Children’s theater camp presents ‘Beauty and the Beast Junior’ in Gypsum |

Children’s theater camp presents ‘Beauty and the Beast Junior’ in Gypsum

Derek Franz
VAIL CO, Colorado

A beauty will fall in love with a beast at Gypsum’s Lundgren Amphitheater Friday.

At 6:30 p.m., children from Eagle and Gypsum will perform “Beauty and the Beast Junior” before the free weekly movie begins. (The People’s Friday movie this week is “Legends of the Guardians.”)

There will also be a dress rehearsal of “Beauty and the Beast” at 1 p.m., which people are welcome to watch as well.

“But the good one is at 6:30!” said one of the young cast members.

The 31 children have been practicing the musical from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday for three weeks as part of the fifth Porchlight Players Summer Theater Camp.

“At least half the kids are returners,” said Ann Olin, who is directing the play. “This is the most cast members I’ve had in five years.”

Indeed, all the children were full of energy and eager to show their skills on Monday as they ran through the script.

“The hardest part is teaching the blocking – when we’re in the middle of the process,” Olin said. “I love their enthusiasm and taking a group of disparate people and organizing it into a production.”

The camp begins with “theater games,” said Jillian Kiss, a theater veteran from Battle Mountain High School who is serving as an assistant director for her first time.

The theater games include tongue twisters to help the kids with “projecting and enunciating,” as well as activities that reveal personalities.

“We try to fit the personalities to the roles,” Kiss said. “The kids also list their top three choices of characters they would like to play.”

It seems Olin and Kiss filled the roles well. In one scene, narrators pop out from behind bushes to explain the story as wolves chase “Belle” until she is gallantly saved by “the Beast.”

“They love the big dance numbers, like ‘Be our Guest,’ and the mob scene, where the villagers come after the Beast,” Olin said.

The kids would also love for the community to come enjoy the fruits of their hard work this Friday.

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