Middle schoolers to perform 'Beauty and the Beast'
"Beauty and the Beast" is a tale as old as time, and West Linn-Wilsonville middle schoolers will bring the classic story to life with their annual middle school musical starting April 20.
Students from Athey Creek, Inza R. Wood and Rosemont Ridge middle schools pooled their collective talents over the past couple months to put on what promises to be a show-stopping rendition of the beloved Disney movie. Wearing elaborate costumes and performing intricate song and dance routines, students say they're ready to put on a show friends and family won't soon forget.
"I've done lots of musicals before and this one is a lot more well-run and more professional than the other ones I've done," says Athey Creek eighth-grader Parrish Noce.
"I think it's a really fun group of kids that are working in it and on it, and we're all putting in a lot of work into what we're performing," says Athey Creek eighth-grader Brett Mason. "I think the reason we're all doing this is to be able to share our talent and passion with everyone who comes. I think that's a good reason to come check it out."
Because nearly 120 students signed up for the middle school musical this year, the group has been split into two separate casts that will put on multiple performances each of "Beauty and the Beast." Both Cast B and Cast K are mixtures of students from all three middle schools, meaning students have had fun getting to know kids they don't go to school with and didn't know before rehearsals.
"I think having different leads from different schools has been really good bonding experience for everyone," Mason says.
"Most of us probably don't know each other very well, but the fact that we're all being put into this one specific event, that we all seem to be interested in and have in common, that's just what's really fun about it," Noce says.
The entire production started in December, when students selected the roles they were interested in and then auditioned for the ambitious play. Auditions were nerve-racking, but students say it made them feel like they were part of a professional production.
"It was kind of scary because you had to sing in front of four different people and you also had to say a couple lines," says Athey Creek eighth-grader Ian Roane. "It was way more intense than I was prepared for."
"But even if you didn't get the role you wanted you still had a lot of fun doing it and the judges weren't intimidating. They were really nice and made it a lot easier," Noce
Performing in the West Linn High School Performing Arts Center, it will be the first time many students have had the chance to act on such a big stage. Students say the bigger setting makes for more excitement and a better onstage product, but that increased audience adds a bit of pressure as well.
"This is the first big play I've done where it's more than just family members," says Wood seventh-grader Jessica Hansen. "A lot of people we wouldn't necessarily know are coming to the play and it will be a big audience."
Students say the hardest part about rehearsals thus far is getting everyone on the same page in terms of choreography. Memorizing lines has also provided its challenges, but the level of dedication from the cast has allowed for steady progress over the past few weeks.
"Singing louder and learning the choreography, and being able to do it at the same time. Memory in general is a big factor for everyone right now, whether it's lines, dance moves, song lyrics — whatever it is," Mason says.
"We've been working on it for so long and have been practicing all the dance moves and songs for so long that it's kind of been drilled into our brains," Noce says. "I think we're going to do great when it's time for the actual performance."
Between the cast, crew and dedicated directors, this year's iteration of the West Linn-Wilsonville Middle School Musical promises to be as entertaining as ever, and according to the massive cast of talented actors it's well worth the price of admission.
"I think being able to watch everything be put together and then come to life, and then be able to put it all as one with the lights and the costumes and with opening night in front of a live audience is going to be a really thrilling experience for everyone," Mason says.
IF YOU GO
WHEN: K Cast performs Thursday, April 20; Saturday April 22; and Monday April 24. B Cast performs Friday, April 21, Saturday, April 22 and Tuesday, April 25. All performances start at 7 p.m. with the exception of the K Cast's April 22 production, which starts at 1:30 p.m.
WHERE: West Linn High School Performing Arts Center
TICKETS: To purchase tickets ahead of time go to tix.com and search "West Linn"
Narrator — Kate Jeffries, Izzy Englund
Enchantress —Emilia Bishop, Sarah Horn
Belle —Kaiya Shivers, Brigitte Chenevert
Maurice —Joey Rash, Ty Park
Gaston — Cormac Lister, Marshall Knowles
Lefou — Jonathan Tence, Caden Atack
Lumiere — Ayden Nuttbrock, Andrew Worth
Cogsworth — Brett Mason, Chance Kirk
Beast — Aymeric Burthey, Ryan Snyder
Mrs. Potts — Parrish Noce, Payton Henry
Chip — Joseph Burke, Rohan Ramamurthi
Babette — Grace Heaton, Taylor Folkman
Wardrobe — Hailey Flick, Nathalia Nicolalde
Monsieur D'Arque — Ladd Surprenant, Zach Socherman
Gaston's Squad — Kate Jeffries, Ella Notdurft, Sophie Wheeler, Grace Luther, Amy Gregg, Lauren Hildebrandt, Lily Saunders, Hannah Greger, Alexis Gessler, Izzy Englund, Carla Khoury, Lucinda Fein, Kylie Zeman, Miranda Wiler, Ellie Seward
Villagers —Lizzie Hall, Colleen Cakebread, Spencer Isensee, Alex Bernasconi, Karra Kaiser, Autumn Hartje, Liv Tinio, Courtney Slaughter, Logan Carpenter, Gracie Dunham, Sara Stewart, Desiree Maina, Ivy Potter, Jess Hannigan, Maggie Mushlitz, Kaitlyn Finn, Kaitlyn Fletter, Natalie Glausi, Lily Frazier, Rayna Reynolds, Shasta DuBose, Grace Anderson, McKenzie Simpson, Kyleigh Coupe, Madelyn Tabor, Mallory Twitchell, Kaden Bendel, Katelyn Bergerson, Avery Briggs, Erin Johnson, Ben James , Shay Moore, Brett Mason
Featured Dancers— Ainsley Mayes, Alison Keller, Bella Glastra VanLoon, Zoe Barnett, Halle Isaak, Brett Mason, Sandra Ramirez, Sophia Schwartz
Enchanted Objects — Athena Turner, Chloe Jones, Samara Mormon, Kaydence Meikle, Vivi Edwards, Kailey Dougherty, Emilia Bishop, Kaelin Kehm, Auburn Todd, Avery Gilbertson, Jasmine Brown, Amelia Staats, Gigi Galla, Alyssa Axness, Katarina Ragalie, Holly Huberd, Karah Rhoades, Morgan Schwenke, Grace Furrow, Halle Schweigert, Kailey Galusha, Tatum Lubisich, Morgan Warnick, Jessica Hansen, Maddy DuQuette, Cole Rogers, Karina Wurtz, Ian Roane, Maddie Meyer, Avery McDowell, Kate Sousely, Quinn Calhoun, Sarah Talbert, Ezra Robbins, Em Peck, Chris Alva, Sarah Horn, Nada Ayack, Alex Tye