By Madison Ureste, Correspondent
Belton High School Fine Arts Department presented the play Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific on February 2nd thru 4th at the Belton High School Performing Arts Center. South Pacific is a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic that premiered on Broadway in 1949 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1950. The musical is based on Tales of the South Pacific, a Pulitzer Prize winning book written by James A. Michener in 1947. Tales of the South Pacific is a compilation of 19 different stories Michener gathered from Soldiers and fables he heard while serving in the South Pacific during World War II.
The opening night was wonderful and these talented students allowed the audience to escape into a different era and see how life was and hear great music. The musical was directed by Ms. Melissa Stuhff, a Belton High School Theater Arts teacher.
Ms. Stuhff said, “When our amazing team began looking for a musical, we knew we wanted something awesome and classic that our students would not only enjoy, but that they could learn from. We knew we wanted something ‘classic’ and we all agreed that Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific would be a great choice.”
Ms. Stuhff mentioned that in the early part of preparing for the show, the students were really nervous but as the process continued, she could see their confidence continuously grow.
“The show is 70 years old and it carries a timeless message about acceptance and humanity and forgiveness. It’s something really neat and it has been around since 1949, and it can still share those same messages today,” said Richard Thomas, the Belton High School Fine Arts Coordinator.
The play consisted of talented actors and musicians that worked in unison to provide the audience with vivid images and crisp sound. The musical was supported by over 100 students and staff and their effort was noticed by the community.
Nathan Branch portrayed the character Emile deBecque and said, “Just have fun at productions like these and they’re here for the community to enjoy,” when asked what is the take away for the audience.
The duration of the musical was roughly three hours, but the excitement from the actors and musicians made the time move quickly. South Pacific is one of the best-known and loved Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, and will continue to be adored by audiences of all ages.
For more information about the Belton High School Fine Arts Department you may visit this website: www.bisd.net/finearts or visit them on facebook at: www.facebook.com/beltonfinearts.