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St. Mary Students Perform Beauty & the Beast

By Genevieve Kolar
St. Mary Seventh Grade Student

St. Mary of Gostyn presented its annual spring musical, Beauty & the Beast Jr. last month. More than 80 middle school students presented the show at Montini High School’s auditorium. The six performances were nearly sold out.

Every year since 1996, middle school students at St. Marys have been performing an annual spring musical. From 42nd Street to The Sound of Music, Bye Bye Birdie to last year’s Godspell, the students have put on quite variety of shows throughout the years.

However, this year was different. Obviously, the show, Disney’s classic, Beauty & the Beast, was a change. The real difference, though, was the method of casting. This year, the directors chose to double cast. This meant that for the majority of the lead characters, such as Belle and Beast, two actors were assigned, each in a different cast. Each cast performed in three separate shows. Also, many of the students in double-cast roles were also given a part in the ensemble during the other cast’s performances.

“A lot more people were included for the main parts,” said Robert Gartlan, a seventh grader and veteran of St. Mary’s musicals. “It was really fun, and practice was way easier.” Gartlan shared the part of LeFou in the musical.

Tech Week, or the week leading up to opening night, was the most stressful, yet fun, time in the show. Every evening, the cast had a four-hour full costume and tech rehearsals.

“It’s (Tech Week) definitely my favorite part of the whole show. We finally have our makeup and costumes, and we’re actually on stage. It’s awesome,” Madeleine O’Connell, a seventh grader and napkin in the play, said of Tech Week.

“St. Marys is blessed to have such a great fine arts program,” said Patrick Dytrych, a parent volunteer serving as committee coordinator. “I am blown away at the amount of time, talent and energy that all of the children and volunteers put into making each performance a huge success.”

St. Mary of Gostyn school offers preschool, full- and half-day kindergarten and a first through eighth grade Catholic education. For more information, contact Dianne Czopek at (630) 968-6155.

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