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‘Beauty and the Beast’ characters serenade pediatric patients

Students performing in annual med school musical take act to St. Louis Children's Hospital

by Kristina SauerweinMay 1, 2017

Robert Boston

For a moment, Sarah Norwood, 9, forgot about her looming surgery as students at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis became “Beauty and the Beast” characters for a singalong Friday, April 28, at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

Robert Boston
The cast of “Beauty and the Beast” caroled through the halls at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. They are shown visiting patient Kierstyn Mitchum, who was recovering from pneumonia.

The characters Belle, the Beast, Mrs. Potts and Lumiere sang, danced and gave roses to Sarah and other patients being treated for pneumonia, tonsillitis and other ailments. “This is a welcome distraction to get our minds off of today’s surgery,” said Sarah’s mom, Sherri Norwood, who traveled with her family from Arkansas for her daughter’s procedure.

Robert Boston
Second-year medical student Hayley Motowski, dressed as Belle, gives patient Sarah Norwood a red rose. Norwood and her sister, Esther Norwood, said the visit helped to relax them before Sarah’s surgery.

For the students, the event was joyful and provided extra practice for the annual School of Medicine musical. This year, the show was “Beauty and the Beast,” and students performed to much applause April 27-29 in the St Louis College of Pharmacy auditorium on the Medical Campus.

This marked the 12th year students on the Medical Campus — including medical, occupational therapy, physical therapy, audiology, and biology and biomedical PhD students — produced and performed a Broadway musical.

The shows are entirely student-produced, with students performing, conducting and playing in the pit orchestra, building sets, sewing costumes, running lights and sound, and directing the show.

Robert Boston
Hayley Motowski shows fans at St. Louis Children’s Hospital how to do a proper princess wave. She starred as Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” in the School of Medicine’s annual musical production.