When the curtains go up, Durango High School Troupe 1096 will be ready.
The troupe’s production of “Beauty and the Beast” will open tonight, and as they were putting the finishing touches on the show this week, it wasn’t nervousness that filled the air as much as excitement to finally perform in front of an audience. All around the theater and spilling out into the lobby at DHS, kids were working on their stage makeup, scenery, sound and lights.
“I am so stoked!” said senior Rebekah Fowler, who is playing Belle. “It’s been the past couple of days that I’ve really been able to envision having an audience, and it’s really feeling real for the first time.”
Her co-star, junior Curtis Salinger, who is playing the Beast, agreed.
“I’m so excited,” he said. “Our costumes are awesome, and we’ve only done one show so far because it’s Wednesday ... I just can’t wait for everything to be put together.”
Staging “Beauty and the Beast,” the story of a woman held by a beast in his castle, did present some challenges for the troupe.
Theater Director Ben Mattson said that in order for them to be able to stage “Beauty and the Beast,” they had to get creative.
“Obviously, there’s expectation with ‘Beauty and the Beast’ – it’s so iconic and it’s Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ and so early on, we decided that the only way we could realistically build this show ourselves without renting things was to kind of create our own style with it and be really smart in our choices,” he said.
And when you look around at what has been accomplished in a few short months, it’s pretty obvious everybody put in a lot of work.
“It’s not just the students; lots of family members have come in to help,” Mattson said. “We’ve been spending 12-hour days on Saturdays for the last couple of months to get it together.”
Senior and head of the properties crew, Abbi Andersen, said she and her team had their work cut out for them as far as finding all the props.
“It was very challenging because when you’re on props, you have to make sure that everything you do is time-period,” she said. “This show is set in the 18th century, so we had to find stuff that related to the 18th century. It was pretty tough.”
And for Mattson, after all the hard work, it’s all falling into place.
“I think it’s going to be amazing. It’s been a dream, really,” he said. “I think the best part about it is ... there’re so many good parts, and they’re all sort of interconnected. Just the scope of this show is so huge, to see what was in my head realize itself is sort of amazing, but (it’s) bigger and better than I ever would have thought of it on my own; it’s such a community effort.”