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July 28, 2016

Drama camp students stage Disney’s Beauty and Beast

Contributed Photo
Ben Wilson portrays the Beast in Hope Drama Camp's production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
By David Nisley
Culpeper

Every summer, Hope Christian Fellowship at Vint Hill hosts an annual drama camp for students who have completed ninth grade through age 21.

These young, talented performers prepare and perform a Broadway musical in just five days. They’ve already tackled shows including Godspell, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Seussical and The Pirates of Penzance. This year, Hope Drama Camp takes on its biggest challenge yet: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

“There’s something adventurous about the challenge,” says Scott Heine, pastor of Hope Christian Fellowship and the director of this year's production. “The endeavor is simply too big for us to accomplish on our own. Attempting the impossible leads to many valuable conversations about teamwork and humility."

Each day of rehearsal begins and ends with the cast and crew sharing stories of how their eyes were opened along the way. For many performers, the experience becomes a starting point for spiritual exploration. The show's topics of transformation, redemption, and love have also been highlighted throughout the week.

There are also plenty of educational opportunities that arise from such an intense production schedule.

“Actors have to learn quickly. They experience a sense of discipline in rehearsal and preparation that mirrors professional theatre,” says Pastor Heine.

It's the type of environment where everyone — including the adult leaders — learn to develop trust, teamwork, and the value of taking risks. One of those risks: presenting this tale as old as time in a gritty, black-and-white setting. Thanks to Pastor Heine’s vision and the hard work of a record-breaking 50 students, our community will be treated to an unconventional, yet heartwarming, story of true love.

Hope Drama Camp is proud to partner with CareNet Pregnancy Resource Centers (with offices in Warrenton, Manassas, and Woodbridge, Virginia). Admission is free. However, the audience is encouraged to share their appreciation by supporting CareNet through donations and concession sales. It’s an important way for the cast and crew to give to the community so that the community can give to those in need.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast will be performed at Highland Center for the Arts in Warrenton, Virginia, on Friday, July 29, at 7 p.m., and again on Saturday, July 30, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Admission is free on a first-come, first-served basis.

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