Music Theater performs adaptation of Beauty and the Beast

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Carter Kuntz

Senior Jenna Diem assumes the role of Belle in Music Theater’s production of “Beauty and the Beast.” The play also featured Michael Frantz, Katelyn Griebel, and Emma Dale (from left to right).

On Friday, April 30th, PAHS’ Music Theater debuted their adaptation of Beauty and the Beast to an invitation-only audience.

The production had a cast of sixteen performers. Seniors Jenna Diem and Shawn Phillips respectively assumed the role of Belle and the Beast. Other roles included senior Ian Douglas as Gaston, seniors Michael Frantz and Katelyn Griebel as Lumiere and Mrs. Potts, and junior AudreyAnna Mauk as Cogsworth.

“This year we had a large class,” director Erin Knepper said, “and we had lots of seniors and lots of folks who were really capable of taking on a bigger role.”

Music Theater developed Beauty and the Beast for an extensive amount of time. According to Diem, the class began to “heavily work on it” in January or February.

“I didn’t jump in [to the performance] until the beginning of this month, I think,” junior Rosalee Shaffer, who played one of the three Silly Girls, said.

Although the adaptation had a director, the majority of the play was put together by the cast.

“The class does most of the work for this show,” Knepper said. “I just am the one that makes the final decisions when they’re having trouble figuring out what they really choose to do.”

The cast and crew expressed difficulties they encountered throughout the production.

According to Shaffer, there wasn’t a stage crew, therefore the cast was responsible for putting props in place. Diem added that anyone who was offstage controlled the red curtain, as well.

Despite the production’s complications, Douglas believed that everyone did well.

“I think everybody honestly did absolutely amazing,” Douglas said. “I think for an opening night, it was smooth as butter.”

Douglas said that his favorite part of putting on Beauty and the Beast was watching him and his fellow cast members “evolve” into their roles. He described the process as “beautiful”.

Knepper expanded on Music Theater’s long period of lethargy. She said that during the two weeks prior to the performance, everyone was exhausted because they “lost their ‘why’”. But, she said that changed during the performance.

“when you hear people laugh at your jokes and clap whenever you do something well,” Knepper said, “it feeds you, and it gives the music energy.”

Knepper added that the opening night was “a wonderful reminder” of what Music Theater’s “why” was.