A Kabuki take on a classic fairy tale at NYSTI

Spring caught McGuire's eye over the summer when she worked as a choreographer for NYSTI's 2008 Summer Theatre Institute's production of "Willy Wonka."

"She has a lot of energy," McGuire said. "I knew she would fit into the role of Beauty. She's a very young person inside. She's very delicate and beautiful."

Spring jokes that she has "a kind of plum job" since Beauty gets her finger pricked about halfway through the story and spends the remainder of the play sleeping. She's enjoyed spending the time that her character is awake learning the Kabuki style.

"A lot of the movement tells the story," Spring said. "The women move kind of submissively. Everyone takes small steps."

One of the keys of Kabuki is that the audience generally already knows the story, Spring said. So while her character has only a few lines, the audience still understands what's going on.

The lack of dialogue and elaborate sets does lend some suspense to the production, though.

"You know what we're going to do, but you don't know how we're going to do it," McGuire said. "You can't wait to see. Will she really fall asleep? Is there a bed? What is the witch going to look like?"

All of the characters are colorful. One of the trademarks of Kabuki theater is its lavish, ornate costumes.

"It's beautiful to see," DeGange said. "The spectacle side of it is just beautiful."

Prior to signing on to co-director "Sleeping Beauty," DeGange hadn't seen much Kabuki herself. So she turned to the Internet, spending hours watching Kabuki productions on YouTube.

That gave her a reference point, but she admitted to learning as she goes.

"To read the script, there's nothing there to tell you how they want people to move," she said.""

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