MARYSVILLE – Students are taking on starring parts and leadership roles in Marysville-Pilchuck’s presentation of “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.”
Victoria Steward, a senior at Marysville Getchell, has the lead role as Belle and is also vocal director.
Ashlyn Stoker, a senior at M-P, plays Mrs. Potts and is assistant director.
“She’s the liaison between me and the kids,” director Roy Klementsen said Tuesday. “She knows how to talk to them.”
Steward has been giving voice lessons for about five years, but it’s different coaching peers. “It’s a balance,” she said. “It takes a lot of time and understanding.”
She said each actor has had to do their own character-study work, watching Disney and Broadway versions of the play. “We trust everybody in the cast to do that work on their own,” she said. While they are expected to remain in character, they can “add their own little quirks,” she said.
While she loves music, Steward said she plans to major in business in college and combine that somehow with the music industry in the future.
Stoker said she has been involved in theater since age 8, and enjoys helping Klementsen. She said instructing others can be easier for her because, “I’m one of them.”
She said she likes that she plays a role in the overall production. “I have a say in what goes on,” she said. “I can help things flow better. I can make it a little cuter here and there.”
Like Steward, she’s not planning on theater as a career. She wants to be a chiropractor.
Klementsen said he doesn’t know what he’s going to do next year without Stoker. “It might be a lot of work for me,” he said.
The director added the two girls also did double duty last year in “The Drowsy Chaperone,” but this year’s test is much harder. It’s twice as long – three hours. And expectations are so much higher because of its popularity.
It’s actually the second time Klementsen’s M-P Drama Club has performed the musical. It was also his first musical in 2005. He and music director Brian Kesler decided to do it again as Kesler’s retiring. Kesler has been at M-P since the mid-1980s and directed plays until 1999 and later became Klementsen’s mentor. Two other students playing major leadership roles are choreographers Elise Sumsion of MG and Mila Olason of M-P.
Previously, Steward played teen Fiona in “Shrek: The Musical.” She also played Kitty in “The Drowsy Chaperone,” for which she received an honorable mention from the Fifth Avenue Theater competition in Seattle.
Morgan Reed, a junior at M-P, will play the Beast, along with the Prince. He was the Big Bad Wolf in “Shrek” and Aldolpho in “Chaperone”.
Others in lead roles are: Rylee Worth, Angela Ferguson, Joe Wilson, Collin Black, Amanda Littell, Jamie Lawler, Julia Miranda, Amaya Villalobos and Rachel Bartholomew.
The musical is based on the 1991 Academy Award-winning animated feature and tells the story of Belle, whose attempt to rescue her father leads to her capture by the Beast, who was trapped in his gruesome form by an enchantress who also transformed everyone else in his castle. The only way for the Beast and his enchanted household to become human again is for him to love and be loved in return.
The performances will be in the school auditorium April 25-27 and May 2-3 at 7 p.m., with a matinee May 4 at noon. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and students with ASB, and $5 for children 5 and younger.