The Sunday performance of Beauty and the Beast by the ACU Department of Theatre at the Abilene Civic Center on Homecoming weekend was recorded as the most populated audience.
The show dates of “Beauty and the Beast” were Oct. 18, 19, and 20 with the biggest selling show on Sunday Oct. 20 at the Civic Center. Beauty and the Beast was just one of the many productions that the ACU Theatre is a part of. The next show will be the performance of the true story play called The White Rose on Nov. 18-23.
The Homecoming production is an ACU tradition that allows students and their families to see a show and support the ACU Theatre program, since they are mostly a self-funding department. The Department of Theatre also receives donations, but those are strictly for their program called Lights Up which goes toward the student scholarships the department provides.
Kasey Birchfield, a senior musical theatre and business management major from Lubbock, was a member of the team that sold tickets and looked over the finances for Beauty and the Beast. Kasey is the student supervisor for the ACU Theatre box office, where they sell tickets as well as coordinate house management and seating.
Birchfield said that there were 3,671 tickets sold, which is about 84 percent of the seats in the Abilene Civic Center theater. Sunday was recorded as the most populated audience. Kasey said she believes it was because Homecoming weekend is hectic, families and students who are in ACU’s social clubs do not have time until Sunday to come and see the show.
Mitchell Bradford, a senior theatre major from College Station, is one of the students who was not only a part of Beauty and the Beast, but has also been involved in productions since his freshman year. Mitchell played the role of Belle’s father, Maurice, in the production. Bradford said that there was a huge crowd over the weekend, and he was excited to see so many people.
“I love storytelling, and I think it is a vital part of humanity, and the biggest thrill I get when in a production is you get to be part of a story that is real,” Bradford said. “You are able to connect with the audience and theatre is a way that my relationships are formed in a good way.”