A Tale as Old as Time

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Girl Scouts take over Starlight Theatre

Some girls, at some point, dream about being a princess who is kind to all people and has the courage to save the world. At Girl Scouts, we believe girls can be whatever they dream, and if being kind to others and changing the world is it (and we sure hope so!) – let’s help them get there. One way is by giving girls really cool experiences they can only get as Girl Scouts.

Thanks to Starlight Theatre, over 50 Girl Scouts got to have their princess and theater dream come true last week at a workshop lead by the traveling company of Disney’s Beauty and The Beast, presented by NETworks! This company has been working together for nearly a year and had the pleasure of closing out their tour in Kansas City and sharing all their knowledge and backstage secrets with our girls!

Haley Palmer is the Dance Captain with the production. Since the choreographer and director of the show don’t travel with the cast, her job is to ensure that the dances go exactly how they intended them to go, every single show. Additionally, she is a “swing” and can fill in for any person in the ensemble who has to step into a lead role as an understudy. Haley worked with the girls and taught them the ending choreography to “Be Our Guest” and they performed it on the side stage prior to the start of the show that evening!

Girl Scouts also got to go backstage with the stage manager and production assistant and see all the props, costumes and set up close and personal! The girls were fascinated with all the wigs and costumes that the ensemble changes in and out of during the show. The tour guides offered some really fascinating facts about the show, such as there are no consumable props in this production (no food/drink besides water), that the costume designer won a Tony Award and there are absolutely no photos of the Beast’s mask and makeup due to Disney copyright laws!
Starlight’s Production Manager, Aaron Clark also offered insight into Starlight Theatre’s history and what it takes to host traveling productions like Beauty and The Beast. Often there are more people working backstage than there are actual actors and actresses in the shows! In fact, Starlight hires hundreds of professional stage hands to work the various show throughout the summer!

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At the end of the workshop, two company members joined Haley for a question and answer session. One of those company members was someone the girls could really relate to – DJ who plays Chip! They learned that his favorite part of the show is the number that they rehearsed, that it takes lots of practice and dedication to be a performer, especially as a kid in the show. DJ alternates playing Chip with another child actor because they’re both being homeschooled for a majority of the tour. One fact that DJ shared is that he got the role of Chip from auditioning for another role. The director passed him up for the part he auditioned for and later called him to offer him the role as Chip!
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We are so appreciative of our partnership with Starlight and the opportunities they provide Girl Scouts with every year! There is still a chance to experience a Girl Scout Night at Starlight Theatre at A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (this show is recommended for Cadettes and older).

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