ATHENA - Before the lights, before the camcorders and before the action of any performance there is the behind the scenes work. Tuesday, third-grade instructional assistant Bo Beers was busy putting the final touches on costumes for the Athena-Weston Elementary School's Disney Review.
"I want each child to feel special and that their costume is special," she said.
Beers estimates that there are about 75 costumes in all. That includes complex costumes like prince's outfits to mice and dwarves. The project has taken about two months, she said.
"The kids are so excited and that is what makes it so neat," she said.
Beers didn't do it all alone though, another teacher has been making Dalmatian costumes and another sewing mice ears and tails together.
"Everybody offered to help," she said.
Tuesday, mice tails still needed to be attached to the gray sweat pants, but Beers said she knew if she put them in the teachers' break room people would help stitch them on while drinking a cup of coffee.
"It's been exhausting, but fun," she said.
Since the children will have to get in and out of the costumes quickly, Beers said she looked for easy-access outfits. For Simba, and other characters from "The Lion King," there will be detailed masks, but the bottoms will be sweat pants and T-shirts.
The costumes have started to overtake parts of the school. Outfits fill a coat closet, while costumes of dwarves and pirates are piled on the unused salad bar.
While she didn't realize quite how much work all the costumes would be, Beers said she would do it again. The project has given her a chance to get to know more of the children in the school, she said.
Part of the reason she liked working on the costumes so much was how hard the students had been working on the review, Beers said. She thought anyone who came to the Disney Review would be surprised by the performance.
Music teacher ReNae Larsen Davis has been working with the students, who have been hitting every note, even the hard high ones.
"It's going to be one of those things if they want to come and have a good feeling, it's good to come to," Beers said.
The performance will be 7 p.m. Thursday in the Weston-McEwen High School gym.