Colchester School District has two major productions running in back to back weeks. First up this weekend is Beauty and the Beast by the CHS drama club. Next week, CMS will perform Alice in Wonderland.
For both clubs, this will be their first drama production in the newly removed Performing Arts Center. Throughout the summer and fall construction crews worked tirelessly to update and replace everything from the seating and curtains to the lighting and sound boards.
“This truly has been a community effort,” says CHS English Teacher and Theater Director
Amanda Hughes. “Colchester voters approved the use of bond funds that enabled us to make major renovations and turn the theater into a great resource for the entire community…we also invited community members to be involved in the making of this production, helping us with set design and building, promotion efforts, and even the choreography.”
Glen Wallace is the drama coach for the 25 middle school cast members taking on Alice in Wonderland. “The new light and sound capabilities are going to bring a whole new realm of possibilities and professionalism to the show, and everybody will notice an immediate difference in quality,” said Wallace. “We are all extremely excited to be in the renovated space at the high school.”
In both productions, student involvement has been key both on stage and behind the scenes. Wallace says aside from providing the tools and supplies, the kids did it all. “It was my goal to have the production be as entirely student-driven as possible. This means that my crew made up of about 12 students, designed everything, sets, props, and costumes, and made the majority of items as well.”
As the students try to shake out opening night jitters, their teachers have full confidence in their abilities. “I couldn’t be more proud of the students that have chosen to dedicate so many hours over so many months to this musical. There’s a chance for individuals to shine, as well as a cohesive group effort that can be found in few places other than the performing arts” said Wallace.
Here’s the when and where to catch the shows and support our young performers:
CHS: Beauty and the Beast
Friday, April 14 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, April 15 at 2 pm
Saturday, April 15 at 7:30 pm
Tickets cost $5 each (all ages) and can be purchased at the door or online at Eventbrite.
CMS: Alice in Wonderland
Thursday, April 20 at 6:30 pm
Friday, April 21 at 6:30 pm
Tickets cost $3 for children and seniors and $5 for adults