The Auburn elementary school's production of "Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr." sold out a month ago.
Lakeland Hills Elementary School’s production of “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr.” is a hot ticket: It opens Thursday and sold out a month ago.
The four-performance production in Auburn is no small feat. About 180 students auditioned for 127 roles. For their first dress rehearsal, students, parents and teacher volunteers bustled backstage, changing costumes, placing props and wheeling around sets.
At the helm are co-directors Callie McCarthy, a mother of five and 1st-grade teacher at Lakeland Hills, and Caroline Heilborn. McCarthy’s daughter Madeline plays the role of Belle.
One of the secrets to pulling off such a big production? “We have a lot of parent involvement,” said McCarthy, who’s worked on 10 theater productions with the school.
A point of pride for McCarthy is when a fellow teacher remarked how he saw the difference in the thespian students when they advanced to his 6th-grade class. They have a confidence, he told her, and they know how to participate and stay engaged, setting them apart from their peers.
Co-director Heilborn agrees. “It’s to see them have these moments,” she said. “It’s an amazing growth experience.”