Beauty and the Beast

Delaney Treitline, Contributor

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This year, Prior Lake’s very own theater department proudly presented their fall musical, Beauty and the Beast to sold out crowds.   Principal Dave Lund and his wife attended the show on Thursday night and felt that “the acting, singing, costumes, lighting, and set design were all perfection. The pit orchestra was a beautiful performance all unto itself.”  Everything from the lighting on the pure white stair-stepped stage to the costuming to the singing and to the acting showed the hard work it took to put on a show of this magnitude.

Clearly, their hard work paid off!  According to PLHS theater manager and set designer Dave Tuma, “We sold out three of four performances and even squeezed in a few extra people.  Our unofficial headcount was 2274 people making this the 2nd best-attended production.  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat was the first production in this building 14 years ago and holds the top spot only because it ran two weekends.”

Putting on a show starts with auditions, which were held in the first couple of weeks of school. The next phase of the process and perhaps the most important were the rehearsals. Prior Lake High School’s “tale as old as time” was being told by some of our most talented actors.  According to this year’s female lead, junior Elle Remde, who delightfully played the beauty Belle, everyone working on the show spent 3-4 hours every day after school. Elle and her costar male lead, senior Josh Leeper  who played the Beast — with a magical on-stage transformation — both spent some of their time outside of theater memorizing lines and songs. Even Kahleya Jacobsen, who played a background characters, stated that her practice outside of theater consisted of “Always singing the music and sporadic outbursts of the choreography.” Singing and dancing may be the main part of a musical, but becoming the character was just as important. Josh stated that becoming a character the polar opposite of him was “a good challenge but not hard,” and Elle stated, “the more you do it the easier it gets.”

The end of the musical process begins during tech week — the week before the show is open to the public.  According to the head of sound, sophomore Nathan Bergseth, tech week was when he spent more time outside of theater working on cues and other various things to get ready for the show. Tech week was the most stressful week due to the days counting down fast. This was also the first week where the technical aspect of theater and the acting were combined, and going over the entire play made for even longer rehearsals. 

From the beginning of the school year to the fabulous show run, our actors, musicians, technicians, costumers, and makeup artists made Beauty and the Beast an incredible hit!

Can’t get enough? The theater program encourages anyone to join since there will be two more opportunities during the school year. The next opportunity is in the winter when the Winter One Acts begin. During the one acts, there are three different shows, all of which are around 30 minutes. One of the shows is a competition show — the Greek tragedy, Antigone — where the cast will perform in front of judges with many other high schools in the area. The other two shows are a normal 30-minute show, and one directed by a student (typically a senior) hand picked by the staff director and technical director. The last opportunity to join theater is at the end of the year for the spring play, The Clumsy Custard Horror Show.  See the Theater Season link on the Prior Lake Activities page for more information.