The Saugerties Junior High School Drama Club will welcome the community to be its guest and put its magic to the test at two upcoming performances of Beauty & the Beast. The show will be performed Thursday and Friday, Feb. 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. in the Saugerties Junior-Senior High School auditorium.
The classic Disney musical features the talents of 58 students, both on the stage and behind the scenes. Over the course of four months of rehearsals, students have learned lines, practiced songs, perfected French and British accents, organized props, and created costume pieces to supplement rented costumes. The lead role of Belle has been double cast to give two young actresses, grade eight students Sasha-Kay Bernard and Rebecca Sauer, their moment in the spotlight.
The show is directed by social studies teacher Theresa Hogan, who said she chose the play in part because its large cast would give the school’s many talented singers and actors a chance to shine. “Everyone loves Disney, so I knew that would make a popular choice,” Hogan said. “Most importantly, I think the story shares a really positive message about learning to like or love someone for what’s within rather than simply on appearance.”
Giona Kleinberg, a grade eight student who played Gaston, said the musical has been fun because it gave him a chance to be someone else and act out his emotions “times ten.”
Gabriella Mills, a grade eight student who plays Cogsworth, said her favorite part of the production was getting to use a British accent and to make puns.
Hogan said she was proud of all the students. “I am overwhelmed and so proud of the amount of hard work this year’s cast has put in. Their talents are extraordinary and I can’t wait for them all to get their time to shine. Every time they perform my heart is filled with pride.”
Both performances of Beauty & the Beast are open to the public. Tickets are $5 for adults and students and can be purchased at the door. Kids under five are admitted free.