Tale as Old as Time

There May Be Something There That Wasn’t There Before.

By Jackie FIscher

Beauty and the Beast tells the story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But if the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his entire household will be doomed forever.

With the big reveal of “Beauty and the Beast” on the big screen last week, it got our creative wheels turning.  There has been no shortage of excitement since casting our summer production!

Everyone seems to be looking to do this “tale as old as time” a little differently.

So let’s bring “Beauty and the Beast” up to a feel real standard.
One of my favorite movie clips!

Join us this summer, as we bring to life everyday household items, a super furious Beast and a everyday Beauty into feel real characters.

“There may be something there that wasn’t there before.”


Tale as Old as Time

True As It Can Be

By Julie Gindy

I love a fairy tale. I grew up reading the classics, Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk and many more. Nothing says a happy childhood like a cannibalistic witch, coo-ca-ly coo there’s blood on the shoe or a terrifying giant.

Though this story is truly a “Tale as Old as Time”(Some history here) I was not introduced to Beauty and the Beast until the Disney version in 1991, since then I have watched the animated classic on countless occasions. I also enjoyed decorating the set for the musical in 2006 and have seen several stage productions including the one at Walt Disney World.
Last Thursday a group of us from our Beauty and the Beast staff journeyed to New Lenox to see a “First Look” of the new film in IMAX.

It was fantastic, I can’t wait to see it again to absorb more of that Disney magic!
I find it interesting to think about the Disney evolution of Beauty and the Beast – the animated story, musical theatre productions, the shortened theme park version and now a live-action re-telling of the animated classic.
What a perfect time to be putting on this production! We cannot wait to draw the best features from all of the above and bring you this tale as old as time in true Acting Out Theatre Co. fashion.

Yesterday we gathered at the acting out shoppe for a read thru with our newly acquired Beauty and the Beast cast….WOW…one thing that is “True as it can be”…we have a very talented team of actors!!

Stay tuned as all of the pieces to putting on this grand production unfold.








Tale as Old as Time

A Beauty of a Cast

We have had a very busy few days and have come out with a stellar cast!

On Wednesday about 45 people attended a dance workshop to learn the Beauty and the Beast dance audition piece.

We had 2 audition sessions on Saturday and 80+ individuals danced and sang!

Sunday afternoon the job of piecing together the puzzle of choosing the proper cast began at 2 pm.
We were entertained by some very well prepared auditioners!!
“Something there that wasn’t there before”

After much deliberation this extremely talented cast of characters was chosen!

The Cast of AOTC 2017 Show- Beauty and the Beast

Belle – Lillian Guenseth

Beast – Nick Adams

Gaston – Tanner Hurt

LeFou – Kevin Soto

Cogsworth – Kyle Cassady

Lumiere – Louis Wood

Babette – Helen Berdebes

Mrs. Potts – Shannon Woodruff

Chip – Chance Graf

Maurice – John Haley

Madame De La Grande Bouche – Mayalyn Cott

D’Arque – Brendan Glennon

Silly Girls – Emily Yantes, Jordan Emling, McKenzey Testerman

Abby Purcell, Leah Schindler, Taylor Autero, Lauren Rybolt, Deena Cassady, Rob Bishir, Melissa Daniels, Elizabeth James, Ryan Woodruff, Thomas Erhardt,
Megan Ponton, Mary Hall, Colleen Edmonson, Bob Guastalli, Abby Denault, Nathaniel Nelson, Sergio Pena Pacheco, Adam Schindler, Clair Bossong, Noelle Hannay, Kara McHugh,
Alexandra Sterk, Kyle Hacek, Alexander Hamilton, Erin Phillips, Grant Sparenberg, Melissa Hoyt, Miles Kolby Meador.

Believe us, you do not want to miss this show!!!

Audition Listings

Beauty and the Beast Call Back Info

Sunday March 12th – 2:00 PM (Please remember to spring ahead!)

