“Beauty and the Beast” Dances Into Towngate Theatre

Oglebay Institute’s children’s theater productions bring classic stories from the page to the Towngate Theater stage. The next production – “Beauty and the Beast” – presents a retelling of this well-loved story through the art of dance.

OI’s Youth Ballet Company dances the journey of Belle, a caring, intelligent, beautiful, young woman.  Belle attempts to rescue her father and is captured by the grisly, fearsome Beast, who was long ago trapped in his gruesome form by an enchantress.

With friends, villains and life lessons along the way, the show is a contemporary production featuring dozens of beautifully costumed dancers and captivating dances of original choreography.

Six Chances to See This Show

Families have six chances to see “Beauty and the Beast.” Show times are 7 p.m. Saturday, October 13 & Saturday, October 20 and 3 p.m. & 7 p.m. Sunday, October 14 & Sunday, October 21 at Towngate.

In addition to the show, children can also enjoy a tea party with the cast of “Beauty and the Beast” prior to the matinee shows October 14 and 21.

“Our ballet performances feature well-loved stories that children can relate to. Kids not only get excited about seeing characters they love, but also see stories presented in new and interesting ways,” said Oglebay Institute director of dance Cheryl Pompeo.

Like so many fairy tales, “Beauty and the Beast” has evolved during its journey from oral tradition to the page to the stage and screen.

Oglebay Institute’s team of seven choreographers based its ballet on the traditional 18th Century story by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve.  However, they weaved in elements from modern-day versions.

“We have taken ideas from both the original story as well as the Disney version and the movie, but have created an original piece of choreography.  It will entertain audiences with familiar music, beautiful costumes and fabulous dancers,” Pompeo said.

Iconic Story Entertains & Teaches Life Lessons

OI’s children theater productions aim to not only entertain and inspire but also to teach life lessons. Pompeo said “Beauty in the Beast” contains several moral lessons.

Some of the lessons in the story are the same as those found in other fairy tales. Virtue and hard work pay off.  Envy goes unrewarded. Love endures. But others, Pompeo explained, are derived particularly from “Beauty and the Beast” such as the lesson that true beauty is found within, not by outward appearance.

Pompeo also said that the character of Belle is a great role model because she is smart, independent and brave.

“Beauty and the Beast” is the first performance planned by the OI’s Youth Ballet Company for the 2018-19 season. Dancers will present other shows this season including “The Nutcracker” to be performed during the holidays at both the Mansion Museum and Towngate Theatre.

Get Tickets

Tickets are $12.50/$11 OI members for adults and $10/$8.50 OI members for children 10 and under. Tickets for the tea party are $15  and you can purchase with your show ticket.

To purchase tickets for “Beauty and the Beast” and for the tea party with the cast, visit OIonline.com or call 304-242-7700.

Towngate Theatre is located at 2118 Market St. in Wheeling. If available, you can purchase tickets at the door; however, many shows will sell out.

OI Dance Alumni Homecoming Oct. 20

Oglebay Institute’s School of Dance invites its alumni and their families to enjoy a performance of OI’s Youth Ballet Company’s production of “Beauty and the Beast!”

Join us for this tale as old as time Saturday, October 20.

Alumni and families are also invited for a pre-performance reception in the gallery at Towngate at no additional cost. The reception begins at 5:30pm.

Teaching the Art of Dance…

Oglebay Institute recognizes the importance of creative expression through movement and music. Dance has been a vibrant part of our programming for more than 80 years. We not only present dance as an art form and a means of self-expression but also as social interaction for all ages. From new dancers to returning professionals, our students immerse themselves in the art of dance at Oglebay Institute.

School of Dance