Beauty and the Beast helps teens and young adults “break the spell of self-interest”

Photos by Tom Kise

Upper Room Theatre Ministry, directed by Full Member Rob Tessier, finished it’s 16th performance this summer with the production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The core mission of URTM is to use the arts to reach out to a wider community – both on stage, back stage, and to the audience – beyond just those who are Catholic. Through live, uplifting, performances, they bring God to others. The annual show the ministry puts on helps support the youth ministry program at All Saints. The funds raised from the show allow over 60 teens to attend mission trips next year to care for the poorest of the poor.

Bishop Burbidge event stopped by to show his support for the cast and crew during Friday night’s performance! He prayed with the entire cast before they took to the stage.

Rob said it best in the Director’s Note in the show program:

All humans are created good at our very core. The invisible reality of our soul is the greatest and purest BEAUTY that exists. However, our own busyness, attraction to things, and desire for comfort can cloud that beauty with a BEAST-like selfishness.

In this production, we see individuals with a greater external status treating those who are different or carry less status in a manner that rejects their human dignity. For the young prince and his staff, this results in an “imprisonment” for a period that allows them to see their error. Meanwhile, those in Belle’s village who originally reject her come to discover a woman with tremendous courage, compassion, and love.

When we greet others with a smile, express our concern for those around us, and adopt an attitude of gratitude, we help break the spell of self-interest that so often plagues us.

It’s been a gift to work on this production. I believe there are many lessons here, but most importantly is that we should treat every individual with deep respect recognizing the true beauty of the human soul present, no matter how cluttered it might appear on the outside.


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