The Williamsport Area Middle School is busy preparing for its opening night of this year’s musical, “Beauty and the Beast Jr.”
The show is set to begin at 7 p.m., Friday, March 24, with a matinee performance scheduled for 2 p.m., Saturday, March 25.
The show will follow 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. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.”
Among the cast and crew of about 50 students, the production stars Jaslin Shand as Belle, Tyler Pershall as Beast, Asher McClelland as Gaston, Asta Jackson as Mrs. Potts, Noel Veldhuis as Chip, Johanna Pelly as Lumiere and Cooper Gutberlet as Cogsworth.
Director Jennifer Wright, the middle school’s choral instructor, said she hopes the show will make the audience smile, laugh and feel the emotions of each character on stage.
“This particular cast of students has been a joy to work with,” she said. “The put their best effort and attitude into everything they do, pick up skills quickly, laugh at their mistakes and are always working to improve.”
Wright said she’s watched the young group of actors grow in many ways by working in the production, making every effort to be sure their performance is exactly right to showcase their best.
“They are growing in self-confidence, creativity, communication skills and time management,” she added. “They are also learning to adapt and be flexible.”
Advanced tickets are on sale at WAMS in the main office during school hours. Tickets also will be available at the door before each show. Prices are $8 for adults and $5 students (ages 2-18).