The Keene Lions Club featured a performance of “Beauty and the Beast” at the Colonial Theatre in downtown Keene last weekend.
The show was directed by Deanna Zilske and produced by Diana DeSorcie and Amanda DeSorcie.
The production also featured music by an orchestra conducted by James Sharrock.
The production featured performances by four Keene State College students: Matthew McGinnis, Amy Lesieur, Sofia Thornblad and Mindy Hurd.
Sofia Thornblad is a senior at Keene State College majoring in Holocaust and Genocide Studies. A native of Keene, Thornblad said she enjoys performing in theatrical productions on the side while she is working on her major.
Thornblad played one of the four Silly Girls in “Beauty and the Beast.” Thornblad remarked that “it has been fantastic [rehearsing for the play]. It’s a great way to connect with the community.”
Regarding her appreciation for theater, Thornblad said that “theater has been a part of my life since kindergarden-something else outside of school. It [performing] is a rebirth of my love for this kind of thing and has improved my acting abilities.”
After graduating from Keene State, Thornblad said that she hopes to “get a PhD in International Relations and/or Holocaust Studies with theater as a background.”
Thornblad also gave credit to Keene’s Lion’s Club for presenting the performance of “Beauty and the Beast.” Referring to the positive impact the Lions Club has on the community, Thornblad said “The club gives a way for college students to branch out. While many [students] don’t know it’s an opportunity that’s there, KSC students become more involved in the community.”
Matthew McGinnis is a junior majoring in Music Education at Keene State College. From Derry, NH, McGinnis’s role as Lumiere is his debut performance at the Colonial Theatre.
McGinnis said that “it has been great rehearsing with everyone since they are so friendly and inviting to me as a student. Everyone has taken me under their wing.”
He also remarked that he hopes the audience “[had] a nice break from life. It’s a magical story with feelings of loss and hope.” McGinnis also said that “as an artist, it’s opened my eyes to see how people can continue performing. It’s nice to see hope that I can still create art after college.”
After graduation, he said that he hopes to direct a school chorus. Currently, McGinnis said that he performs with the KSC Chamber Singers and the KSC Group Theater; he is also a member of the New Student Orientation Staff.
Mindy Hurd is a senior at Keene State College majoring in Vocal Arts. A native of Portsmouth, she was a member of the Adult Ensemble during the villager scene in the “Beauty and the Beast” production.
Hurd said that she also performed in “Shrek: The Musical” at the Colonial Theatre. Referring to her most recent appearance in “Beauty and the Beast”, Hurd said that she is a “very shy person. Being in this group of people is great to meet and make new friends. I also love Disney.”
She also remarked that auditioning for and performing in a theatrical production has improved her “confidence and made her feel more comfortable.”
Hurd hopes that her performance “will inspire people to get involved in the Lion’s Club and to get interested in acting.” After graduation, Hurd said that she aspires to be a voice actor.
Ethan Chalmers can be contacted at email@example.com