Sometimes you have to get your hands dirty.

Although my job is very creative, I delegate most of the hands-on work to others. Every summer, though, I get my hands dirty by helping build the sets and props for Youth Theatre’s annual production.

This summer is their 50th, and they are presenting Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Luckily, since the PAC produced Mermaid back in 2016 and saved many of those props, we could provide Youth Theatre with a good head start on their build. That’s given me time to focus my summer craft efforts on the PAC’s upcoming production, Disney’s Beauty & the Beast.

I’ve got four big summer projects to complete before rehearsals start in August: The opening prologue shadow puppets, the “Be Our Guest” plates, and the Madame Bouche and Chip puppets.

After a day of tinkering, I handed the opening prologue over to Allison and, with her help, finished up the plates. She’s now moving on to costumes, and I am now deep into the Madame de la Grande Bouche build and planning out my approach for Chip.

The basic design for Madame Bouche is based upon the animated cartoon, but I’ve adapted that to work as a dressing screen instead of a wardrobe so the character will have more mobility. At the same time, Captain Kangaroo’s Grandfather Clock (remember him?) inspired the eye and mouth mechanisms.

I started by enlarging my drawing to the proper scale using an overhead projector and sketched all the pieces onto 1/2” plywood. Once cut, sanded, and painted, I’ll attach foam batting and fabric before gluing and brad-nailing all the wood sections together. Once I determine the final placement for the face mechanisms and smooth out some of her rougher spots, she’ll be ready to hit the stage.

Speaking of hitting the stage, don’t forget that Beauty & the Beast and The Skin of Our Teeth auditions will be on Monday, July 11, and Tuesday, July 12. Audition details and registration forms are available at the CLICK HERE

If not at auditions this month, I look forward to seeing you in September when Madame de la Grande Bouche and the rest of the Beauty & the Beast cast will be ready for their close-ups. Until then, it’s time for me to wash up.

July Audience Survey Winners

Congratulations to APRIL HAKE, KIMBERLY MAYS, RONDA ROSENFELD, & KANDY WATSON – each a lucky winner of a $20 PAC gift certificate for completing a May/June Audience Survey.

The PAC Spotlight

This month The PAC Spotlight shines on Central Hardin student Sally Polin, performing on the PAC stage this month in Youth Theatre of Hardin county’s production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

In celebration of Youth Theatre’s 50th year of serving Hardin County, we also spotlight Betty Marsee in this special video edition of the PAC Spotlight.