Beauty and the Beast announced as musical

Sixth grade students sing in choir on October 23. Some middle school students are preparing to audition in coming weeks for Beauty and the Beast (photo by Sophia Mancuso).

Middle school students spent a week solving cryptic clues during morning announcements as to what the musical would be. On October 23, drama teacher Mr. Todd Sessoms announced that the musical this year will be Beauty and the Beast; students can now choose to attend auditions starting on November 4.

Mr. Sessoms said that there were many reasons why Beauty and the Beast was chosen this year.

He said, “Ultimately, in middle school, because we are doing a show with all four grade levels, we needed a show that allows for different ensemble groups.”

The teachers working on the musical are looking at having three main ensembles: cutlery, villagers, and Gaston’s ensemble.

“The music is fantastic; its a classic show, and it’s one of the shows that kind of sparked the Disney renaissance. If you think about all the Disney cartoons that have come out in the last thirty years, Beauty and the Beast really kicked that off,” Mr. Sessoms said.

The teachers working on the musical this year are Mr. Sessoms, music director Mr. Ben Waltz, choreographer Ms. Helen Culling, technical director Mr. Mark Chapin, costumer Ms. Nancy Pace, and production manager Ms. Nicole Van Gasse.

Starting this winter, there will be an  After School Program for students interested in costuming. For the first time, students will be making all of the costumes for the musical.

Seventh and eighth graders will be auditioning November 4 and 6. Fifth and sixth graders will be auditioning on November 7 and 8.

On the first day of auditions, students do not need to prepare anything in advance because they will be learning music and choreography. The second day of auditions is for students who would like to be a principal character, such as the Beast, Belle, Lumière, Cogsworth, Mrs. Pots, Gaston, and LeFou. They will be given music in advance and must be prepared to sing by themselves in front of other auditioning students. For students who the teachers would like to see more of, callbacks are on November 8.

“What we’re really looking for is who’s willing to take a risk, how people move, who’s comfortable with movements, and who’s ready to take on more advanced choreography. That helps us decide which ensemble group that students will be put into.” Mr. Sessoms said.

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