• 2015-2016 Season,  Beauty and the Beast

    And They All Lived Happily Ever After

    by Kasey Kopp, dramaturg After being heaped with accolades and praise from critics and patrons, BYU’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast ended its completely sold out run on December 10th. During the post show discussion that followed the performance, cast members and creative team members reflected on the experience of participating in the production and the way that it had shaped and influenced their life for the better. It proved to be a very emotional and bittersweet night for all involved. Although there was initially some uncertainty as to how the production would look and feel, many feeling that the production concept would not translate to the stage,…

  • 2015-2016 Season,  Beauty and the Beast

    The Beauty and Her Beast, An Interview with Twyla and Johnny Wilson

    by Kasey Kopp, dramaturg As we’ve explored, Belle and Beast’s love story is known (in some capacity) across the globe–whether that be the well-known Disney musical or a legend or formative story. This week I sat down to learn about the backstory of the power couple who brought this well known romance to the BYU stage and some of the rewards and challenges of performing together. Johnny and Twyla Wilson were married in 2013 and have loved performing together in this well-known and beloved musical, bringing to life the characters of Belle and Beast. This is not their first time playing opposite one another. They have appeared together in the…

  • 2015-2016 Season,  Beauty and the Beast

    Behind the Scenes At Beauty and the Beast

    by Kasey Kopp, dramaturg This week we take a look at all the work that goes on backstage in order to create a magical night for audience members. As we come to the end of our successful (and sold out!) run, we would like to take you behind the scenes to see just what exactly goes into creating the magic you see onstage! On the nights of a performance, actors and crew members begin arriving around 5:30 pm. With a cast of over 30 people, the time that people are scheduled to arrive (“call time”) is staggered, allowing those that do not have wigs or extensive makeup to arrive a…

  • 2015-2016 Season,  Beauty and the Beast

    Once Upon A Time: Beauty and the Beast Begins at BYU

    by Kasey Kopp, dramaturg Disney’s Beauty and the Beast opens (tomorrow!) Friday, November 20th, in the Pardoe Theater on the BYU campus. After months of preparation and rehearsal, the work of cast and crew will come to fruition this week and we couldn’t be more excited for you to be our guest! This week we take a look back at the rehearsal process to see the progress of the cast and crew since day one through the stress of tech week, all leading up to our opening night. As this production is a “dance spectacular,” many of the ensemble members have expressed that the elaborate choreography has posed the greatest…

  • 2015-2016 Season,  Beauty and the Beast

    Building the Beast: An Interview with Costume Designer Shannon McCurdy

    by Kasey Kopp, dramaturg This week I sat down with costume designer Shannon McCurdy to learn about her process and what inspired her as she was tasked with creating costumes for such a iconic and challenging production. Shannon is a senior majoring in theatre art studies with an emphasis in costume design. Her design credits include assistant designer for BYU Young Company’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Fisherman and His Wife. She recently received the O. Lee Walker Award for Outstanding Technician. When asked about her “process” and how she began this daunting project, Shannon indicated that “knowing that George [Nelson, director of Beauty and the Beast]…

  • 2015-2016 Season,  Beauty and the Beast

    Beauty Is Found Within: A Director’s Interview

    by Kasey Kopp, dramaturg This week I sat down with George Nelson, the director of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, to learn a little bit more about his vision for this production and what audience members can expect from this unique production. Professor Nelson is the head of the play writing program at Brigham Young and has directed many plays and musicals during his time at the university. His credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, The Music Man, and recently, White Christmas.  He is an award-winning author, director, playwright, and professor. His new musical Single Wide received critical acclaim during it’s off-Broadway premiere during the…

  • 2015-2016 Season,  Beauty and the Beast

    Just A Little Change, Small To Say The Least

    by Kasey Kopp, dramaturg As we observed last week, the story of Beauty and her Beast has been around for centuries. This week, we will chart the progression of the story from a simple French fairy tale published in the 18th century, to a full fledged movie musical blockbuster and Broadway musical. The following is a timeline that tracks significant adaptations of this tale as old as time and events that have lead up to the creation of this historic piece of film and musical theater. 1756: Beaumont publishes her version of the tale in France. 1938: Walt Disney releases its first full length animated feature, Snow White and the…

  • 2015-2016 Season,  Beauty and the Beast

    Tale As Old As Time

    by Kasey Kopp, dramaturg In order to more fully appreciate the legacy and scope of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, it is important to realize that this story existed long before Disney set it to music. This week we reflect on this tale as old as time and learn more about the original fairy tale, upon which the musical is based. While it is difficult to trace its origins, we see roots of the story in the ancient Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche. We also see incarnations of the tale in the early civilizations of India and Africa. The story was first codified and published in France in 1740…

  • 2015-2016 Season,  Beauty and the Beast

    Be Our Guest!

    by Kasey Kopp, dramaturg In a few short weeks, one of the world’s greatest love stories is coming to BYU in a never-before-seen, unique way under the direction of George Nelson. The story is timeless (and some would argue a classic), powerful love story between a beautiful young girl and a hideous monster. For those that may be unfamiliar with the story, I would like to provide you with a brief introduction. A selfish, young prince falls under the curse of a powerful enchantress when he refuses to give her shelter from the cold in exchange for a single rose. He is transformed into a hideous monster and told that…