Beauty and the Beast
Cumberland Valley High School, April 2023
Direction and Choreography by Steven L. Flom
Vocal Direction by Adam Myers
Music Direction by Jennifer Anderson Schramm
Scenic Design by Stanley A. Meyer*
Lighting Design by Jonathan Dunkle
Sound Design by Jeremy Gammache
Technical Direction by Maggie Futato
Dramaturgy by Frederick D. Miller
Cumberland Valley's 2023 production of Beauty and the Beast coincided with the program's 60th anniversary and so, conversations surrounding the show's themes of home and belonging felt especially prevalent. Workshops were held with students in the musical's cast to explore the deeper meanings imbedded in Beauty. "Is home a place or any idea?" was a question routinely asked.
In our 2023 context, Gaston's leading of a mob to attack a castle felt especially pertinent following the 2021 Insurrection on our nation's capitol. Elsewhere, Belle is criticized for reading and mocked by her fellow villagers for not performing traditional gender roles.
Disney musicals, for all of their spectacle and fluff, still convey strong and timely messages to their audiences. It was a joy to explore these themes with high school students who are so up to the task.