January 17, 2014

'Beauty and the Beast' with Southern twist

The Oskaloosa Herald

---- — OSKALOOSA — Audiences of all ages will get a fresh look at an old favorite this Saturday, Jan. 18, when the Missoula Children’s Theatre and 60 local students present “Beauty Lou and the Country Beast!”

Featured as Beauty Lou will be Gabrielle Atwood and Madison McKee. The Younger Daughters will be played by Grace Richardson, Avery Rockhold, Makenna Schaffner, Halie Vermillion, Kirby Nelson, and Hannah Cassens. The Older Daughters will feature Kaitlyn O’Day, Madeline Frye, Maycie Stanboro, Alexandra Foster, Mallari Winegar, and Abby Breece. Imaginary Friend will be played by Naomi Cochran. Beast will be played by Soren Pearce. Dusty and Slim the helpful farmhands will be played by Philip Ringgenberg. Faithful friend Fleabite Clyde, the dog, will be played by Mandi Vogel.

Hoping to win enough money to save the family farm, Buck sets off for the rodeo and is joined by the rest of the Country Folk Hunter Ruggles, Aiden Reed, Katie Doll, Ally Gates, Jaden Moore, Amber Lindley, Gavin Higgins, Keygan Roberts, Zaida Lindsay, Brant O’Day, Parker VanWaardhuizen, Finley Pearce, Emily Morrison, Trinity Garrett, Olivia Gordon, Abygail Thompson, Sage Cochran, Mina Kim, and Elliott Nelson, and Barnyard Critters played by Anna Phillips, Gabriella Stropes, Kobie Criss, Anna Vermillion, Alivia Phillips, Reid Luck, Benson Foster, Dasia Foster, Grayci Vogel, Ainsley Rogers, Morgan Drost, Ellie Voss, McKenzy Nance, Jackson Brown, Maxwell Pearce, Klayton Roberts, and Brooke Richardson. Kiely Norton, Andrew O’Day, Washington Pearce, and Isaiah Winegar have served as Assistant Directors throughout the week.

The touring directors arrived on Monday with a set, lights, costumes, props and make-up – everything it takes to put on a play except the actors. The team held an open audition on Jan. 13 and cast 60 local students from kindergarten through 12th grade to perform and assist with the production. Creativity, social skills, goal achievement, communication skills and self-esteem are all characteristics that are attained through participation in this unique educational project.

“This is a great experience for children to discover a love for the arts,” said Andy McGuire, youth theatre director at the Daily. “It’s a low-pressure way for them to express themselves, meet new people, and learn how to do theatre.”

Performances for Beauty Lou and the Country Beast are at the George Daily Auditorium on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets cost $4 for students and $8 for adults and are available by calling (641) 672-0799 or online at www.georgedaily.org. Avoid the line at the box office – get yours in advance! Missoula Children’s Theatre is sponsored by MidWestOne Bank and the Oskaloosa Kiwanis Clubs.