Location:  The Recreation Station (A Bourbonnais Township Park District facility)  770 E. Franklin St., Bradley

#1 – Belle, Silly Girl

#2 – Belle

#5 – Cogsworth, Lefou, Gaston, Beast

#7 – Mrs. Potts

#9 – Maurice

#10 – Belle, Silly Girl

#11 – Silly Girl, Babette

#12 – Beast, Gaston

#13 – Babette, Silly Girl

#19 – Lumiere

#21 – Silly Girl, Babette

#29 – LeFou

#30 – LeFou, Lumiere

#31 – LeFou, Cogsworth, Lumiere

#34 – Belle

#35 – Silly Girl

#36 – Beast, Gaston

#41 – Chip

#42 ~Belle, Silly Girl

#44 – Cogsworth, Lumiere

#46 – D’Arque, Cogsworth, Beast

#47 – Maurice

#52 – Maurice, D’Arque

#54 – Silly Girl

#55 – Babette, Silly Girl

#56 – Beast, Cogsworth

#57 – LeFou

#58 – Beast, Gaston, Lumiere, LeFou

#59 – D’Arque, Cogsworth

#62 – Lumiere, LeFou, Beast, Cogsworth

#66 – Silly Girl, Babette

#72 – Mrs. Potts, Wardrobe

#75 – Maurice, Cogsworth

#76 – Belle, Silly Girl, Babette

#80 – Silly Girl, Babette

#81 – Beast, Lumiere

#82 – Wardrobe

#83 – Silly Girl, Babette

#86 – Beast, Gaston

#88 – Lumiere

#90 – Mrs. Potts

#95 – Silly Girl, Babette

#96 – LeFou

#97 – Mrs. Potts

#98 – Chip

#99 – Cogsworth

#103 – Beast

Please check the cast list tomorrow night even if not on this list, Ensemble is not called back.

Items to prepare for each character-

Belle: Belle Maurice lines, Belle lines (yes, it’s the Narrator lines!), Belle Beast lines, Belle Beast lines 2Belle Call back

Beast: Belle Beast lines, Belle Beast lines 2Beast Call back

Gaston: Gaston Belle linesLeFou Gaston linesLefou Gaston Call back, Gaston Call back

LeFou: LeFou Gaston lines, Lefou Gaston Call back

Maurice: Belle Maurice linesMaurice Call back

Babette: Babette Lumiere linesBabette Lumiere lines 2

Lumiére: Babette Lumiere linesBabette Lumiere lines 2Lumiere Cogsworth linesLumiere Cogsworth lines 2Lumiere Call backCogsworth,Lumiere Potts Call back

Cogsworth: Lumiere Cogsworth linesLumiere Cogsworth lines 2Cogsworth,Lumiere Potts Call back

Mrs.Potts: Chip Mrs. Potts linesCogsworth,Lumiere Potts Call backPotts Call back

Chip: Chip Mrs. Potts lines

Madamé: Madame’ lines

D’Arque: D’Arque linesD’arque Call back

Silly Girls: Silly Girls linesSilly Girls Call back 


Tale as Old as Time

Our Tale Begins

This story begins with a team of talented, devoted, & hard working individuals all journeying together to to create a tale as old as time, Beauty and the Beast…Acting Out style!
On Sunday afternoon at Perry Farm Park we gathered together to take a collective look and plant our ceremonial sign therefore staking out our spot for this summer’s show!
After which we had a short staff meeting with time to eat, chat and start to gel as a team.
This is when it gets real!!!

We meet each year at our chosen spot,  it is quite a journey between each photo!

Into the Woods 2011

Big River 2012

Chicago 2013

Les Misérables 2014

CATS 2015

Sweeney Todd 2016

We are thrilled to be starting our 7th show! Stay tuned!



