Changes in the SSES Production of Beauty and Beast Jr.

Here is the latest update on this years SSES musical, “Beauty and the Beast”.

Reese Williams, Staff Writer

As rehearsals for the production of Beauty and the Beast Jr. kick off, there are some changes happening within the theater’s production this year because of the ongoing pandemic. For the first time at Saint Stephen’s, every lead character will have an understudy. 

Hoping to understand the impact this decision will have on the musical, I sat down with Mrs. Elisha and asked her some questions about these changes and the outlook on the play itself.

Q: Were you always planning on having understudies this year or was this a change due to COVID?

A: Yes, we have understudies because of COVID. If someone is out sick we don’t want to cancel the show. I have never had understudies in previous years, but I find them important. It helps to mold younger performers to have a more prominent role in the show in the future. 

Q: Will the understudies perform in any shows? If so, when?

A: Yes, every understudy will perform at least once. I think we will have to scatter them out and not just have an understudy show. It’s a lot for a director logistically.

Q: Are these changes permanent or are they only unique to this year?

A: I would say if having understudies is successful, then I would strongly consider doing it again. 

Q: Will there be masks required for performers or the audience?

A: The plan is not for the performers to wear masks; however, the state of health of performers and the audience is of the utmost importance. Normally, we sit 120 people but this year it will be 50. As of now, we will be having the show in the Falcon Playhouse but, Covid will be the deciding factor in the final decision. 

Q: What are you looking forward to most for this production?

A: I am looking forward to opening night. It’s so exciting for a director to see a final product. It is fun to watch the students’ excitement and the pride they have after the show. As long as the students had a great time and learned something, I am proud of it. 

Q: Is there anything else you would like to tell the SSES community about the show?

A: I would like for them to know that the students that are involved in this production are dedicated and passionate about this show and myself and the musical directors are really lucky to have 30 students who want to do musical theater. There’s a lesson to be learned— Beauty and the Beast is a story about character and how people should be treated despite their differences. If people can leave our production thinking about how important it is to be kind to everyone then we did our job.

Mrs. Elisha also noted that this year there could possibly be students from the community, like from the Boys and Girls Club, who come and see the show. There are many exciting new things happening this year so, make sure to come see this year’s production of Beauty and the Beast Jr. on March 18, 19, 20, 24, and 25th.