A Look Behind the Curtain
This September, we are bringing Disney’s Beauty & the Beast: In Concert to the stage in a sweeping concert version, featuring a choir, orchestra, full cast, and the unique incorporation of other CFCArts members.
This ‘tale as old as time’ is one of love, belonging, and community. Beginning with an already-incredible story, vision, and score, we are working to create the largest, most inclusive production the region has ever seen, representing so much of the work that CFCArts does every year on a single stage.
But not just any stage… a stage where you can see yourself represented, where friends and neighbors meet to create art together, and where we can all be reminded that the way we choose to love each other is more powerful than anything on the surface.
We’re so excited to share this celebration of community and collaboration with you!
Juan Torres, our fabulous director of production and the Beauty & the Beast show director shared: “Our responsibility in this is not to put our own spin on it but to take that amazing story and empower our members to find their voice and their character and to be part of something so much bigger than any one person.”
Bringing together all the various program areas collectively to participate in what this is is a huge undertaking. We’re thrilled to see our Youth Theatre, our School of Arts & Health with UpBeat! and the Narrators, our Symphony Orchestra, Big Band, and Community Choir – plus a talented cast of local artists – all be a part of this experience.
“The cross-organization support this show has from our members speaks volumes to this production building a community not only through the arts but also through a collaboration of programs that don’t always have a chance to interact.”
Casting a production like this is no small feat. Our region is home to countless performers seeking ways to come together and create, and we received hundreds of video submissions from our phenomenally talented community. From that very first step, we’ve tried to keep the experience focused on the collaborative storytelling of this experience.
Local actors interested in Disney’s Beauty & the Beast: In Concert participated in a “blind audition” – but not in the way you might think. Typically, in the theatrical community, the creative team or at least the director is announced alongside auditions. That didn’t happen this time.
“By not having that information out front, nobody auditioned based on the creative leadership,” Juan said.
“They auditioned based on their interest and desire to be a part of the show. They were there because they wanted the opportunity to act and to be a part of what goes on at CFCArts. That’s what we wanted: for them to come because of the story we’re going to tell.”
The cast is remarkable, with so many representatives of both our CFCArts community and our broader Central Florida community.
“During the audition process, we asked those auditioning to pair up to read sides, allowing us to see the connection between various characters throughout the story and how those would play out on stage,” Juan shared. “The connection was instant with so many of them and resonated so well with those of us on the creative team. We were able to see how much these characters mean to the cast members, and we are excited to see how they collectively share their connections to their characters and each other with all of you in September.”
The joy in the room already from the very first read-through promises magic on stage, and we can’t wait for you to be a part of it!
About the Show
Step into the enchanted world of Broadway’s classic, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast: In Concert, an international sensation that has been produced in 37 countries worldwide. Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature, the stage version includes all of the timeless songs written by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, along with new songs by Mr. Menken and Tim Rice. The original Broadway production ran for over thirteen years and was nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. This concert version will bring you right into the magic!
The classic 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 into 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.
September 7-8 at 7:30pm
Northland Church (522 Dogtrack Rd, Longwood)