By Juli McDonald

QUINCY (CBS) – The Milton/Quincy-based Mel O’Drama theater group had just cast their Beauty and the Beast production when coronavirus forced everyone apart. But just as the saying goes, the show must go on.

“We decided the kids needed us to stay with them, from a social/emotional perspective. How isolated they were going to be,” explained theater director Mel Gillespie.

So the group took rehearsals online. You can imagine it wasn’t easy.

Mel O Drama theater group performs Beauty and the Beast in Quincy (WBZ-TV)

“The connection is bad; Blurry stuff. There are some difficulties,” said actor Atticus D’Alessandro.

“It wasn’t the same dancing with yourself when you’re supposed to be dancing with a partner,” said actor Eli Madison.

After months of perseverance from the performers, and thanks to generosity from Quincy Parks… the cast is safely back together – on stage, outside.

Mel O’Drama theater group performs Beauty and the Beast (WBZ-TV)

“Even if it’s not for a whole audience, I’m just really happy to be here,” said actor Patrick Gillespie.

“I got to see all my friends I haven’t seen in a while and hang out with them and do the thing I love,” said actor Ellie Crump.

They’re recording the show, and their audience will join online. After overcoming the beast, these kids are finding beauty again – in the arts, and being together.

“Friday night when we hear the words that’s the wrap, we’ll feel wonderful about this accomplishment. It’s just been magic keeping this show alive,” Mel Gillespie added.

Juli McDonald

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