A cast of 39 talented youngsters at Monticello Elementary performed in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR before the end of the school year. The local version of the popular Broadway play was performed at the Monticello Elementary School gymnasium on May 1st and May 3rd.
The student rehearsed after school for months to learn the complex music and dancing in this play. Monticello Elementary Music Teacher Jared Duncan directed the music for the play, with a team of dedicated staff members that included: Anita Peters, Samantha Cummings, Julie Pyles, Panesia Humble, Tammye Sumpter, Sylvia Hicks, Katina Shearer, and Debra Bristow.
For the past several school years, the 21st Century after school program has provided funds and staffing for musicals like the Jungle Book Jr., Lion King Jr. and Annie Jr. Each production has been a terrific learning experience for the cast members who auditioned for parts and were willing to put forth the extra effort needed to learn their lines and the lyrics to the songs.
This year the musical play was based on the original Broadway production that ran for over 13 years and was nominated for nine Tony Awards and the Academy Award-winning motion picture that premiered in 2017. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR is an elementary school adaptation of the story of transformation and tolerance. This play features some of the most popular songs ever written by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, along with new songs by Menken and Tim Rice.
Third, fourth and fifth graders were cast to tell the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. With many fun supporting roles allowing students to play objects inside the castle, the audience enjoyed seeing students dressed up as dinner plates, clocks, and even a chest of drawers. Monticello Elementary Art Teacher Samantha Cummings was the art/set designer for the production.
DVD recordings of the performance are for sale for $10 each at Monticello Elementary. Call 606-340-3900 to secure your copy.
The narrators set the scene, mid-1700s France. L-R: Adeline Heatherly, Karlie Hicks, Myra Harris, Laney Lovell
"Bonjour!", said Brennan Morin as the baker in the opening ensemble.
Riley Strunk played Belle in the production
Bryson Smith played Maurice, an inventor and Belle's father
L-R: Haley Burchett, Brennan Morin, Abigail West
Makenna Cooper takes her turn at the microphone
Joyce Dominguez, Chelsey Lewis, Emily Shearer
Carter Smith, Esther Prater, and Riley Jones
Cogsworth was played by Placido Vicente
Gaston and Le Fou, played by Hayden Lewis and Nicholas Meece
The dishes and plates perform to invite Belle to dinner
Belle discovers the castle library and reads to the Beast, played by Carter Smith
Be our guest! Ensemble members stretch out their hands in invitation.
Front to back: Jessica Davis, Moriah Adkins, Gracelee Mann, Maria & Mariah Hicks, Jazzmine Hancock, BriLee Loudermilk
Belle and the Beast dance
The Beast is finally transformed back into his true form and becomes a prince again
Riley Struck curtsies during the curtain call, surrounded by her supporting actors and actresses
Back Row (L-R): Adeline Heatherly, Abigail Heatherly, Joyce Domingquez, Hayden Louis, Chelsey Lewis, Emily Shearer, Dalton Lewis
Front Row: Carter Smith, Riley Strunk
Carter Smith and Riley Strunk as the Prince and Belle
Members of the staff and crew for the show. The set was designed and painted by Samantha Cummings. L-R: Sylvia Hicks, Julie Pyles, Katina Shearer, Panesia Humble, Jared Duncan, Samantha Cummings, Tammye Sumpter, Anita Peters, Debra Bristow