“The four to six year olds are the enchanted objects and they are just a bundle of energy,” said director Brian Marshall, an alumnus of St. Mary’s, year of graduation unspecified.
Luckily, he is also artistic director of Caryl Crane Youth Theatre, thereby giving him the courage, or insanity, to tackle a cast of more than 73 students, including a full student orchestra ranging in age from 4 to 18. Marshall is also teaching at the same time, as there are many students who are first timers up on stage. Some have never even seen a theatrical production, let alone heard the strange terminology. “It’s like I’m speaking an alien language,” said Marshall of educating some in stage direction and the art of projection.
Want to go?
WHAT: "Beauty and the Beast" performed by Sandusky Central Catholic School
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday & 2 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Sandusky State Theatre, 109 Columbus Ave., Sandusky
COST: $10.00 for adults, $7.00 for students and $5.00 for children
INFO: sanduskystate.com or 419-626-1950
In addition to directing, Marshall is also choreographing “Beauty and the Beast,” a first time experience for the director. Although not a true choreographer, Marshall was impressed how the students were able to catch on without him having to reformat anything. Marshall joked, “I’m having fun with it and it’s getting me in shape. The kids are starting to realize just how old I am when I can’t talk and dance at the same time.”
The whole school is involved in the production somehow. Many of the students are in the honors choir and can rehearse during class. The art department is designing and painting a rotating backdrop set. “This is the first time I’ve directed where I get to let go a little and trust that things [like costumes and sets] are getting done,” said Marshall.
There are lots of kids and lots of schedules. These students are very, very involved, not just with schoolwork and the show but sports, and outside volunteer and community activities. Marshall did double cast the three principal roles with two Beauties, two Beasts and two Gastons, not only for scheduling purposes but to showcase all the talented seniors. Marshall noted, “It’s a guy heavy show, but SCCS is a guy heavy school.”
The show is filled with big musical productions numbers such as “Be Our Guest.” The students are completely engaged and are working hard to make it fantastic. Some of the songs may be 7 to 9 minutes long, which is quite a time to be onstage. Some students not only have to sing, dance, and act but are also learning to be puppeteers for a smattering of muppet-style characters.
“It’s a good, family friendly show,” said Marshall who has appeared in it previously, “It’s funnier than I remember and a different way to look at than being in the show.”
Tickets are available at the SCCS or the Sandusky State Theatre box office, online at sanduskystate.com or by phone 419-626-1950