Workshop challenges students to write ‘Beauty and the Beast’ sequel

dozen students spent their Wednesday morning searching for Mrs. Potts, creating colorful feather dusters and doing some detective work on a mysterious case of their servants being turned to teacups.

Rhonda Bell, a  Lexington Children’s Theatre (LCT) resident teaching artist, said the adventures are all part of the Lexington Children’s Theatre “Beauty and the Beast” Playmakers Workshop held at Leeds Center for the Arts.

During the workshop, students work to create a sequel to the original play, Bell said. Students used “Beauty and the Beast” as a foundation and then use their imaginations to decide what happens next.

“We take a story or a theme and we explore it using our bodies, voices and imagination,” Bell said.

The class creates characters, dialogue and story.

The camp will culminate in a “sharing” using basic costumes and set at 4 p.m. today.

“We end the week with what we call a sharing so that way, it feels very informal and not a scary thing,” Bell said. “Because when you say a play or performance, it makes them very nervous. So we share what we’ve been doing all week with the parents.”

This workshop was open to local students ages 6 to 10.

Bell said LCT is offering workshops throughout the summer across Central Kentucky.

LCT has offered a variety of summer workshops for more than 20 years.

Each day, the students had a drama segment, art segment and time for free play.

Bell said the workshop is a perfect opportunity for children to use their imagination — something they may not always get to do. She said students also develop foundational acting skills and work on building confidence.

“Here’s a chance for them to take their playing and imagination they love to do anyway, but we channel it in a way that leads to a product,” Bell said.