March 2, 2020

Beauty and the Beast: Acting as Empathy

High school students perform Beauty and the Beast musical

Our annual spring musical provides unique opportunities for students to build and grow their God-given gifts and abilities in music, dance, acting, art, and other technical skills. During musical season, twenty-five percent of our student body mobilizes in teams as cast and crews to produce a spectacular, jaw-dropping performance. This year’s show is Beauty and the Beast—complete with a live pit orchestra, tap dancing, and even flying effects.

Musical Director, Corbett Burick, challenged our student body to reflect on their hearts as they watched the opening performance last Thursday. She said, “At the beginning of the story the Beast is cursed so that the ugliness in his heart is reflected in his appearance. If the contents of your heart were reflected in your appearance—just like the Beast—how would that impact your thoughts and choices?” 

As the cast prepared for this week’s performances, we asked them to tell us how they’ve experienced personal growth through acting. This is what they shared.

Tyson Hogan (Lumiere the Candlestick) wrote, “I experience a ton of growth as I play more and more characters. One of the biggest parts of acting is learning to acknowledge your character’s circumstances. I find that when you really take the time to know and acknowledge someone else’s circumstances, you build a sense of compassion for them. Acting gives you the opportunity to explore what life is like in all types of family situations, personal situations, and time periods. Playing a different character builds your own character.

Kylie Orphan (Belle) echoed this emphasis on empathy, sharing, “Acting is a unique way to practice stepping into the shoes of others and taking on their burdens as if they were your own. This can be a very humbling experience and a excellent exercise in compassion.”

It is a privilege to journey with students towards greater levels of kindness, compassion, and empathy, while at the same time teaching them to pursue excellence on the stage.

Our alumni have gone on to perform on Broadway National Tours, to become lead actors in movies and TV shows, and even to win Grammy Awards. Find out how you can be equipped as a performer and artist through our Fine Arts programs.