Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 05-15-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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6 ENTERTAINMENT MAY 15-21, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER LIVING EDITION decades and the numbers are "more than ever before in human history." More than 40 percent of amphibian species, almost 33 percent of reef-forming corals and more than one-third of all marine mammals are threat- ened, the report states. Artwork and photographs of wildlife from 12 to 15 art- ists from Rhode Island and across New England, including some from the New England Watercolor Society, will be exhibited around the zoo. Also that day, zookeepers will be available to speak with visitors about the endangered animals, including actions people can take to help them survive. There are more than 30 threatened or endangered spe- cies at the zoo, including white- cheeked gibbons, Matschie's tree kangaroo, a red wolf, snow leopards, giant river otters, red- crowned crane, cheetahs, and African elephants. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, endan- gered species are "in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range," while threatened species are "likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range." The U.S. is considering add- ing giraffes, whose populations have dropped significantly, to the endangered species list, French said. Guests visiting the zoo will find artists stationed in front of different exhibits drawing, sketching, and painting the threatened and endangered species "to bring awareness to the animals," Beth Pincince, special events and promotions manager at the zoo, told The Breeze. "There will be some beauti- ful photography on display," she said. The event is new this year and was inspired by the 2nd annual Endangered Species Youth Art Contest hosted by the zoo and sponsored by Jerry's Artarama, an art supply store in Providence, Pincince said. More than 220 local students submitted artwork of endan- gered species. The winners' framed pieces will be displayed in the zoo's Hasbro's Our Big Backyard. "This is our first time doing the (event)," Pincince said. "We're hoping that if it's suc- cessful, next year we can build have always been wonder- ful morality lessons," he says. The show features the best of those stories, turning them into "a piece of theater that explores personal iden- tity and the concept of fam- ily as something beyond just blood relation." Auditions were held in late February, for both vocal and dance performances. Student actors needed to be able to do it all. "(Though) it's a school for the arts, Beacon does not have a music or dance program," says Meaghan Bruneault, our choreogra- pher. "Yet these kids do a full-length musical every school year. That's no small feat." The decision was made to cast 16 performers, six prin- cipals and the rest ensemble. "This production is one that usually puts a 'cast of thousands' on the stage," says Leclair. So, the Beacon artists "are highly challenged as an ensemble to switch characters and truly know every nuance of the show." At the first read-through in mid-March, I was impressed with how well some of the performers knew the show. Leclair said they'd been pre- paring, getting familiar with the script and the music, since Beacon's season was announced at the end of the prior school year. Last Tuesday, after weeks of rehearsal, we had our first stumble-through of Act 1. It's called that because no one truly expects perfection the first time all the ele- ments come together. When it was done, Leclair and I had the same thing to say: "That was amazing." There were a couple of little mis- takes, and the end of the act needed some extra work, but they'd only done that part once before. "I am truly in awe of these kids, of their work ethic, and of their talent," says Bruneault. "It makes our jobs so much more enjoy- able when you have a cast that puts their all into the material. It really is amazing to witness." As they warmed up for the stumble-through, circling around our music director, we watched a group of kids that had truly become one. They were loose with each other, bopping and dancing along as they sang the songs, high-fiving each other for hitting a particularly hard note. They exuded confi- dence, enthusiasm and a real "we've got this" attitude. As a school for the arts, theater is truly Beacon's sport, but the show is not everything. Leclair sets priorities for the students: "Personal health, family obligations, academics and lastly, the show." Bruneault likes that these students have the chance to attend a high school focused on the arts. "We didn't have that option when I was a kid. They are getting experience at such a young age," she said. "We really push them to strive for greatness by placing professional level expectations on them. And they rise to it every time." As the stumble-through ended, there were huge smiles all around. Leclair was glowing. "Their work is astound- ing. To see the students here band together and work this hard on this show is wonderful," he said. "When you watch this show, you will enter the world of Seuss and be taken on that tour by actors who have brought a professional level of work to their performance." And that's what this pro- gram is all about. The Beacon Theatre Workshop presents "Seussical: The Musical" May 23-26 at Beacon Charter School, on Main Street in Woonsocket, across the street from the Stadium Theatre. Seating is limited, and tickets can be purchased in advance at beacon.book- tix.com. The cast of "SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL" will present their show at Beacon Charter High School for the Arts, Main Street, Woonsocket, Thursday, May 23 through Sunday, May 26. BEACON From Page One ENDANGERED From Page One Continues on next page

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