Before the cast was in place, longtime set designer, Dawn Flattery, was already working to get to know the ins and outs of the Performing Arts Center. She participated in the formal training, offered when the facility initially opened, to learn about the fly rigs system, which will allow set backdrops to rise up and down. Rachel Humeston and Ryan Richardson will be running this system for the "Beauty and the Beast" production.
The set pieces, known as panels, are all-new this year. Duffy and Flattery thought that with the new facility should come new panels. The former ones held many memories of KHS and K-ACT productions, as well as the multiple layers of paint, damage and wear. Flattery worked to build new panels, and is still working on them.
"I figured, 'Go big or go home,'" Flattery said. In addition to the 50 new panels, she has also built several other set pieces, including stained-glass windows, a grand staircase and a fountain, all for "Beauty and the Beast," but with the foresight of future productions. Nothing was confirmed, but KHS is considering a "Sound of Music" performance next year, which can again utilize the staircase.
Flattery started off her plans for the set by designing it on a piece of graph paper. She has not only watched the animated film, but several other live productions of the musical to understand what key backdrops there would be. Using this knowledge, information of the stage area and other extensive forethought, she came up with a design that will work best for the KHS production.
When asked how much time she has spent designing and building for this production, Flattery was not sure. She said it would not be an exaggeration to say that she has put in over 300 hours on the production. Flattery was also given a key to the auditorium, to allow her to come in and work on it when she could.