SELMA – When it comes to Selma Arts Center’s latest musical, the directors have decided to go big. SAC is staging “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” starting Nov. 17 and Director Dominic Grijalva said they’re pulling out the stops for the show.

“This is a production that warrants a big set, a big cast, a big sound and we are excited to deliver that to our patrons,” Grijalva said. Grijalva and Juan Luis Guzman are directing this production with Nicolette C. Andersen as producer.

The play is based on the Victor Hugo novel and is set in 15th century Paris. Songs from the Disney-animated feature of the same name showcases the film’s Academy Award nominated score, along with new songs by Alan Menken and Stephan Schwartz.

The musical tells the story of deformed Notre Dame bell-ringer Quasimodo, played by Thomas Hayes. He longs to be among revelers partaking in Paris’ Feast of Fools but is held captive by the devious caretaker Archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo, played by Terry Lewis.

Quasimodo manages to escape for a day to join the boisterous crowd; however he’s treated cruelly by all but the beautiful gypsy, Esmeralda, played by Sabrina Lopez. The handsome Captain Phoebus, played by William Bishop, and Frollo are equally enthralled with Esmeralda’s free spirit.

As the three vie for her attention, Frollo embarks on a mission to destroy the gypsies. It’s up to Quasimodo to save them all.

“A sweeping score and powerful story make The Hunchback of Notre Dame an instant classic,” producer Andersen said. “Audiences will be swept away by the magic of this truly unforgettable musical.”

Grijalva is also designing projections for this production. “It’s been a huge undertaking,” Guzman said, “but the result will be beautiful. We’ve got a brilliant cast and a strong production team and most importantly, we all share a great love for this story.”

The directors agree their collaboration with music instructor Randall Cornelison and Fresno’s University High School orchestra adds to the quality of the production. The conductor and his orchestra, along with guest musicians, recorded the score to create state-of-the-art tracks that will be used during the production. The tracks were recorded live and engineered for optimum sound quality.

SAC is also offering a one-night-only dinner show, “Feast of Fools” on Nov. 18 for the first time. Tickets are $75 for an individual, $140 for couples and $500 for tables of eight and include admission to the show. Dinner consists of a chicken and beef kebob dish served with rice pilaf, salad and a medley of grilled vegetables. A gelato dessert will be served at intermission. Cocktail hour is 6 p.m., dinner is at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available online at selmaartscenter.com or by calling the box office at 891-2238.

SAC is also collaborating with Vizual Voices to offer interpreting services for deaf and hard of hearing community members during three performances. These interpreted performances will take place 7 p.m. Nov. 30, at 2 p.m. Dec. 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 2.

The company also includes Aaron Pierce Clopin, Camille Gaston, Marisa Sanchez, Maria Monreal, Lex Martin, Jeremy Hitch, Christopher Hoffman, Dakota Simpson, Benjamin Deghand, Adam Chavez, Joshua Plowman and Mary Boutin. They are supported by a 17-member choir.

Original artwork inspired by “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and other Disney films submitted by local artists will be displayed for the production.

Music direction for the “Hunchback” production is by Mindy Ramos, choreography is by Michael Flores, the costumes are designed by James McDonnell, lighting design is by Christina McCollam Martinez and set design is by Erik Andersen and Ken Grey.

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