Even though Beauty and the Beast, Jr. closed about a month ago, that didn’t stop me from having a nightmare about Belle missing her entrance the other night. I can’t seem to get this show out of my head!
The week of the performances I pretty much went insane from the stress. Below is photo documentation of my downward spiral into insanity during show week.
Usually, directors get to sit back and enjoy their work during show week, but that is not that case when you’re directing a children’s production. Because of the neediness of pint-sized actors, I was needed backstage during all the shows so I could move set pieces and help Belle with her many costume and wig changes.
At times it felt like I was like trying to tame a herd of wild elephants. Those kids LOVE to stand in the wings (in perfect view of the audience, mind you) to watch the show and discuss the on-stage action with their friends. One of the first rules of theatre is to stay quiet backstage, but the kids just couldn’t stop talking.
In addition to playing “angry librarian” by shushing the kids during the performances, I also sang harmonies from backstage to help out during group numbers. By the end of each performance I was exhausted!
Each show had its own set of hiccups, but that doesn’t mean that the kiddies didn’t do a great job! In live theatre, especially in children’s theatre, there is no such thing as perfection. Lines were dropped, entrances were missed and the occasional costume piece fell off. (I’ll never forget the horror of watching Beast’s mask fly off his face mid fight scene!) Luckily, the kids are adorable, so they can pretty much get away with any mishap.
Overall, I’m very proud of the kids and what we were able to accomplish with the show. Beauty and the Beast is, by nature, a VERY technically challenging show, but the kids rose to the challenge. I would love to be a part of this show again someday, as it is still one of my favorites, but I’d definitely prefer to be a part of a production with adults!
Directing Beauty and the Beast was a great experience and the kids filled my summer with magic! Here’s to another great show!