SOUTH HOLLAND, IL – The Children’s Theatre Company of South Suburban College is celebrating its 30-year anniversary with Michele L. Vacca’s enchanting and warmly amusing dramatization of the beloved tale Beauty and the Beast. Performances will take place on Saturdays, January 14 and 21, 2017 at 11:00am and 2:00pm.
Florabunda, the Enchantress (Sandy Wagner of Lansing), begins the play by gathering a troupe of players about her, and assigning them roles. Belinda, the heroine (Catherine Hundt of Thornton), is a young woman of strong opinions, education and talent. Belinda’s father Henry Beaumont (Pat Nevins of Homewood), is the prosperous merchant.
In an effort to gain money for festivals and a new swimming pond, arrogant Prince Philip (Rykeil Knights of Riverdale) seizes all of Beaumonts’ property and they are forced to declare bankruptcy. To teach him a lesson, Florabunda works her magic and turns Philip into a hideous Beast until he learns to love and be loved in return.
One day, Henry mistakenly wanders into the garden of the legendary Beast (Eric Atkinson of Chicago). The angry Beast reluctantly promises to spare Henry’s life, but only if Belinda agrees to live in his castle. Despite Henry’s objections, Belinda insists upon doing as the Beast requests. With the help of his servants (Juniper DeYoung of Thornton, Angela Martin of Midlothian and Heather Young of Chicago), Belinda begins to draw the cold-hearted Beast out of his isolation. Gradually, they become friends and inseparable companions.
Lansing resident Ellie Shunko is the director and producer. “We created the Children’s Theatre Company in 1986 to fill a need for affordable, live theatre for young audiences,” she said. “We perform for local grammar school and child care groups during school hours and for the general public on weekends. Our school performances are completely sold out.” Even after thirty years, Shunko has no plans of slowing down. “We are providing a valuable service for our community here at SSC,” she says. “And I still love watching the kids watch the shows.”
Adding their talents to the production lighting are designer Jon Jenkins from Chicago, costume designer Joanna Tassin from Park Forest, set designer Dean Scalzitti from Chicago and choreographer Lynzi Scholz from South Chicago Heights. June Wagner, from Lansing, is the stage manager.
South Suburban College is located at 15800 State Street in South Holland, Illinois, between Sibley Boulevard and 159th Street. The campus is convenient to Routes 94, 80, 57, and 294 and is also accessible by PACE. Free, ample, well-lit parking is available. Reservations are suggested.
Tickets for Beauty and the Beast are $5 per person. For more information or to reserve tickets, call the 24/7 box office voicemail line at (708) 210-5741. Leave your name and phone number and someone will return your call. You may also reserve tickets by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.