Southview invites you to be their guest for ‘Beauty and the Beast’Written by Matt Liasse | | email@example.com
Brandi Shepard, director, choreographer and theater teacher at Sylvania Southview High School, gave herself a five-year deadline to cast children in one of her productions.
“I’m a year late, this is my sixth year,” Shepard said.
Shepard said she wanted to get children interested in theater at a young age, as she was. The result wasn’t what she expected.
“What’s really interesting though is I think they have been a great influence on my high school kids,” Shepard said. “Before my elementary kids get there, the high school kids are kind of sluggish, they’re not getting into it, and those elementary kids come in so excited, so eager to work with so much energy; it honestly changes the demeanor of everything.”
Shepard extended an invitation to the Southview theater schools, Central Trail Elementary, Stranahan Elementary and Sylvan Elementary. The play includes 12 children among more than 100 cast and crew members, including the orchestra.
“That’s a lot, yes, there’s a good amount to juggle,” Shepard said.
One thing new this year is that Shepard double-casted the main roles. These cast members will perform two of the four shows. One reason for that was the higher number of male roles than female roles. Double-casting gave more girls a chance to audition.
The decision to do “Beauty and the Beast” did not come easy, Shepard said. She also had rights to do “Fame” and didn’t make an official decision until three hours before announcing it. For her sixth year at the school, she said the theater department is ready to tackle the “big shows.”
“There wasn’t much of a program when I got there and it’s taking me a while to do some of the bigger shows, and I thought, ‘You know what, we are finally starting to establish ourselves. This will be the show though that puts us on the map’,” Shepard said.
Shepard said the classic Disney tale is perfect for the community.
“It’s a story almost everyone knows,” Shepard said. “It’s something that is going to appeal to families.”
There are other events going hand-in-hand with the production. Cast members have read to kids in libraries and have gone into classrooms to teach about theater.
The high school will also sponsor “Breakfast with Belle” on Saturday, April 20 at 10 a.m. Guests will enjoy a breakfast with cast members and enjoy singing, dancing and raffles.
The entire production costs $30,000 to $35,000; the costumes alone are over $7,000 to rent. Funds were raised by boosters, car washes and donations.
Tickets are selling fast, Shepard said.
“I am shocked at the phone calls [and emails] I field every single day regarding tickets three months prior,” Shepard said. “I’ve never had that type of response.”
The show’s dates are April 25, 26 and 27 at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7 p.m.) and April 28 at 2:30 p.m. (doors open at 2 p.m.) Tickets cost $8 for students and seniors and $10 for adults. Tickets can be purchased at the Southview Theatre lobby from 6-7 p.m. on April 17, 18, 22, 23 and 24. Tickets will also be sold at the door.
Shepard encourages purchasing tickets ahead of time because she anticipates shows selling out.