The Portland East Middle School drama department presented Disney Beauty and the Beast, JR version on April 6 and 7 in the school auditorium. Dramatic arts teacher Jeri Winfrey served as director and music director. The student director was Abby Jestand.
Other members of the production team were PEMS drama alumnae Genevieve Greenlee (set designer), Rickey Offenburg (lightning designer), Michael Sheffield (stage manager), John Greenlee (stage crew) and Addie Greer (properties).
The music for the play was by Alan Menken with lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. The play was adapted from the book by Linda Woolverton. There were 13 musical numbers in the play with songs being solos, duets and groups of student actors singing and dancing.
Winfrey acknowledged the 8th grade drama students who had been in all four of the productions since she came to PEMS - Lily Graves, Annabelle Ray, Alexis Wade, Collin Lindsey, Courtnee Hoffman, Christian Melvin, Job Callis, Michael Carter, DJ Hollenbeck, Riley Lindsey, Riley Walker, Abby Jestand, Angelina Wilson, Dakota Lea and Julie Swift.
Winfrey said, “These have the talents and drive and dedication for the arts and give more than asked in each rehearsal and performance.”
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR was presented through special arrangement from Music Theatre International of New York.
Lily Graves, Annabelle Ray and Alexis Wade served as narrators. The prince/beast was played by Collin Lindsey, with Belle being played by Gracie Gibbs.
Others student actors were Courtnee Hoffman (Old Woman/Enchantress); Christian Melvin (Gaston); Job Callis (Lefou); Xoee Ruth, Kerry Jo West, Shanya Rezzag , and Elizabeth Barrett (Silly Girls); Michael Carter (Maurice); DJ Hollenbeck (Cogworth); Riley Lindsey (Lumiere), Riley Walker (Babette); Claire Cole (Mrs. Potts); Walter Hardaway (Chip); Abby Jestand (Madame de la Grande Bouche), and Patrick Ladd (Monsieu D’Arque).
Villagers and additional characters were Quinton Millrones (bookkeeper); Ethan Vance (baker); Angelina Wilson (aristocratic lady); Elizabeth Perry (market lady), Samantha Chapman, Serenity Hurte and Dakota Lea (wolves); Julie Swift (flower seller); Lilly Graves and Courtnee Hoffman (dancers).