For the Bulletin
My name is Courtney Crawford, and I am playing Gaston in Selkirk Secondary School’s production of Beauty and the Beast.
As many of you may have seen the Disney movie, you would know that Gaston is an aggressive, burly, male character. So it may be difficult to picture a girl playing the iconic role. In our version, we have changed the character to a female, so Gaston still lacks manners and is just as uncivil, but is portrayed as a woman. Throughout this experience it has been really challenging to play a character so polar opposite from myself.
Mostly it has been quite interesting to challenge everyone’s expectations of a movie that everyone is familiar with. For this show there are many young cast members and we also expect many young audience members, and for them, facing stereotypes can have a negative effect on their concept of social justice because they can be easily influenced. It’s quite refreshing to know that what we’ve done with the show is reinforcing positive messages for children and really all types of people.
Our show clearly demonstrates that women can occupy a variety of roles in society, both in the public and private sphere. Women can be powerful and respected, cruel and kind, represented in our show both by a determined, though ultimately cruel female Gaston and a strong willed, misfit Belle. The entire performance shows that all people are capable of unexpected things.
It has been an amazing few months working with some incredible people and I am so excited to share the show with everyone. Beauty and the Beast plays at McKim Theatre in Kimberley from May 20-23 at 7:30 pm nightly, with shows at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm on May 23rd. Tickets are available at McKim School office in Kimberley and Lotus Books in Cranbrook, and at the door. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students and seniors, and for the May 23rd matinée children 5 and under are free.