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Ola High presents Beauty and the Beast Jr.

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An accomplished dancer and performer, Ola High School teacher and director Cynthia Corely teaches by example as the cast prepares for opening night of Beauty and the Beast Jr.

Submitted photo An accomplished dancer and performer, Ola High School teacher and director Cynthia Corely teaches by example as the cast prepares for opening night of Beauty and the Beast Jr.

By Jim Zachary

jzachary@henryherald.com

McDONOUGH — Only true love can tame the horrible Beast, transforming him into a charming prince and audiences are sure to also fall in love with Belle and the cast of Beauty and Beast Jr. when Ola High School presents the musical next Thursday and Friday.

The talented student cast will be directed by an accomplished dancer, choreographer and director who also happens to be an Ola High School teacher.

Ola’s drama teacher, Cynthia Corley, took center stage herself for more than 10 years in New York City as a professional dancer.

She has choreographed for many years for school productions, children’s theaters and community theaters.

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Jordan Palpant and Nicolette Corley (front) are joined by fellow Beauty and the Beast Jr. cast members during dress rehearsal.

Her past dance performances and work as a choreographer and director are perhaps only upstaged by her performance in the classroom. Corley has also been recognized many times for excellence in teaching.

In 1998, she was named “Dance Educator of the Year” by Georgia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (GAPHERD). She earned Ola High School’s 2010-11 “Teacher of the Year” award, and was named “Theatre Teacher of the Year” by Georgia Thespians in 2012.

Adapted for the stage from the Academy Award-winning Walt Disney animated film, Beauty and the Beast, Jr., the Musical is based on the book by Linda Woolverton and features music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.

Parent Debbie Withers, who is helping to promote the event said, “This family favorite will feature lavish costumes, stunning sets and memorable numbers.”

She added, “We are very fortunate that Ola High School places such a high value on performing arts. Principal Ross Iddings has been involved in several Henry Players productions. This community is blessed with a lot of talent and a great love for the arts.”

Headlining the all-star cast are Jordan Palpant as the Beast, Nicolette Corley as Belle and Sam Iddings as Gaston.

The musical will be presented in two performances, Thursday, March 28 and Friday, March 29 beginning at 7 p.m. each evening.

The performances will be held at the Henry County Performing Arts Center, 37 Lemon Street in McDonough.

Advance tickets are available at Ola High School during school hours for $8 or at the door for $10.