Arts and Entertainment

Community effort helps take beast out of budget cuts

New York Times
New York Times' best-selling author Robert Dugoni (on platform) plays Gaston in Sacred Heart's rendition of Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast.'
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

It’s a tale as old as time – lack of funding threatens art education program. Such cutbacks are often crippling to opportunities for students to grow in cultural and artistic experiences, and limit creative development in young students.

But at a Catholic school in Clyde Hill, a group of determined parents are fighting for their children to get the best education available, and they believe that includes the arts. However, they are not doing this alone; the students of Sacred Heart School are teaming up with their favorite staff members to do what they do best, put on a show!

Leading this group of enthusiastic families is Kim Douglas and Laura Capastany.

“There is something truly magical about the Sacred Heart Playmakers.” said Capastany, “It is just too valuable to allow anyone to miss out on it because of funding.”

Along with Capanstany's organizational contributions, Rosemarie Engman donates her expertise in choreography to help bring the Playmaker productions to life.

This value stems from student’s ability to take their lessons in singing, dancing, and acting; and developing skills in public speaking, time management, and teamwork.

“Playmakers pumps self-esteem into every kid in the program," Capastany adds. "By the opening night, there is no such thing as a shy kid in Playmakers, the kid you’ve never heard speak before will be standing center stage belting a solo!”

Depending on funding, the Sacred Heart Playmakers produce one or two Broadway-style productions a year. In recent years, they have been incorporating parents and staff into the casts.

Seventh grader, Joey Capastany has appeared in almost every Playmaker production at Sacred Heart, and said that “the productions of the shows are so fun! My teachers are hilarious.”

Two years ago, these creative Catholics raised over $10,000 for their drama program with their production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” This year they expect to surpass that amount by performing Disney’s wildly popular Broadway version of “Beauty and the Beast” tonight at the school.

It is a story about growing in compassion and overcoming first impressions, which exactly what these Playmaker’s moms have done. They have taken the situation presented to them, looked past the ugliness, and united a community to create a beautiful piece of art.

Cadie Kneip is a student at Northwest University. She was part of playmakers when she was a student at Sacred Heart.

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