The FCHS Theatre department and the Floyd Community Theatre Guild have combined forces for a special presentation of “Beauty & the Beast Jr.” Shows will be presented on Friday, May 3 at 6:00 p.m., Saturday, May 4 at 6:00 p.m., and Sunday, May 5 at 2:00 p.m. at Floyd County High School.

“We hope for a large turnout of young children,” director Emily Williams, FCHS theatre teacher, stated. “We have planned several places in the play where some of the kids will interact with the cast to add to the drama. Based on if they sit in designated seats, some of them will join the wolf pack, some will help the napkins dance, some will wave their torches to kill the beast, and some will join in the grand ball on stage. Our goal is a grand theatre experience that the kids of Floyd haven’t seen before unless they travel quite a distance.”

Tickets are available on pre-order at at $10 for adults and $8 for school children. At the door only, patrons of all ages can receive one dollar off admission for attending in costume.

This musical performance, which showcases the talent of 29 high school students with 12 additional students running crew, is the largest show performed on the stage in many years.

Additionally, many departments have put in many hours to create the stunning sets and special effects that will wow audiences. Way back in the beginning of March, Ross Snead’s Building Trades II class began sawing and hammering to create the sets in time for Kimberly Ingram’s Painting II class, plus a few other artists, to spend over three weeks designing and painting the magical backgrounds. Kevin Law’s Robotics II class started working in February to create a rose that will drop its petals through a remote control. Jay Durner and Sandra Smith offered their years of experience to tutoring both the director and the actors in the musical arts.

Williams says that this musical is hands-down the most complicated venture she has ever undertaken in all her years, as well as the most expensive, but also says that it has been a labor of love.

“Back in 2014, I met four kids who would change my perspective and become like family to me,” she shared. “They have been theatre kids all through their high school career, and when they wanted to have a musical for their final show, I agreed to give it my all to learn how to make it happen.”

As choreographer and costume designer for the show, Emily Gruver brought her many years of experience in theatre, her college degree, and the heart of the Floyd Community Theatre Guild to the stage. Her countless hours really show in the fabulous costumes that bring the castle furniture to life.

“Costuming a Disney show is challenging,” Gruver said, “but I think we’ve really hit it. The FCTG is really glad to be partnering with the high school for our teen performance, and I could not have asked for better kids on this stage.”

Seniors Amanda Keyton (Belle), Fox Slife (Gaston), Jordan Ingram (Lumiere), Rosa Lovo (Mrs. Potts), Teresa Mattson (Maurice), and Samantha Cervantes (Babette) are excited for the performance, though touched with nostalgia to leave the familiar stage of FCHS.

“After four years of trying to push FCHS theatre to put on a musical, we’ve finally done it,” Slife proclaimed. “I hope this jumpstarts continued collaboration between the theatre and musical departments as well as the FCTG. There’s been a lot of effort put into this show from the cast, crew, art, choir, and shop, all doing their best to make this show what it is.”

“This theatre’s been our home for five years,” Keyton said. “We’ve put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears on these boards, and the friendships made here have really shaped much of me into who I am. Playing Belle has been a challenge, but it’s one that I have wanted since I first began singing lessons and acting.”

“I loved doing such a big show my senior year because working with a large ensemble allowed me to get to know people that I would not have gotten to know otherwise,” Lovo contributed.

“I love this show with all my heart and am so excited to show it to the children and adults of the community and surrounding areas,” Ingram shared. “I have always loved performance and the storylines that Disney has created, and it’s truly a privilege to be a part of something this big even in such a small town. I hope that this sparks interest in these young children and provides them with the drive to keep the Floyd County High School theatre program alive.”

“I have been amazed at the new talent we have,” Williams continued. “A third of our cast has never been onstage before, and they have worked incredibly hard. A musical is such a different beast from a regular play that we have all learned so much. I cannot express how proud I am of these guys and gals.”

“We have poured our hearts and our pocketbooks, as well as the many donations from so many in the community, into this show,” Williams concluded. “We really look forward to entertaining you all this weekend.”

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