‘Night at the Wax Museum’

By Jesse Campbell (jesse.campbell@mountaintimes.com)

Article Published: Jul. 25, 2013 | Modified: Jul. 28, 2013
‘Night at the Wax Museum’

Maddey Street of the BeanStalk Little Theatre takes part in a recent rehearsal. The kid-focused theater presents 'Night at the Wax Museum' July 26 to 27 at ASU’s Valborg Theatre.

Photo submitted

The biggest challenge for the BeanStalk Little Theatre, a Boone-based, kid-focused production company, has been finding rehearsal space.

And while the community has been generous in allowing the young actors much needed room in rehearsing their latest summer production, “Night at the Wax Museum,” organizers dream of the day when they can have a theater of their own.

“We’ve had to beg, borrow and steal rehearsal space,” said creative director Amy Beane, who cofounded the theater with Andrea McDonough. “We’ve been in several locations. It has been great having the community behind us to let us have space.”

So far, the volunteer group of directors and actors has met at Appalachian State University’s Owens Field House, a dance studio and Hardin Park Elementary School.

The youth- and parent-led theater company has not been too picky in where it secures rehearsal space.

“It would be nice to have a consistent space,” Beane said. “We are hoping for the Appalachian Theatre (when it reopens). Adding that consistency to the cast would really be helpful.”

For the theater’s only summer production, actors have found a welcoming stage at Appalachian State’s Valborg Theatre.

Like previous productions for the group, this summer’s play, “Night at the Wax Museum,” is in musical format.

The musical will be held at 7 p.m. July 26 and 27, with a special 2 p.m. matinee showing July 27, all at Valborg.

According to Beane’s synopsis, the musical’s plot follows the adventures of a group of young students figuratively shackled to the confines of the classroom for summer vacation.

For failing grades in their history class, the students must assist a group of ladies from the historical society in the upkeep of a wax museum.

One night, the students stumble upon Cleopatra’s bracelet, and, after reading an encryption, the wax figures in the museum come to life. “We see it as the ‘Breakfast Club’ meets ‘Night at the Museum,’” Beane said.

The cast consists of 39 actors and is comprised of both children and their parents.

“That’s our biggest (cast) to date,” Beane said. “We also have 31 speaking roles. Everyone gets his or her moment to shine.”

Having the family-oriented atmosphere around the theater has made the lofty ambition of a completely volunteer-run theater worthwhile, Beane said.

“For us, it’s just about getting the family involved and doing things together,” she said. “Some parents don’t like being on stage, so they are working back stage and helping in the rehearsal process and production time, as well.”

Child performers range in age from 5 to 16.

“Some kids have been with us for the past five years,” Beane said. “We get a new cast every year.”
Previously, the theater operated under the direction of Blue Ridge Community Theatre, but broke away in October 2012 as a separate entity.

The theater’s next production will be held during the Christmas season. “Every year, we have a play-reading committee where we do a weekend retreat to decide the Christmas show,” Beane said.

For tickets, call (800) 841-2787. For more information, visit http://www.beanstalklittletheatre.org.

Additional Images

Maddey Street of the BeanStalk Little Theatre takes part in a recent rehearsal. The kid-focused theater presents 'Night at the Wax Museum' July 26 to 27 at ASU’s Valborg Theatre.
Photo submitted

Lindsey Cole of the BeanStalk Little Theatre works on a set to be used in an upcoming production.
Photo submitted

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