WOODSTOCK — An adaptation of the classic tale of “Beauty and the Beast” closes the Elm Street Cultural Arts Center summer theater season with shows that start Wednesday and run through July 24.
First told more than 200 years ago, the tale is a reminder to look beyond appearances into the true nature of the human spirit, said composer/playwright G. Lora Grooms, who is also the artistic director of Elm Street.
Originally one of several stories written in the 18th century by Jeanne Marie Leprince de Beaumont, La Belle et la Bete, or “Beauty and the Beast,” is the best known.
It was turned into a ballet divertissement as part of the Mother Goose Suite by composer Maurice Ravel in 1912. And there are, of course, many film and stage adaptations.
“It was my goal when creating my own version to bring out the entire de Beaumont story, as every facet adds to the overall message,” Grooms said.
Directed by Kennesaw State University theater major Casey Hofmann, who played a supporting role in the 2008 production at the old Towne Lake Arts Center, the cast has been rehearsing since the beginning of June.
Amy Noel Welch plays piano as music director, providing live accompaniment to each performance, Grooms said.
“I created a new song and some additional reprises for this year’s production,” said Grooms, “to fill out certain scenes that could benefit from more songs. It’s been a pleasure, as always, working with Amy and the cast to musically enhance the production.”
Volunteer artistic support includes specialty stage makeup for the Beast by L. Harmony Reid, sets by Jim and Cindy Flanders and Shannon Sokol and costumes by Julie Sokol and Laura Crawford.
Additional technical support is provided by volunteers Brian Gamel, Samantha Marie Kuzian, Kristina Welch, Kyle Eason, Hannah Gilliam, Katelyn Chupp, Emily Leifson and Emma Tilt.
Woodstock residents Torie Winkler and Justin Filson play the title roles, sharing the stage with fellow cast members Chris Hotz, Jennifer Jones, Grace Regan, T.J. Brown, Andrew Shepherd, Andrew Smith, Austin Branks, Savannah Milligan, Nicole Adamson, Sarah Shepherd, Savannah Carmichael, Katie Wickline, Ivy Gibbins, Ross Ruda, Careylin North, Beth Stafford, Katie Gilliam and Carys Jeffrey.
Performances are at 10 a.m. on Wednesdays and on Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. on July 13, 14, 20 and 21 at the City Center Auditorium at 8534 Main St., the corner of Towne Lake Parkway and Main Street, the old Woodstock Community Church building.
Tickets are sold online for $10 including tax and fees at www.elmstreet
arts.org or at the door for $12.