likely you are to find love and friendship.”

Meanwhile, tickets for Beauty and the Beast may be purchased online at www.CornerstoneYouthTheatre.org or by phoning the box office at 403-986-­2981.

For more information, check out www.CornerstoneYouthTheatre.org or email Office@CornerstoneYouthTheatre.org.

editor@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Local youth invited to check out ‘Peacebuilders’

Initiative aims to promote rights and dignity for all

Local municipalities launch 2A South Regional Transit

Communities of Innisfail, Penhold, and Springbrook now connected by transit thanks to pilot project

Getting your passport has been made easier

Government of Canada doubles number of locations where Canadians can get their passports

Police officer assaulted during traffic stop

Chasetin Morin of Red Deer faces several charges

Live nativity pageant takes place Dec. 18th to 20th

Outdoor pageant takes place in the evening at 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m. at 8 Keast Way

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

Privacy watchdog says legal cannabis buyers should use cash, not credit

Some countries could bar entry to individuals if they know they have purchased cannabis

‘A start:’ Alberta critical of Ottawa’s $1.6B package for ailing energy sector

A further $150 million is to be used for clean growth and infrastructure projects

Two-year-old attacked by cougar near Mission, B.C.

Boy not seriously injured in incident on Monday afternoon

Trump signs order to create US Space Command

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to create a U.S. Space Command.

Groups preparing new pipeline legal challenge, argue government’s mind made up

A Vancouver-based environment charity is readying itself to go back to court if the federal government reapproves the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

Notorious Toronto triple killer gets third consecutive life sentence

Dellen Millard gets third consecutive life sentence for father’s death.

‘Subdued’ housing market predicted in B.C. through 2021: report

The Central 1 Credit Union report predicts “rising but subdued sales” over the next three years, with little movement in median home prices.

A journey through 2018’s top pop culture moments

Was there any pop culture this year? Of course there was.

Most Read