NCHS Theatre Students Flying High in 'Beauty and the Beast'

The play, which debuts March 21 and runs for three days, features three characters who will soar above the stage with help from a professional troupe that's training a group of student crew members.


For the first time in his experience as a crew member for New Canaan High School Theatre productions, senior Toby Kim is responsible for the welfare and positioning of something other than scenery and objects on the set.

Under the direction of a professional outfit, Kim will handle lines attached to a harness that will take fellow students starring in an upcoming production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” into the air above the high school auditorium stage.

“I think there needs to be a lot of trust between us behind the scenes and the people on stage,” Kim, who hopes next year to study economics at either Florida State University of the University of Miami-Ohio, said Monday afternoon from the set.

There, Sara Gessinger, who will appear as the Enchantress, took lessons in how to “take off” and land on stage (see video) from a group called Flying by Foy.

The musical will debut at 7 p.m. on March 21, a Thursday. Showtimes will follow at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and a special matinee will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, as well.

Director Deirdre Alexander said attendees can expect something special.

“It’s a world of magic and a story of love that can take a bad person and change him,” she said.

The New Canaan High School Theatre group puts on three musicals per year, as well as one play and one “dramafest.” The group of 50-plus students working on “Beauty and the Beast” has been hard at work since Dec. 3, including many Saturdays, said Patricia Oxman, a parent volunteer who heads up drama publicity (and has one of her two children, a sophomore, in the musical).

“They’re a very dedicated group,” she said. “The program has gotten bigger and bigger each year that I’ve been involved.”

Also flying in “Beauty and the Beast” will be the Beast (Vincent DeMarco) and Chandelier (Lauren Perone).

Kim said one highlight for him in this production and others he’s worked on has been the camaraderie with his schoolmates.

He said he enjoyed “just hanging out with friends and making something special.”

Tickets can be purchased for $15 or $18 online at the public schools website (go to the Parents’ Dropdown). A special “Belle’s Banquet” is being offered prior to the Saturday afternoon show, including a petit lunch, activities, crafts and a character meet-and-greet from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Patrica Funt Oxman March 12, 2013 at 01:45 PM
Thanks for such a nice piece - our show promises to be amazing. One small thing - Belle's Banquet at 12:30 Saturday March 23 before the matinee actually ends at 1:30.. Thanks again Michael and Patch. Patricia Funt Oxman (NCHS Theatre Publicity
Michael Dinan March 12, 2013 at 02:05 PM
Thank you, Patricia. Updated the article. Great group there at the high school!
Glen K Dunbar March 12, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Best of luck w/your production. I am sure the Kids will do splendidly. Wish I could go. But, I am actually only an opera buff. Sorry


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