A familiar story played out in a new way on the stage of the Gate House Theatre, thanks to the creativity and talent of a crew of dedicated young actors.
The Gate House Theatre’s Senior After School Program took the stage for a production of “Beauty is the Beast” a retelling of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast.
The play ran for three shows with one on Friday, May 25, and two on Saturday, May 26.
The play opens with “Lucy”, played by Paisley Robertson, narrating her school assignment, which also happens to be the rewriting of a fairy tale – she, of course, picks Beauty and the Beast.
Lucy sets up the scene, explaining she’s swapping the gender roles so that the beast becomes “Iris”, played by Justine Giroux, and Belle becomes the not-so-dashing “Demetri Bellrose” played by Parker O’Conner.
Throughout the production, Demetri is initially played by another actor (Michael Wickstrom, Jalen Hartley, or Mathew Auld) before the narrator quickly recasts him to O’Conner for being “too-dashing”.
After the curse by the witch “Ameria”, played by Moriah Prudy, turns Iris into the beast, she is joined by her sidekicks – twins “Esburn” and “Everly”, played by Benjamin Cowards and Jack Bosma, in steampunk-inspired costume attire.
The narrator also adds in a love triangle, introducing the audience to “Hazel”, played by Ana Shepley, who is Demetri’s unrequited love interest determined to save him from his imprisonment.
However, Hazel soon meets and begins to be manipulated by a mysterious fairy named “Ziza”, also played by Moriah Purdy.
This sets the stage for a delightful retelling and intriguing take on a classic fairy tale performed expertly by the Senior After School Drama players.
The play was written and directed by Sequoia Coe, the lights and sound were operated by Ethan Evans, Rebecca was credited as assistant director and props, and makeup was done by Morgan Saysell.