by Lisa Tome
Every day after classes at Elkton High, Caitlyn Rund heads to the store and buys herself a Diet Dr. Pepper.
That's her personal signal that she's switching from student to Belle, the character she is portraying in Elkton High's spring play.
She said that balancing play life with real life is a challenge. She relies on lists she make sure she fulfills all her obligations. "It's worth it," said Rund.
Rehearsals for this year's production, began with auditions at the end of October. Students have been working daily since then for hours to get the show "Beauty and the Beast" stage ready.
It's a musical and features about a dozen member pit orchestra. There is also a light and sound crew, parent volunteers and more," explained Kyla Muhlberger, who is sharing directing duties with Adrianna Klecha and Jennifer White. "So many skills come together," said Muhlberger.
That includes a lot of fundraising since it cost $3,000 just for the rights to stage the play.
Some of the costumes will be rented. For the rest of the wardrobe, teacher Alison Hapka gives her sewing machine a workout. On a recent weekend, she stitched numerous outfits. She also reuses items from past shows. She will create 30 costumes in time for the show.
Taylor Gilbert is portraying a teapot, Mrs. Potts. "I auditioned for another role. But I love being Mrs. Potts. She's more me than what I picked for myself. I love being a teapot," said Gilbert.
Erik Maitland, a senior is playing his first role in a play, villain Gaston. "This is a
different twist. He's a little evil and a little angry at people. This is my first time in a play and I like the camaraderie. I wish I would have done this when I was younger," said Maitland.
The show takes to the stage for four performances - February 16, 17, and 18 at 7 p.m. and an additional 2 p.m. show on February 18. Tickets are available at the door.
On February 9 at 6 p.m., the cast promotes the play at an event which gives children the chance to meet the costumed cast. That breakfast for dinner meal is open to the public. Call the school for details.
Julius Brown has another lead role, the Beast. Other cast members include Haley Bell, Jordan Beck, Gabriella Boltz, Angelina Carr, Vonjanae Chatt, Zach Coy, Cody Fidler, Isabella Gargiulo, Taylor Gilbert, Hakim Grant, Talia Greenblatt, Rose Johnson, Fallon Katz, Colin Kohler, Katlyn Krauskop, Grace Lusby, Alliya Marshall, Vivanie McCloud, Mercedes Perze, Angelina Rohner, Aaliyah Wright, and Brennan Zanes.
Alison Hapka is also directing the stage crew. Pete Solecki is the musical director.