— A total of 73 children from the Hendricks County area will take part in a production of "Beauty and the Beast Jr."
The show is being produced by The Biz, Academy of Musical Theatre, a new business in Avon whose mission is to provide theatrical training for young performers of all abilities and give them a platform to explore, expand, and share their talents while increasing their appreciation for theatre arts. The Biz also seeks to raise the community's awareness of theatre arts in Hendricks County and its surrounding area.
Actors playing the lead characters are: Beast, Kaden Adams; Belle, Leah Broderick; Gaston, Jaden Miller; LeFou, Abby Moyers; Lumiere, Thomas Whitcomb; Cogsworth, Travis Johnson; Mrs. Potts, Olivia Ash; Chip, Grace White; Babette, Claire Trinkle; Maurice, Luke Marble; Madame DGB, Julle Comer; Msr. Darque, Kyle Griffin; and the Silly Girls, Maggie Hine, Madelynne Hunter, Kristen Peterson, Alivia Sloan, Tabbi Clinton, and Abby Evans.
Production dates are 7 p.m. Dec. 13 and 14, 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 15, and 3 p.m. Dec. 16. All shows are at Harmony Baptist Church, 5697 Broyles Road, Avon.
The Biz will also offer a "Tea with Belle" event at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 14 and 15. This will be a time when young princesses and princes can mingle with Belle and have some "tea" and cookies, get a picture with Belle on stage, and receive a special rose for the occasion. Cost is $10 for this event. Email The Biz at firstname.lastname@example.org or see a cast member for tickets.
Craig Whitcombe, co-owner of The Biz, is the director and music director of the production. Whitcombe is originally from Wales and has performed in several off west-end productions in London, has taught at multiple theatre schools, and has worked for Disney Entertainment company as a performer, actor, and vocal coach.
Jeff Van Paris, co-owner of The Biz, is the choreographer of the production. Van Paris, an Encore Award-winning director, has been directing and choreographing throughout Indiana for 25 years, as well as performing in many theater productions both at a professional and community level. Van Paris is a fourth-grade teacher at Clarks Creek Elementary in Plainfield.
Tickets for the production are $10 for everyone ages 5 and older and will be sold at the door or through a cast member. For more information about The Biz, visit the website at thebiz-academy.com or call 386-8969. The Biz Academy of Musical Theatre is at 5201 U.S. 36, Avon.