Tale as Old as Time

Audition Tips

By Sharon Richardson
As I was preparing to write a blog about audition tips – I went back and read my blog from a year ago and realized – that information really doesn’t change!  So we are “recycling” a blog from last year with a couple different thoughts thrown in!  We are looking for a realistic village with men, women, boys & girls of all ages!  This is a show where the ensemble stays REALLY busy as villagers and enchanted characters – there are so many opportunities to shine!  So consider coming out to audition and spend the summer with us at beautiful Perry Farm!  I can’t think of a better place to be!

Auditions are just around the corner and hopefully lots of you are gearing up for the big day! Auditions can be scary, especially if you really WANT a particular part.

But the thing you should know is all of us sitting at the casting table are on your side and we are rooting for you! When you walk into the room – whether we’re friends, casual acquaintances or perfect strangers – we want you to blow us away! We have done no pre-casting in our heads and we can assure you that the auditions will be completely open and fair. The person who is best for that particular part on that particular day – gets the part! Simple, right? We want the best show, that’s all, and, like cooking, an excellent show or meal is only as good as its individual ingredients.
Sounds easy enough, right? We know, it’s not. But, here are some tips that might help you have a great, relaxed and memorable audition.

• Choose the role(s) you are going for carefully. Are you right for the part? Is your vocal range compatible?
• Be confident!
• We want to know that you have really thought about the show and your character before you come in to the audition. We’re specifically looking for people who understand the themes of the show and are willing to work with them (and us) for the greatest possible dramatic effect
 “You never get a second chance to create a first impression” – be in the moment as you walk into the room. You only have a short time to show us what you’ve got, and we want to see it all!
• Be prepared and look like you are.
• Show as much emotion and motivation as you can. If the song or speaking part merits facial expressions and character movements, put your all into it! Not only will it tell us what you can do onstage, but it will definitely help you stand out from others auditioning.
• Learn the words to the song and/or speaking sections, if you can. You are much more able to emote and act the part if you are not reading from a sheet of paper. And keep your head up, we want to see your face!
• Speak and sing clearly. We need to hear the words. DICTION is the order of the day.
• Be fully prepared for your audition by vocally warming up beforehand; it doesn’t have to be fancy – run through your song(s) a few times (better yet, perform it for someone else and sing it in the shower) Just get those chords warmed up so you’ll be ready and confident for your audition.
• Take care of your body that day too. Don’t eat too much right before you sing, and keep hydrated (warm tea is great for loosening vocal chords and supporting your immune system).
• Feel free to dress for the part or bring a simple prop with you if you feel this will help.
• Never apologize.
• And finally, good luck and HAVE FUN!

It’s the last point that we really want you to focus on.
We KNOW you are good and we’d love to work with all of you – it’s just a matter of matching the right person to the role. So don’t be nervous. Have fun, relax and show us your stuff!

Come and be a part of everyone’s favorite fairy tale – a “tale as old as time”!  Don’t forget the dance workshop on March 8th – a great opportunity to learn the audition dance in person from our fantastic choreographer Kendra Souligne – for those of you that are unable to make it – the video will be online on our website beginning March 4th!

Be there on March 11th! And don’t forget to sign up online  – today!!

Tale as Old as Time

Dancing in Pageantry

By: Kendra Souligne

I am honored to choreograph this year’s AOTC production of Beauty & the Beast. In keeping with tradition, when it comes to choreography, we have the utmost respect for authenticity.

The story of Belle living in 19th century France invokes the necessity for research of that time period and what style of dance you might have seen in those days. If you were to walk into Le Pub, the regular hangout for Gaston and his protégé Le Fou, located at the edge of the village near the bridge and one of the town’s fountains, you would probably see the patrons dancing their version of a Quadrille, the Waltz, or maybe the Two-Step


For this time period, the social dance scene had already evolved through the Regency and Romantic eras. First, the most popular new dance of the Regency Era of 1815, was the Quadrille, created from older French Contredanse and Cotillion figures. The Quadrille was performed with a wide variety of rapid, skimming steps, such as the chassé, jeté assemblé and entrechats. (If you’ve taken ballet, those terms might sound quite familiar!) These dances were done in formations of squares and lines. This respectable dance form was quickly varied by adding an unusual innovation of performing a dance as an individual couple. Inspired through peasant origins, the flowering of the Romantic Era begat the evolution of the Waltz.

