By MAKAYLA MONREAN & MACKAYLA MALES
On Friday morning, April 5, 2019, the entire student body of the Redbank Valley School District, K-12, was treated to a sneak peak of this year’s musical “Beauty and the Beast.” Directors Jack Gareis, Julie Aaron, Carrie McIntire, and Eli Terwilliger lead a cast and pit of more than 100 students from Grades 5-12.
Garies shared that this was his largest cast ever, noting that the cast list has been growing every year since he began his tenure as director.
“This year it was as if the actors cast themselves. The parts were made for their personalities,” he said.
When Mrs. Potts, played by Carly Over, grade 11, was asked what her favorite part of this production was, she responded, “(I love) how big the cast is and how much they are enjoying it.”
Garies chose “Beauty and the Beast” because students have been asking for it for three years now.
“It’s a very popular musical and should bring in a big audience,” he said.
Alena Keller, grade 12, who plays Belle, said, “I like having the opportunity to play this part. Belle is a strong character, and it is cool to see how her feelings transform throughout the show. She is a fun character to play. I am honored and grateful for the part.”
Peyton Kirkpatrick, grade 12, plays the part of Beast and loves his character, too.
“Over the course of the last couple months, it has grown on me. It is really fun to be able to go from being very angry to finding love,” he said.
What Ethan Reichard, grade 12, loves about playing Gaston is he gets “to act in ways that I normally wouldn’t in school.”
Two seniors, Karlee Wells and Lauren Smith, decided to come out of their comfort zones this year and tryout for the musical for the first time “…because we really like Beauty and the Beast.”
Garies feels that the creative costumes will surprise the audience.
“Angie Keller Griffin touched every costume in this production. Her work was endless and amazing,” he said.
Quinn Fricko, grade 9, who play the part of a ladle, agrees with Gareis.
Fricko said, “…we put so much work into the costumes. Angie did it all!”
Megan Gourley, grade 10, who play the part of the spatula, loved the costumes of the main castle dwellers and noted how much time was put into each of them.
In addition to Destiny Logan’s, grade 12, professionally detailed make-up of the Beast, musical goers will particularly enjoy the many unique kitchen and dining tools brought to life: a whisk, salt and pepper shakers, spatula, ladles, China plates, crystal glass, and an army of silverware.
A particularly entertaining part of the sneak peak was seeing the 5th and 6th graders dressed as the silverware in the song “Be our guest”. When asked what it was like to be in their first musical, they used words like “awesome,””exciting,” “really fun,” “magnificent,” and “nervous”; however, they all chimed in “YES” when asked if they would do the musical again.
The younger student population made another huge contribution to this year’s production. According to Carolyn Walker, elementary art teacher, the Art Club stayed after school for two weeks to make the enchanted castle walls and rose.
Looking to the future of spring musicals, Ciarra Mills, grade 10, would love to bring “Tangled” to the RVHS stage, while Sarah Magness, grade 9, suggested “Mama Mia”. Emmaleigh Rupp, grade 9, said she would audition for “…any (show) that this school puts on because it is always awesome.”
Performances of “Beauty and the Beast” are at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday at Redbank Valley High School. Tickets cost $2 at the door.
Makayla Monrean and Mackayla Males are students at Redbank Valley High School and members of The Bark, the school’s journalism/publications group.