The Power of Love

“What is beauty? Is beauty what we look like? Is beauty our heart, our soul our personality? This musical is about love’s ability to transform us and allow us to look past our differences and see the beauty within each other.”

These were part of my opening remarks at auditions this month for Disney’s Beauty & the Beast. And over the next nine weeks, we’ll be transforming a cast and crew of over four dozen into what we hope will be two weekends of magical performances. Of course, along with the cast and crew, our artistic team will be transforming the PAC into the setting for this classic tale in ways big and small:

  • For example, this weekend, I’m busy transforming collapsible mesh food covers into pop-up cakes out of fabric frosting and crocheted icing – hmm, this one looks more like a fallen souffle at the moment.
  • Allison, our costumer,  meanwhile, is creating confectionery can-can costumes out of heart-shaped wire wreath frames, fabric, and silicone caulking.
  • Aaron Taylor, our technical director, is awaiting the most significant part of our transformation, the arrival of our rented set, after which he’ll begin pulling together all the theatrical elements required to support the production.

Tickets for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast go on sale on August 15, and I can’t wait for you to see our spin on this tale as old as time – a story about the transformational power of love.

August Audience Survey Winners

Congratulations to DARLENE WITTEN, MISSY FRANKLIN, TONY RINGLE, DARLENE KENNEDY, BONNIE LINSCOTT, MEGAN MCDONGAL & ANN DILLARD – each a lucky winner of a $20 PAC gift certificate for completing a July Audience Survey.

The PAC Spotlight

This month The PAC Spotlight shines on Elizabethtown High School student Bethany Gocking and Nelson County High School instructor Mariah Creason Lewis currently rehearsing the PAC ProAm’s Beauty and the Beast.

What have been your most rewarding PAC experiences?
BETHANY: One of my most rewarding PAC experiences was performing as “Clara” in The Nutcracker in 2017. Having the opportunity to act and dance in this role fulfilled a life-long dream for me. At the age of five, I watched Madison Case perform the role and decided at that moment that I wanted the opportunity as well.
MARIAH: The first time I went to the PAC, I saw Grease and thought, “Wow! That looks so fun!” It sparked my interest in theater. I wanted to be in the costumes dancing and singing along. When I auditioned for Little Women my freshman year, Sarah Dakin cast me in the role of Jo. That was my first time on the stage, under the lights, learning everything I could about what made the show go on. She introduced me to my passion and love for the PAC.

What did you learn from your PAC experiences?
BETHANY: I’m naturally a shy person. My experiences on the stage at The PAC have brought me out of my shell and stretched me in the best ways. I’m very thankful for all the opportunities I’ve had to explore talents I didn’t even know I possessed.
MARIAH: I learned the anatomy of a stage at the PAC and how it operates and evolves for every show. I also learned professionalism while participating in shows throughout my high school years. My senior year, I saw Macbeth on a field trip while reading the play in class, and it solidified my understanding of the Scottish play.

How have you benefited from the PAC?
BETHANY: From the time I’ve spent at The PAC in various performances, I have learned many lessons in responsibility, confidence, leadership, and various art forms. The memories and the friendships I’ve built over the years at The PAC are something I will treasure for the rest of my life.
MARIAH: I gained confidence, grew as an artist, and made so many lifelong friends!

Why is the PAC important to you?
BETHANY: The PAC is important because it is a safe space where I’m not afraid to be my true self.
MARIAH: The PAC was the first stage I ever had the pleasure of performing on, and it shaped the person I am today. The people that run the PAC are so giving! They’re ready to help bring the performing arts to a community and kids that wouldn’t otherwise have the ability to explore such a passion. That in itself is so special.

Why should the PAC be important to others?
BETHANY: The PAC should be important to others because guests get to escape their troubles for a couple of hours. They are taken on a journey under the sea or over the rainbow or back to another time era. The arts are important not only for the performers but also for the spectators.
MARIAH: The PAC brings forth beautiful, professional, and thoughtfully designed productions for the growing arts community of our town. Anyone who has the opportunity to sit in the audience, stand on the stage, or wear the black ninja suit behind the scenes will have a blast and grow from their experience!

Do you have any other comments you’d like to share?
MARIAH: I’m so thrilled to be back after several years away. It is an honor to be back on my home stage as Belle in Beauty and the Beast this fall!