Deborah Sparks says the experience of directing the musical, “Beauty and the Beast,” has been “Wonderful, with people giving whatever they can, they’ve made it fun and when the curtain opens, and people see the costumes – oh my gosh!”
Although the production is “Disney-driven,” Sparks says, “Each theater does its own interpretation and there has to be one person holding the vision to keep people on track.”
Sparks herself considers “Beauty and the Beast” the ultimate fairy-tale. “It reinforces the part of us that looks beyond appearances – to step back and have compassion.”
Helping her flesh out her vision is another, behind-the-scenes multitude of people, led by Chloe Scott as Assistant Director, Martin Lund as Music Director, Susan Babcock as Choreographer, Pam Loew as Choral Coach, Shaun Albrechtson as Technical Director, LuAnn Pamatian as Wardrobe Manager, Sage MacLeod as Stage Manager, and Paige McCormick as Scheduler.
Sparks says of Chloe Scott, Orcas High School junior and Assistant Director, “She is so brilliant and observant and has been on top of it every minute. I trust her implicitly with everything.”
Martin Lund says from the orchestra pit (or in this case, balcony), “In the immortal words of the great community theatre enthusiast, Winston Churchill, ‘I have nothing to offer but blood, sweat and tears’ until opening night which, of course, makes it all worth it! Also, seeing the kids all dressed in costume made it all worth it for me.”
Susan Babcock has taught some of the children for over two years, and though he initial involvement in “Beauty” was to choreograph her young dancers as “plates,” her services have been enlisted to help move the other actors/singers/dancers around the stage, especially in the crowd-stopping “Be Our Guest” number. Babcock says the play has been “A real learning process for the children, working with such an incredible cast – great, responsible, willing and energetic.”
Sparks says, “Everyone – cast and crew – has so much heart and is so behind us all that it overcomes whatever comes up.
“It is so much fun, so energizing to be working with people who are this good at what they’re doing; I love working with a lot of people at one time. My strength is really in taking everything a little over the top – then I’m in heaven.
“I’m blissed out.”