Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight! Beauty and the Bee by Lindsay Price is all about sisters, spelling bees, fruit leather, fitting in, photographs, photo ops, saying cheese... what more do you need?
Do you get along with your sister? Do you think she's a freak? Does she think YOU'RE a freak?
Catherine is a high school beauty queen cheerleader. Cosette is a homeschooled spelling bee champion. Two sisters could never be farther apart. So when their worlds collide sparks are bound to fly. The buzzing in their brains gets so hot that life-sized giant bees enter the picture. Then the emotions explode!
Let’s hear from the author!
The inspiration was simple: I love spelling bees and I'm fascinated by spelling bee participants. How do they keep those words in their heads? Some participants are so charming. Some, so obnoxious. It is a unique and intriguing community and it was only a matter of time before such a character made it into one of my plays. I had the title for months before I wrote a single word. When I did start writing, it was a natural progression to throw an opposite character into the mix, make them sisters, and then make them have to talk to each other.
Tired of being homeschooled, Cosette wants to go to a normal high school. Catherine does not want Cosette at her school, nor does she want to have to recognize her as a sister given her less-than-normal behaviour. Who gets to decide "what is normal?" What happens when people want to change and others won't let them?
The characters talk about the photographs that have been taken of them throughout their lives and how pictures, frozen in time never really tell the truth, even if they want them to. "Is the truth in the picture or just outside the frame." That concept is important to the storytelling of the piece - what you think is true, or normal, or "right" is never black and white or frozen.
Each of the siblings represents an archetype but remember - they are not frozen pictures. No human being is just one thing or one aspect. Find moments where they move beyond their "pictures" or the pictures that others in their life would like them to stay in. Focus on how Catherine and Cosette's mom and their friends want them to be. Is that the full picture of these characters?
Finding out who you are as a human being is something that every teen (every person!) goes through. Especially if what they want to be is different than the wants of those around them.
My favourite characters are the Bee-Muses! I love personification in the theatre and not only are they life sized talking bees, they also represent the "buzzing" in everyone's brain. They exist in a way that only works in theatre. Love it!
There are so many I can't pick just one! But if I have to.... When Cosette's friend Louis tells Cosette she is deluded for believing she could fit in and be "normal" in high school he calls it "A dream world surrounded by a bubble wearing a sweater vest."