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. 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.

We’re so excited to share this celebration of community and collaboration with you!

(Click here to read more of a show overview!)

“Far Off Places”

In Beauty & the Beast, the boy-turned-teacup Chip is one of many memorable characters in the beloved tale, but it doesn’t make sense for him to be the only child around the castle or village. To remedy this and to highlight yet another CFCArts program area, twelve members of the Youth Theatre Troupe will join the cast on stage as Villagers and Wolves.

Hayden Patterson is the CFCArts youth programs administrator and Youth Theatre Troupe stage manager for Disney’s Beauty & the Beast: In Concert, and she will also be playing the role of the Bookseller in this production. Hayden shared eloquently about this group of students she’s so invested in:

“When thinking about this ‘tale as old as time,’ I feel like we often look back to an earlier period in our lives when we were younger and could feel the magic of our favorite stories come to life as they jumped off the pages in front of us.

“We have all had a moment in our childhood where we have wanted to leap inside our favorite books so we could go on incredible adventures alongside our beloved characters. It is remarkable that our Youth Theatre Troupe has the unique opportunity to do just that!

“While our typical semester productions consist of our students performing in various plays and musicals alongside their peers, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast: In Concert gives our students the chance to experience high-quality theatre in the most interactive way possible—by making them a part of the story.

“Our Youth Theatre Troupe is considered our most advanced level group within our youth programs, giving students adequate experience within the performing arts that will prepare them for their future high school, college, and conservatory careers. Our Youth Theatre Troupe has tackled challenging productions in the past, such as The Sound of Music, Aida, Matilda, and Mary Poppins.

Beauty and the Beast presents a new and exciting challenge for these students because they are not just learning alongside each other but also with their adult principal cast members, with a creative team of renowned professionals, and on a stage that is truly larger than life.

“This production is giving our students the hands-on experience that our program strives to prepare them for, so it is exceptionally special that we are able to give them an authentic environment where they are learning music with many challenging harmonies, advanced choreography, rehearsal etiquette, in-depth character studies, and even individualized prop creation that will aid in integrating their specific characters further into the story. Our Youth Theatre Troupe will not only participate in telling a tale as old as time, but they will also become a part of the story itself, from exploring the village library with Belle to defending the castle with enchanted objects galore.

“I am incredibly excited to see this production process unfold for these incredibly talented students—the essence of self-discovery, compassion, and pure magic that emanates from a musical like Beauty and the Beast is something that all of us can take to heart. But there is truly something special about letting the young ones the story was meant for become the characters they read about once upon a time.”

The pre-professional Youth Theatre Troupe rose to the challenge of Aida in June 2021.
(Header Image Caption: The Youth Theatre’s Elf the Musical in December 2022 included creative staging choices such as “ice skating” on stage.)

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)
Learn More

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