Savka Epp (right) stars as the Wardrobe

Beauty and the Beast comes to the Memorial Centre stage

A tale as old as time is set to sweep into Red Deer. A gossiping French village from a bygone era, a forbidden west wing, an enchanted chipped tea cup ­— they will all come to life at the Memorial Centre from Jan. 31 to Feb. 7.

A tale as old as time is set to sweep into Red Deer.

A gossiping French village from a bygone era, a forbidden west wing, an enchanted chipped tea cup ­— they will all come to life at the Memorial Centre from Jan. 31 to Feb. 7.

Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School presents its live performance of the classic French fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, a musical bursting with the talents of many young, first-time actors.

“In terms of set, costumes, it’s much more elaborate and fantastical than our previous shows,” said Tara Koett, Thurber’s drama teacher and the musical director. “We have a group of student technicians and some parent volunteers who have worked tirelessly and enthusiastically to create some amazing sets, props and costumes.”

The show entails an array of dance numbers, special effects and even fight choreography, making for an event that covers a “wide breadth of entertainment,” Koett said.

About 80 adolescents from Grade 9 to 12 are involved in the production from acting to band to lighting and sound. Many of them are in Grade 10, resulting in a much younger cast than previous ones, Koett said.

First-time actor Sam Vesely, 16, who has already made a name for himself on the football field, stars as the character of talking candelabra Lumière.

“I wanted to try out for the play last time just because it looked so fun but I was too busy with football. This year, I still wanted to do it so badly I thought what the heck I’d try doing both and honestly I just love it. You get to run around, sing songs and hang out with a lot of cool people,” said Vesely, a Grade 11 student. “Singing is actually one of my secret ambitions.”

Haley McLean, 16, is one of the actors who shares the role of Belle. A first-timer on the stage, she said she never expected to be the lead when she tried out.

“I’ve always loved singing and the idea of acting; I’d just never got into it. This year, I thought I’d just go for it. Sharing the role is fun, too, because I get to do ensemble parts as well as some Belle parts,” she said. “It can be a bit overwhelming when you first try lines but it gets better with time.”

Auditions took place last spring and the troupe has been rehearsing since September.

The play was a unique challenge for the all the young actors, Koett said, as many are too young to have grown up watching the popularized Walt Disney take on the fairy tale.

“The sincerity of the characters was a big one in this play. There’s lots of students who have never seen the Disney movie so they could really make the characters their own and for those that had seen it, they had the challenge of taking the character off the page and not doing just an impersonation of an animated character. … It’s been really cool to watch the students discover their characters motivations and make them into real, believable people.”

This is Koett’s third time directing a full-scale, live production with the school.

She was behind last year’s satirical How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Footloose in 2010.

“Year after year, I’m just humbled and grateful for all the support from parents and staff and the students themselves. It’s a huge show and a huge undertaking and I couldn’t be happier with how it’s all come together,” she said.

Tickets are $15 each and available by visiting the community programs office at the school.

For more information about tickets, call 403-342-1059.

rfrancoeur@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Updated: SUV smashes through fences and deck in Anders

Driver taken to hospital after SUV veered off 30th Avenue into Anders

Red Deer’s new ‘equity co-ordinator’ will promote tolerance

Andrea Lacoursiere was hired by city with Alberta Human Rights funding

More bridge work this summer in Red Deer’s Coronation Park

The park’s north bridge is being rebuilt to ensure safety

Man badly injured in off-road vehicle collision on Saturday

Incident happened in Mountain View County about 10:50 p.m.

Heat warning in effect for Central Alberta

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Central Alberta. Residents in… Continue reading

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

HONOLULU — An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent… Continue reading

Banff holds blessing ceremony with Indigenous elders before letting bison roam

BANFF, Alta. — Several Indigenous elders were flown by helicopter into the… Continue reading

Research expedition looks at unseen depths of Labrador Sea ecosystem

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Last summer, a team of scientists returned from… Continue reading

Protesters camped outside Saskatchewan legislature taking province to court

REGINA — Protesters camped outside the Saskatchewan legislature say they are taking… Continue reading

British PM accepts key amendments from hardline Brexiteers

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday accepted amendments to… Continue reading

‘City of icebergs:’ Study says 100s of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

The statistics in her recently published paper say it all: hundreds of… Continue reading

U.S. hits back with WTO challenge against Canada’s retaliatory tariffs

OTTAWA — The United States fired back Monday at the Canadian government’s… Continue reading

Croatia gears up to give heroes’ welcome to World Cup team

ZAGREB, Croatia — Fans are pouring in from throughout the country as… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month