Calhoun County kids prepare to perform “Beauty and the Beast”


CALHOUN CITY, Miss. (WCBI) – A well known Disney story comes to life over the next few days on the stage of a Northeast Mississippi high school.

For the past three months, nearly 60 children and teenagers have learned that hard work, practice and preparation make a huge difference.

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“Those are the key elements in pulling off a successful production,” said Suzanne Oakley, who is a counselor at Calhoun City High School and a  veteran of many plays and musicals.

Oakley is director for this presentation of “Beauty and the Beast.”

It is the first musical that is part of the “Center Stage” Project. That initiative was started as a way to expose students in all County schools,  Calhoun Academy and home schoolers, to drama and the arts.

All proceeds from ticket sales and program ads support Center Stage.

Oakley said it has been encouraging to see cast members from across the county making new friends and learning about teamwork.

“It’s been a lot of fun to see the kids from different schools get to know each other, we’ve enjoyed having them here on our campus, it’s been a lot of fun getting to share our home with them,” said Oakley.

Whether they are second graders, or high school seniors, the “Beauty and the Beast” cast members said they appreciate the opportunities provided by Center Stage and they want people to see the popular fairy tale come to life.

“It’s really amazing, I love everybody in this production, had time to bond with everyone of them, it’s been a great experience getting to know everybody personally,” said Jordan Lucius, who plays “The Beast.”

“Money from the production, it helps us do more productions, helps get more children and people into the arts and helps more people learn about the arts  and theater as a whole, I think that’s a wonderful thing,” said Amber McGregr, who plays “Belle.”

“I figured it would be a great experience and I would learn so much from it, I’ve grown out of my shell a little bit having to perform in front of a big crowd,” said Anna Kathryn Edgeworth, who plays “Babette.”

The ‘tale as old as time’ runs Thursday through Saturday at Calhoun City High School.

Showtimes are Thursday and Friday at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door.

For more information, call 662-230-9180 or you can buy tickets at Watkins, Ward and Stafford in Calhoun City.