'Beauty and the Beast': Riverbend Live musical in Winston features nearly 40 local kids

Beauty and the Beast will play July 21 & 22, 2016 at 7 p.m. at Riverbend Park in Winston. (SBG photo / Ashley Honea)

WINSTON, Ore. -- It's been anything but a lazy summer for one group of young people in Winston.

Close to forty kids from the Winston Teen Center have been rehearsing for weeks for their big performance this weekend.

It's Beauty and the Beast, a musical featuring a young Belle in a fairy tale world who encounters a beast with a curse in a magical castle.

The musical is an annual feature of the weekly Riverbend Live concert series.

The lead actress says she has her own method of preparation.

"I binge watched Beauty and the Beast multiple times at home,” says Ashley Pena, who plays Belle. “It went well; I ate a lot of popcorn."

Almost every kid in the show -- ranging from age seven to seventeen -- as a singing part.

The show's director says things couldn't be looking better.

"Seeing the kids just grow from the beginning and not knowing what theater's all about, what blocking is, what striking is, what any of the theater terms are … it's great to see them just grow into theater and kind of fall in love with it," says director Melody Schwegel.

Beauty and the Beast will play Friday and Saturday night at 7 p.m. at Riverbend Park in Winston.

Admission is free and the whole family is invited.

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