We are bubbling over with excitement to feature our Beauty and the Beast, Jr. director Ms. Liz Jolly!
This March we invite you to be our guest for APSI’s production of Beauty and the Beast, Jr. Beauty and the Beast is ASPI’s second “Jr.” production, the first being Elf Jr. when it graced the Abrams’ stage in December 2019.
You may be wondering, what is a Jr. production? A Jr. production is a chance for young and aspiring actors to have a meaningful learning experience and to foster a lifelong love of theater. For the upcoming production of Beauty and the Beast, the cast will range in age from 5-17 years old.
“We have an abundance of extremely talented and ‘hungry for theater’ kids. The middle school and elementary school kids might not have a theater program. The high school kids might have one, but the amount of kids is too large and the funding too low to have as meaningful/tailored of a learning experience… ASPI also has an abundance of very talented and trained leader/teachers available to the kids. Without listing everyone’s credentials, many people on the production team have studied, trained, or worked extensively in their area,” explains Liz.
The production of Beauty and the Beast offers the fantastic opportunity for characterization, which Liz thinks is a great chance for young actors to deepen their skills, whether acting, singing, or dancing.
“The cast has been great – so much enthusiasm shown so far… We have some actors who have never been on stage before and I’m so excited to see them grow, connect to their characters, and hopefully love it,” shares Liz.
ASPI is in a special position to provide a unique theater experience to its cast and crew:
“I love performing but more than that I love bringing and sharing a love of theatre to/with my hometown community. I think the most special thing about ASPI is the amount of full families we have involved in our group. There aren’t many spaces for full family involvement that put children and parents/grandparents/aunt and uncles/etc. on the same level like acting on a stage or working on a crew together can. I’m starting to come to terms with the fact that my parents won’t be around forever so I try to never take for granted each dance step I get to do with my mom and each nail I get to hammer in or moment on stage I share with my dad,” expresses Liz.
Audiences should be ready for a very magical and immersive experience when they take their seats in March!
“It’s called DISNEY’S Beauty and the Beast, so the tech director David Jolly (my dad) is aiming for Disney level sets, environment, and detail. Our challenge is to match that on the cast side, and based on rehearsals so far, we’re going to blow it out of the park! … I don’t want to give anything away but we’re pulling out pretty much every theater magic we can! Katie Jackson, the costumer, has done sketches of the costumes and they will be some of the best and most elaborate (adult or kids show) Abrams has done. We also have a professional makeup artist, Lance Williams, volunteering his time to help with the Beast,” Liz shares.
When not on the stage or directing, Liz is the Senior Marketing Specialist for Heritage Hill State Park. She enjoys reading, cooking (especially making soups), and venturing back into sewing. She recently joined her first Dungeons & Dragons “campaign” with friends from Guys and Dolls!
Liz holds a BA in Theatre Studies and Classical Studies from St. Norbert College and completed a 2 year conservatory program in acting from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. Liz has been involved with ASPI since 2010. Off stage she has directed Meet Me in St. Louis and Elf Jr. Her on stage roles include Psuedelous in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Miss Hannigan in Annie, Kathy Selden in Singin’ in the Rain, and The Chaperone in The Drowsy Chaperone. Liz’s theater experience also includes work with Theatre Z, PlayByPlay Theatre, Evergreen, Green Bay Community Theatre, SNC Summer Music Theatre, and appearances in Drunken Shakespeare at Comedy City in De Pere.
Put our service to the test! Showtimes for Beauty and the Beast, Jr. are March 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 at 7pm and March 6, 12, 13 at 1pm. Tickets are already selling fast! So take a seat and we’ll provide the rest!