When people mention Beauty and the Beast, most think of the creative 1991 Walt Disney movie that has sold millions of copies to date.
This year, Craig County Middle and High School will be presenting a musical called, Beauty and the Beast Jr., which will be conducted by music teacher Alyssa Schulke who is also both school’s band and choir director.
Showtimes for the upcoming play, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr., will be 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, and 2:30 and 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 11. Sabrina Markin, Hannah Altizer and Mickey Ramirez are just some of the students who will be performing.
“The classic story is about Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress,” Schulke explained. “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.”
The music for this show is by Alan Menken, with lyrics by Tim Rice and Howard Ashman. The libretto was written by Linda Woolverton.
The Musical Theatre International describes the show as the following, “Based on the original Broadway production that ran for over 13 years and was nominated for nine Tony Awards, and the Academy Award-winning motion picture, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr. is a fantastic adaptation of the story of transformation and tolerance. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr. features some of the most popular songs ever written by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, along with new songs by Mr. Menken and Tim Rice.”
Schulke has 21 students – ranging from sixth graders to seniors – in this year’s cast. “The students have been working very hard on their lines and songs,” she said.
Schulke chose this musical because she is familiar with the Broadway show itself and also said that she loves the music.
Schulke also received assistance from her old school. “I was also able to borrow a majority of the costumes from my high school in Pennsylvania from when they did the same show a few years ago,” she said.
This is Schulke’s fourth musical she will have directed at Craig County High School. Her previous shows include, Shrek Jr., The Music Man Jr. and The Little Mermaid Jr.
Tickets are $3 for students and $5 for adults.
“I think the students enjoy performing!” Schulke said before adding, “We work hard to put on a great production for the public. They have fun learning the songs and choreography and developing their acting skills.”
She added, “It is a great creative outlet for our students. Some of my favorite memories from high school are from being in musicals. The cast becomes family, and we work together to create something memorable. I hope that my students enjoy being in shows as much as I did.”