Waltzing jumped ahead in acceptability when its inherent sensuousness was tempered with a playful energy, first by the Galop and then by the Polka. The Polka’s good-natured quality of wholesome joy finally made closed-couple turning acceptable, introducing thousands of dancers to the pleasure of spinning in the arms of another. The Polka mania led to a flourishing of other couple dances, including the Schottische, Valse à Deux Temps, Redowa, Five-Step Waltz, and Varsouvienne. By the 1850s, the ballroom had reached its zenith.

So, as you can now imagine, the common folk of Belle’s “little town”, would take on their own version of the societal dances of their time and make them their own. As you enter the tavern, you may see Claudette dancing with a male partner and another couple in a basic Quadrille, while her friend Paulette, who relishes in the close embrace of her male partner, shows off their hot new Waltz. But to their surprise, Laurette and her partner have already started utilizing the up and coming moves of the Two Step, but with a stout in hand! Meanwhile, at the Beast’s castle, Belle and her Beast twirl in time performing an age old classic, but I won’t to spoil the surprise.

Whether you will join us at auditions in March, accompany us as cast or staff, or support the show as an honored audience member at the show in July, we will together go back in time with a tale as old as time enjoying the actual dances of that time.

Tale as Old as Time

Strike up the band!

By Ryan Schultz

Every year my first blog seems to come earlier and earlier. But, even though it’s hard to believe,
auditions are right around the corner. This year, for the first time, we are putting on a Disney
family classic, one that is a timeless story that has been enjoyed by millions over the years. And
we have the added bonus of being able to tell the story in the wake of the new movie that is
sure to engage the imagination of a new generation of children


The challenge in dealing with music that is so well-known is to take a fresh look and play to the
strengths of our cast (which makes auditions exciting and scary!). I am excited to work with
Alyssa Norden this year to bring this musical vision to the stage. And, in the tradition of Acting
Out, we are looking forward to a tremendous orchestra to bring the score to life on those warm
summer evenings. Working with iconic music is a thrill and I look forward to working with many
of our orchestra “regulars.” Acting Out has become a family for many of them as well and they
always look forward to coming back summer after summer


As we gear up for auditions, we encourage all of you to try out, get involved, and help us put on
a memorable production. For many of us, we can’t imagine a better way to spend our summer!
It takes so many individuals to make our production truly unforgettable and we could use your
help. Pick up a horn, a paintbrush, or a script and let’s get to work! See you all in a few weeks.


Tale as Old as Time

Once Upon a Time…

By Paula Denault

… there was a group of people that dreamt of bringing stories to life in the great outdoors.  They struggled, they toiled, they scrimped, they saved, they laughed and they cried. They met giants that had to be slayed and ogres that had to be defeated.  Eventually their dreams were realized, and Acting Out Theatre Co. was born.  They began creating beautiful stories in magical settings for all to hear.  As people heard of their heroic courage, they came in droves to support their cause and to hear their stories! They waited in anticipation for the next story to come.  And, alas, another story is about to unfold.

Anticipation is building!  The day of auditions for Beauty and the Beast will soon be upon us.  From the day this show was announced there has been a palpable energy in the air: from the staff, to the possible cast members, to the future audience.   It’s so exciting!

