Young Actors Collect Books for Chicago Area Children

On May 19 & 20, the Fox Valley Repertory Academy invited friends, family, and neighbors to enjoy a "tale as old as time!” Filled with singing, dancing, humor, and suspense, Beauty and the Beast is a beloved fairy tale of brainy and beautiful Belle, her brutish suitor, Gaston, and the frightening, but tender-hearted Beast. The young actors and actresses enthusiastically portrayed these very different characters who found strength in one another and learned to love.

Along with preparing for the show, the children collected 700 gently used and new books for children in the Chicagoland area who share in Belle's love of reading, but do not have books of their own. Cast member, Kaitlyn Crowell, 8, of St. Charles said, "I find a lot of fun and adventure in reading. I think it's great to give books to other kids so they can have fun and adventure, too!" The children’s energetic compassion delighted teachers, parents, and a local charity, Bernie’s Book Bank.

Beauty and the Beast Cast members include from St. Charles: Kaitlyn Crowell, Katie Das, Kristen Das, Erika Denker, Keira Denker, Jamie Dowat, Heidi Heinz, Amelia Kuhlman, Nicole Luzi, Samantha Marlowe Geneva: Rhea Chandran, Macy Dressel, Kaia Ebel, Maya Hawkins, Rachel Lawrence, Reese Lydon, Caroline Wenokur, South Elgin: Christina Calbeck, Carolyn Calbeck, Cameron Conforti, Taylor Sebesta, Elburn: Jenna Kraus, Morgan Miller, Mary Kate Griffin Bartlett: Haley Hughes, Stephanie Skrabacz Elgin: Ceci Yasell Aurora: Anna Laurich Batavia: Madeline Hotham Hanover Park: Hayley Troyan Plainfield: Brenna D'Amico.

This program was partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and was sponsored in part by Kane County Chronicle.

The Fox Valley Repertory Performing Arts Academy features some of the Chicago area’s most respected teachers, directors and musicians. Classes are available for ages 3-18. For more information, visit or call 630-364-0550.

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