By The Hampton Herald Staff
Hampton Elementary School’s Drama Club will perform “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” on Friday, March 25th, Saturday, March 26th and Friday, April 1st, and Saturday April 2nd.
This is the first time that students at Hampton have been able to participate in a musical as an after-school club. There are 51 total cast and stage crew members; they are all from 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. Mr. Willmore, a fifth-grade teacher is the director, Mrs. Barboza, another fifth- grade teacher is the choreographer, and Mrs. Fletcher, a Vocal Music teacher, is the music director. Mr. Willmore came up with the idea to do a musical because he had directed them before.
“This is my third year at Hampton and I directed musicals at my old school,” said Mr. Willmore. “I performed in shows when I was in high school, and I wanted to bring that opportunity to Hampton students. This is the first year that we’ve been able to do the show since the shut down.”
The teachers decided to do the “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” over the summer. They had one year to perform after they bought the rights.
Auditions were held in October of 2021. Each student who auditioned had to sing a song and perform a monologue. Mr. Willmore was very impressed with the auditions. Shortly after auditions, casting was announced, and rehearsals began.
Rehearsals are held every Tuesday and Thursday after school. Students warm up their voices, have a snack, practice blocking, and reading lines. Dress rehearsals begin this week. Students have been rehearsing scenes from the show and practicing choreography.
“The choreography is spot on. They are practicing with their videos at home. We’re just working on some space issues right now with the props and things,” said Mrs. Barboza.
In addition to Mr. Willmore, Mrs. Barboza, and Mrs. Fletcher, there are some other members of the Hampton school community who are helping with the show. Mrs. Towner, an art teacher, is helping with the sets, especially painting the backgrounds for the scenes. In addition, several other staff members also spent some time helping with sets.
The tickets became available on Wednesday, March 16th. Homeroom teachers passed out papers for the tickets. People went online to order the tickets and then they brought the money to school. The tickets were five dollars per person. The ticket prices are to support next year's play. There are still tickets for the last two shows but others are sold out.
The show begins at 7:00 P.M. in the school gym each night. It runs for about an hour with a fifteen minutes intermission in the middle of the show.
Hampton students and staff are very excited to see the show this weekend. Teachers have the opportunity to view a dress rehearsal on Tuesday, March 22nd. Lots of people are already wondering what the show will be next year.
“It’s been a big undertaking,” Mr. Willmore said. “We’ll take a big rest after this one and then start thinking about next year.”
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