North Idaho

Out Of the Shadows Theater casts disabled actors

Out Of the Shadows Theater casts disabled actors

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - A stage production of Beauty And the Beast Junior opens Friday at the KROC Center in Coeur d'Alene, and the production includes a cast of disabled actors.

The production of Beauty And the Beast Junior is put on by Out Of the Shadows Theater. Wendy Carroll, an actress, was inspired to create the theater company by her son.

"One night I looked out at him during an audition and he was being supportive and smiling, and suddenly it dawned on me that he was wondering when it was going to be his turn," Carroll said.

So, she presented the idea of Out Of the Shadows to her friends in the theater community and immediately people were on board. After putting out a casting call, Carroll says they were able to find more than 20 actors for the play. All actors are also accompanied on stage by a shadow actor.

"They're there to provide support, give them prompting, just be a safety net for them throughout the production. Then, after a while, you forget they're there. You're focused on the actor," said Carroll.

And, since this is a production of Beauty And the Beast Junior, Carroll found it necessary to have narrators fill in the gaps. That's where 92.9 ZZU's Molly Allen comes in.

"We have Jack Bannon and Molly Allen who very generously have given their time to be our narrators," Carroll said.

Carroll says she expects the show to sell out and is hopeful that Out Of the Shadows Theater will be able to put on a new stage production each year.

Beauty And the Beast opens Friday evening and will have a matinee performance on Saturday.