Seone Anderson

Seone Anderson

Inner beauty

NANAIMO - Headliners and Red Room present Alice in Wonderland and Beauty and the Beast at Malaspina Theatre.

Belle sees past Beast’s teeth and claws to the inner beauty beneath his exterior.

Beauty and the Beast is a tale about seeking the real person and seeing them for who they are despite appearances.

“It really teaches a good lesson for kids not to judge people,” said Kali Foster, 11, who plays Belle in the Headliners School of Performing Arts and Red Room Studio production of Beauty and the Beast.

Foster said playing the character made her come to her own realizations.

“I had a lot of trouble with bullies and I’ve felt people have been judging me. I’ve always felt like sometimes people judged me because of the way I looked,” said Foster. “This character has helped me realize it doesn’t matter how you look.”

Foster’s co-actor Charles Hartnell, 10, who plays Beast, said he also learned a lot from playing the character. He said Beast is both a villain and a hero and it represents the fact that people aren’t perfect. He said people also need to learn how to be happy with who they are.

Even though the show has a deeper meaning Hartnell said it’s also a lot of fun with great musical performances and leaves people with a really good feeling.

He said the part of the play where Belle and Beast realize they love each other is touching.

“There is a warm fuzzy feeling,” he said.

Hartnell loves acting and this is his fourth production with Headliners.

“It’s a mixture of arts, sports and creativity and it’s all from the heart,” he said.

The production has almost 30 actors, ranging in ages from six to 11 years old, and is directed by Kristin Robinson. It shows at Malaspina Theatre Saturday and Sunday (May 24-25).

Red Room and Headliners are also presenting Alice in Wonderland, with actors ranging in ages from 12-16 years old, at the theatre Friday and Saturday (May 24-25).

The Alice in Wonderland production has more than 30 actors and is based on the Broadway version that combines Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Audience members will enter a bizarre world with interesting characters.

Headliners and Red Room are creating the fantastical world of Wonderland with the help of prosthetics, created by Max Dowie, and elaborate costumes.

“What’s going to draw people down the rabbit hole for this play for sure is the eccentric costumes,” said Manda Chelmak, Headliners program director. “The costumes are really going to make the audience go ‘wow’.”

Beauty and the Beast runs Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.  and Alice in Wonderland runs Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.

The productions feature a special performance by the Rock-It Choir. Tickets are $10 in advance from Harbour City Music, Headliners School of Performing Arts, by calling 250-585-1811 or $12 at the door.

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