CHS to present 'Beauty and the Beast'

by Paige Turner

Conway High School students will perform a musical rendition of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” from Thursday, April 25, through Saturday, April 27, at James H. Clark Auditorium. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students.

“This show is a culmination of all the arts,” said A.J. Spiridigliozzi, play director. “There’s something really special about people from many different walks of life who all come together to create an event that can effect an audience.”

Auditions for the production began in January and rehearsals followed shortly after. The production includes 65 actors, more than 50 students with backstage positions and a 25-student orchestra. The musical will follow the same storyline as the Disney classic: a man-turned-beast by a magic spell must find true love with a woman who disregards his appearance before the spell is made permanent.

Spiridigliozzi says the musical will feature some songs in the musical that were not in the famed movie. “We wanted to do a show that people could connect with and one that families could bring their children to,” he said. “We really want a show that can appeal to people in the community of all ages.”

Spiridigliozzi said directing the production was both challenging and enjoyable and noted that the students are working hard to produce a quality play that the audience is sure to enjoy.

“Directing these students is a blast,” Spiridigliozzi said. “I get to know my own students better and I get to know students who I never would have had the pleasure of meeting. We work so hard during rehearsals and still manage to laugh and have a great time.”

Spiridigliozzi hopes that everyone in the audience understands the underlying theme of accepting one another regardless of appearance. He urges everyone in the Conway community to come out to attend the play, especially on opening night.

“I hope the audience will be touched by the skill level and passion shown by the students on stage,” Spiridigliozzi said. “Seeing all the progress made on opening night will make the entire process of play production worthwhile.”

Cast members include:

Belle – Jessica Taylor
Beast – Steven McConkie
Gaston – Blake Farris
Lefou – Alex Brewington
Lumiere – Jackson Longo
Cogsworth – Eamonn Mayo
Mrs. Potts – Kaelin Taylor
Chip – Maggie Easley
Wardrobe – Bri Brown
Babette – Maddison Yates
Maurice – Rashard Washington
Monsieur D’Arque – Austin Grissom
Silly Girls – Mikayla Alderson, Paten Denton, Kimberlyn Fitts, Mary Nail and Yessica Serrano

Rest of Cast:

Noel Bilderback, Turquoise Blackmon, Emily Brock, Emily Bullington, Allison Clark, Corissa Calico, Mackenzie Crocker, Star Crossley, Rebekah Delph, Alexus Fisher, Emma Freeman, Shianne Garrison, Bailey Gynes, Marissa Hammons, Laura Heifner, Erick Hidalgo, Hailey Hughes, An Jooken, Kylie Joseph, Samantha Kordsmeier, Madeline Leicht, McCall Lockard, Theodore Lueru, Jamie Martin, Karis Martin, Parker Matthews, Caleb McCormick, Kytanna McFarlin, Tanner Meyer, Libby Newton, Alison Nicks, Jacinda Passmore, Nicole Penn, Quade Reed, Will Sukraw, Kierstan Taylor, Savannah Williams, Kristen Wroten, Courtney Wyles

Director: AJ Spiridigliozzi

Student/Assistant Director: Rebecca Hutcherson

Choreography: Jennie Strange and Olivia McConkie

Music Director: Sam Huskey

Orchestra Director: Tim Cunningham

Head Costumers: Abbi and Tammy Vanaman

Set: Doug Vanaman

Head Stage Manager: Alexa Overton

Stage Managers: Harlee Garrison, Kylie Joseph