This observation got me to wondering about Fairy Tales.  Let me first make clear that I am not talking about many of the older versions of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, which were created for adult audiences.  I’m talking about the most common Fairy Tales of our day that end with a “happily ever after.”   What is it about a Fairy Tale that is so endearing?  Aren’t we supposed to stop believing in Fairy Tales after a certain age?  Aren’t we supposed to stop teaching our children, especially our girls, that there is no knight in shining armor that will carry them away to a happily ever after life?  We want to be prepared for the hard knocks in life, after all.  We want to prepare kids to stand on their own two feet and not wish for some magic solution to their problem.   So why do we all love a fairy tale?

First of all, I think we love fairy tales because they speak to the familiar.  It’s kind of like coming home after a long, hard day at work and watching reruns of “Friends.”    It’s a story we already know, and even if we aren’t familiar with that particular fairy tale, we inherently have an understanding of the story.  We can exhale and feel at home.

We love fairy tales because it is a place where good triumphs over evil.   Even when the odds seem overwhelming, the unexpected can happen.   Ordinary people will rise to fight, and the evil one will be defeated. Who, in this life, has not had to slay a few dragons?   Our children will learn that though life may have its challenges, they can overcome.  It sends young and old a message of much-needed hope.

Fairy tales teach us lessons:  lessons of truth, courage, hard work, justice, sacrifice, honor, and unconditional love.  We learn lessons that transcend boundaries.  We are reminded that though we are different, we are the same.  That “family” is not just by birth-right.  We learn that looks are deceiving, and we need to discover what’s beneath.  Beauty really is in the eye of the beholder.  Love covers a multitude of flaws.    Love can transform the unlovable.


Fairy Tales are meant to be told and retold.  They have a message for young and old.  Acting Out is privileged to gather a few of the many talented people in our area, and retell a tale as old as time:  Beauty and the Beast.     Please, come share in our Fairy Tale!


Tale as Old as Time

Top 5 reasons you should audition for AOTC’s production of Beauty and the Beast

By Michael Keigher

There are so many reasons one should audition for an Acting Out Theatre Company show. Some people have found lifelong friends from being in a production. Others have found solace in taking to the stage and becoming a whole new character. The list can go on and on for why you should audition for an AOTC show, but listed below are the top five reasons you might want to be involved!

1. Everything looks amazing

The above pictures, as beautiful as they are, can’t quite compare to seeing an AOTC show in action. From the sets to the costumes and makeup, actors will always look incredible on an AOTC freshly built stage. Each part, from Belle to the Beast to Dancing Plate #4, all characters will receive great thought and attention to detail. Then add Kendra’s choreography to the mix and be prepared to visually amaze your audience. In summary, be prepared for an awesome profile pictures for Facebook.

2. Everything sounds amazing

CATS Promo at Strawberry Fest

Les Mis Teaser Video

Take a listen to the above videos and judge for yourself. Acting Out Theatre Company has not been shy to take on a musically challenging show. From Cats to Les Miserables, Acting Out has taken on difficult musicals. Our music directors, Ryan Shultz and Alyssa Norden, will take your voice to the next level and enhance your performance for audiences near and far.

3. AOTC is a family

One of the magical things about an Acting Out Theatre Company Show is the sense of belonging and community one feels from being involved. The atmosphere is always welcoming and accepting. When you are involved with AOTC, you become an immediate  member to our ever growing family. The memories you make on the stage will be precious, but the memories you create backstage will last a lifetime.

4. You would enjoy the fresh air

One of the most unique parts of AOTC would be the places in which the shows take place. Outdoor theatre is in a league of its own. There is nothing like performing in an environment that breathes fresh air to a show. Beauty and the Beast will be performed at Perry Farm in Bourbonnais, which is the perfect location to bring this fairy-tale to life.

5. You would help bring a “Tale as Old as Time” to life!

Speaking of bringing shows to life, we need your help to get it done. The team of directors have been working incredibly hard to put this show in motion, but we need driven and hard working actors to create a true masterpiece! Beauty and the Beast is a classic and AOTC is proud to present it to the community.
Please join us for auditions on March 11th 2017!