‘Beauty and the Beast’ full of passion for student actors

Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy will perform "Beauty and the Beast" on March 27, 28 and 29.

Some of the parents of the stars of Holy Trinity’s production of  "Beauty and the Beast" were children themselves when the animated film appeared in 1991. Yet, for these young thespians, recreating the magic of the Disney classic is a major achievement.

" 'Beauty and the Beast' is my favorite Disney movie," said Sarah Kimmerling, who landed the lead of Belle in the HTEA production.

Kimmerling is not a stranger to the stage. She began her association with the school’s drama program in the eighth grade. Fellow co-star Alex Miles, on the other hand, is a bit of a dark horse who ran off with the role of  the blowhard Gaston.

The news that he was cast in a singing role was a surprise to Miles’ family.

"Half of my family didn’t even know I could sing," the senior said.

Theater teacher Mary Carson Meyer, who is directing the show, couldn’t be more pleased with the cast.

"I am so blessed to have a cast of this caliber and young people with such a drive and passion for performance," she said.

Students have been rehearsing since January. As curtain call approaches, rehearsals have been increased to two hours, three times a week.

"It’s definitely time consuming," said Kimmerling, who dropped varsity softball to give "Beauty and the Beast" her full attention.

Carson Meyer adds that all students in the show are highly skilled vocalists, dancers and actors.

"Our choreography is rich and vibrant and all-student created," she said.

Kimmerling and Miles’ families will be en masse at the show, which will be performed at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, March 27 and 28, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 29 at Holy Trinity’s Scott Center at 5625 Holy Trinity Drive in Suntree.

The public is invited to the production that is styled as close as possible to the original Broadway live action production. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets are available at the door.

"I promise if you will be our guest for an evening of ‘Beauty and The Beast’ you will be so impressed," said Carson Meyer, who is assisted in the production by vocal director Lorie Wacaster and musical director Jim McCarl.