PLAYBILLDER Spotlight: 200 Students Bring Disney's Beauty and the Beast to Life | Playbill

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Special Features PLAYBILLDER Spotlight: 200 Students Bring Disney's Beauty and the Beast to Life

At Laboratory and Demonstration School in Philadelphia, the annual show must include a chorus and an orchestra.

Masterman High School's Beauty and the Beast

Welcome to PLAYBILLDER Spotlight, where Playbill highlights shows and events from educational institutions around the country (who have used Playbill's program-building service). By welcoming these PLAYBILLDERs center stage, we hope to give our readers a more in-depth look at theatre programs that are fostering the love of the performing arts in the next generation.

Guide: How To Build Your Own Custom Program with PLAYBILLDER

This week's spotlight is Julia R. Masterman Laboratory and Demonstration School of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and their production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast. The classic story, adapted from the Disney animated film, follows Belle, a young woman who becomes imprisoned by the Beast, a prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. Featuring songs by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice, this "tale as old as time" is one of the top 20 most-produced youth theatre shows in the country. 

Instrumental Music teacher Kim Kelter Neu shared with Playbill just how many children come together to put up the show and why Beauty and the Beast was the perfect choice for her community.

Masterman High School Student Musicians

Tell us a little about yourself. How many years have you been teaching?
Kim Kelter Neu: 
I've been teaching for 25 years and our musical is certainly the highlight each year. 

How does your school’s performing arts program impact your community?
Our school musical brings together our community, involving over 200 students from both middle and high school. Students make the sets and the props as well as run the sound control, the lights, play in the orchestra, and, of course, star in the show! Families leave our show amazed at what the students have achieved. 

Tell us a little bit about the production. How do you choose shows for your students?
When we choose our show, we always pick something that involves all of the students. It must have a chorus and a full orchestra. This limits our choices, but allows us to include the most students. We also must keep in mind that our school is grades five through 12, so whatever show we pick must work for 5th and 12th graders alike. Beauty and the Beast was an easy and perfect choice this year! 

What reactions do you expect to see in students when they see their name printed in this Playbill for the first time?
Students love seeing the finished Playbill, especially the ads their family and friends put in for them.

To design Broadway-quality programs for your next show, head to Who knows, you might just be featured in our next PLAYBILLDER Spotlight!

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