February 28, 2024

Many events at California Baptist University have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the planned CBU theater production of “Beauty and the Beast.”

Currently, students and faculty involved in the production plan to postpone the spring production, originally slated for March, until October when students are back for the fall semester. The original dates for performances were March 27–28 and April 2–4.

Lisa Lyons, adjunct professor of theater and director of the production, described how the timeline will be adapted.

“We are moving ‘Beauty and the Beast’ to our fall opening slot, which is the first weekend of October,” Lyons said.

Jordan Elliott, senior communication studies and leadership studies double major, was involved in the production and supposed to play Maurice, Belle’s father in the play. However, with the recent change of schedule due to COVID-19, Elliott said this will change the production and impact students involved in significant ways.

Elliott described some of the effects of postponing the production until October. Returning students who were involved will only have a few weeks in the fall to rehearse the production they prepared for in March.

“I think these changes impacted us in two major ways. It impacted the seniors most obviously. Even though they were invited to come back and perform if they are in the area, I know a couple of my cast mates are from out of state or planning on living out of town and will be unable to come back and perform,” Elliott said.

In addition to affecting the senior cast members, it will also impact others who were involved in this performance as they learn to navigate the changes.

“We will have to adapt to not having these people with us anymore,” Elliott said. “Personally, I know that two of my dance partners were seniors who might not be coming back. This means I will have to help teach (the new members) the choreography and adapt to having a new partner. I know a lot of people in the show are going to be in the same boat.”

Despite the unknowns regarding the future production of “Beauty and the Beast,” the theater program plans to premiere the show in October.

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