I had the awesome privilege of being back stage with the cast for forty-five minutes before each of the three performances. It was so inspiring to watch Ms. Bohlander and Ms. Foszcz help the cast prepare with various exercises for voice control, articulation, pitch and volume, as well as walking and movement exercises to help them focus their whole body on the character they were going to portray.
As Ms. Bohlander directed the cast to enter into the mind of their character and then into the mind of Belle, I found myself reflecting on how the students were learning more than acting skills, they were learning lifelong lessons about empathy. Ms. Bohlander and Ms. Foszcz were teaching the cast about compassion, and about entering into the heart and mind of others. What a powerful lesson.
I was honored to be able to participate before each performance in the circle of prayer led by the seniors. Together the members of the cast and crew prayed to their favorite saints, asked for blessings on their performance, and offered petitions for so many other people and intentions which they carry in their hearts. I was moved to hear them pray for children who would be watching the play. They prayed that the children would find hope, magic and inspiration in life. They prayed for the people of Paris who suffered so much at the hands of terrorists, for ill family members and for so many other people. I was inspired by the genuine goodness of these young actresses and actors. Perhaps their ability to convey the message of unselfish love which is the core message of "Beauty and the Beast," came from the deep generous love that these actresses and actors carry in their own hearts and lives!
Thank you for the honor of observing your work backstage!
|Alexis Lehner and Lauren Kuszynski|