By RONDA GREGORY
News & Journal Staff Writer
Lincoln High School in Shinnston will present a Disney favorite – “Beauty and the Beast” – just in time for the holidays.
Produced by the school’s Theater Department, the school will present a total of seven performances in the school’s auditorium, said Lisa DeMarco, Lincoln’s library media specialist who is helping with the event. Two shows are open to the public and are set for 7 p.m. on both Thursday, Dec. 11 and Friday, Dec. 12. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with tickets at $10 for adults and $5 for students. The other five performances are during the day for area students from Dec. 9 to Dec. 12, she said.
DeMarco said it’s good that the play includes many age groups. “Elementary and junior high school students are participating as well as the high school students,” she noted. “They’re all so excited and so involved … everything from performing to set design and construction to the hair and make-up.”
DeMarco said putting on such a grand-scale play is a great learning experience for all the students and credits the play’s directors, Fred and Julie Channell, for helping make it all happen. (Fred Channell is the Lincoln Cougars Band director and Julie Channell is assistant director.)
“The learning experience that Fred and Julie have brought to revive the arts in our school is amazing,” she said. “They’ve done a wonderful job.”
DeMarco has more reason to be excited about the production since her daughter Kendal DeMarco plays the female lead as “Belle”.
“I’m very proud of her,” DeMarco said. “And she’s very excited.”
Kendal DeMarco, a Lincoln sophomore, agreed that she’s thrilled to get the coveted role.
“It’s every little girl’s dream to be a Disney princess, so I count my blessings every day because I get to fulfill that,” she said and added that she has a fondness for “Belle” in particular.
“She’s definitively my favorite princess,” Kendal stated. “She has her own personality. She doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. She doesn’t fall in love with the ‘normal’ Prince Charming.”
She said she appreciates “Belle” being an independent thinker and being drawn to the good character of the “Beast” instead of good looks.
Eileen Metheney, co-director of the play and Lincoln’s theater and choir director, agrees with Kendal about her respect for “Belle”’s wise and mature outlook.
“I like it that “Belle” is a book person, rather than just a girl waiting for her guy,” she said.
Metheney is equally excited about the play and is looking forward to the community enjoying it as well.
“It’s my favorite Disney movie – my all-time favorite since I saw it in the theater when I was eight,” she said. “It’s a great story and the music is fantastic.”
She said the stage version, adapted from the movie, runs from two to two and a half hours, and is even bigger and better because of the necessary added songs and script.
“The stage version has more to it,” Metheney said. “There’s more songs and more in-depth characters. More dialogue allows the audience to get to know the characters better.”
She added that it’s a “huge show for a high school” and is pleased that so many students can be included; 70 to 80 children are working either on stage or as the backstage crew.
Kendal DeMarco said she, too, appreciates working with so many teachers and students to entertain the community this holiday season.
“We definitely have a talented cast this year with singing and dancing; it’s just a wonderful production and I couldn’t be happier having all these people to work with, including our backstage crew,” she said. “We couldn’t do without them.”
For more information about the play, contact the school at (304) 326-7400.