Possum Point Players Stitch up a Storm for Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
As Possum Point Players prepare for an October production of "Disney's Beauty and the Beast," sewing machines are as busy as the 44 cast members. Shows are scheduled for Oct. 6, 7, 8, 13, 14 and 15; Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m.
Director Jim Hartzell of Georgetown said tickets are already being purchased steadily and he cautions people to purchase early to avoid missing the show. Tickets are $23, adults, and $22, seniors and students. They may be purchased at www.possumpointplayers.org or by calling the ticketline, (302) 856-4560.
The Possums' costume loft holds a wealth of costumes of various eras and styles. However, when it comes to costuming a singing and dancing candelabra or a teapot, it's time to start stitching from scratch. Early in the year, Louise Hartzell, costume mistress for the show, looked at the inhabitants of the Beast's castle and decided that renting quality costumes for the "enchanted" staff would be cost prohibitive.
Shortly thereafter, she assembled a crew and basically turned her house into Costume Central. They set about designing and gathering materials to transform actors into household goods such as silverware, plates and napkins, Salt and Pepper shakers and a precocious tea cup. Ever present furnishings such as a grandfather clock, a wardrobe and even a rug and a feather duster are all taking shape.
Of course, there is an awesome Beast, a beautiful and bookish Belle, an entire village of folk and even a few wolves to dress as well.
Hartzell estimates that hundreds of yards of material and miles of thread will be seen on stage when the show is in production. The numbers of buttons, eyelets and fasteners are beyond counting as are the yards of lace and cording.
She added, "Included in all the standard tools of the sewing trade are several feet of PVC pipe, Styrofoam, plastic sheeting and lampshades!"
The core of the design team working with Hartzell are Mary Jo Timmons and Fior Zinzi. They are assisted by Marsha Shull, Lori Kelly, Thelma Folke, Helen Dreher and Mary Wilcoxson. Hartzell and helpers have held countless meetings and work sessions and have made trips to almost all fabric shops within a 100 miles of Costume Central in Georgetown.
Hartzell said almost all the measuring, cutting, stitching and gluing has taken place in her home. So far, copious costumes are stored in three rooms in the house and even some spill over into the garage.
"We have devoted hours, days and months to designing and construction" she said. "We wanted these iconic characters to be fun, pleasing and acceptable to audience members of all ages."
Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" is presented through special arrangement with Music Theater International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.mtishows.com.
Possum Point Players is supported, in part, by grants from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.