Beauty and the Beast Jr. takes to the stage

Maurice, played by Darius Nicholson, and Belle, played by Juliana Cooke, share a vision during a dress rehearsal for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR, which will be on stage Saturday and Sunday at The Andy Griffith Playhouse. - Surry Arts Council
Gaston, portrayed by Erik Chelgren, strikes a pose with Robert Parks, who also plays Lefou. and the Silly Girls played by Madison Lawson, Brooksie Lawson, and Molly Easter. - Surry Arts Council

Surry Arts Council’s production of “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR.” will be on stage both Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 3 p.m. each day at the Andy Griffith Playhouse.

“It really is a story for everyone,” said Amanda Barnard, director. “I think one of the reasons it has resonated with so many people is because it speaks to all of us. At some point in our lives, we’ve all felt longing for something new like Belle, we’ve all felt misunderstood like the Beast,” she continues with a laugh. “We don’t like to admit it, but we’ve also all probably been too sure and full of ourselves like Gaston.”

Barnard says that though this version is shorter, at about 90 minutes, it stays true to the beloved classic.

“All the main characters, the best songs, the story itself – all of that is in our production,” she said.

Barnard was joined on the production team by Jane Tesh as music director, Joey Marion as choreographer, Abby Brady as stage manager, Madeline Chitty as assistant director and scenic painter, Betsy Manieri as assistant stage manager, Ken White as technical director, Rebekah Taylor as costume designer, Paul Denny as lighting designer, Katy Denny as properties mistress, and Susan Michael for set pieces. The stage crew is EvaMarie Nichols, Josh Wilmoth, Zach Scott, Emma Collins, Alex Bowers, and Diane Blakemore.

“The cast is wonderful,” Barnard said. “They have worked really hard to bring this story to life and I think that we’ve done a beautiful job. I’m so proud of them.”

The cast is Juliana Cooke (Belle), Sage Palmeri (Beast), Will Banfield (Prince), Erik Chelgren (Gaston), Robert Parks (Lefou), Aniken Burgess (Cogsworth), Django Burgess (Lumiere), Raegan Amos (Mrs. Potts), Noah Wilkes (Chip), Payton Alexandria (Babette), Callie Edmonds (Madame de la Grande Bouche), Darius Nicholson (Maurice), Michael Senter (Monsieur D’Arque), Jessica Smith (Enchantress), and Matthew Jarrell (Enchantress).

Molly Easter, Brooksie Lawson, and Madison Lawson are the silly girls; Cora Branch, Annabella Grayson, Abbey Tucker, and Walker York are the narrators; and MacKenzie Boyles, Karlie Brooks Gwyn, Megan Lisko-Snelling, and Karisma Maurer are dance corps/wolves.

Villagers and enchanted objects are played by Charlotte Banfield, Juliet Barnard, Benjamin Branch, Cierra Bullins, Zinnia Burgess, Maddox Chamberlain, Emma Chelgren, Matthew Chelgren, Natalie Cockerham, Zoe Collins, Jackie Delacruz, Jack Denny, Olivia Dotson, Abigail Gerber, Krystal Irizarry, Melanie Irizarry, Chase Kniskern, Julianna Lucas, Cooper Mauck, Elena McComb, Carleigh Jo Mills, Cassidy Mills, Natalie Owens, Allie Pflug, Kaitlin Smith, Daniel Sorrell, Maggie Wallace, Lauren Wishart, and Maddie Youell.

Tickets are $15 or $6 for children 12 and younger and are available online (www.surryarts.org) or by phone at 336-786-7998. For additional information, contact Madi Chitty at madi@surryarts.org or 336-786-7998.

Maurice, played by Darius Nicholson, and Belle, played by Juliana Cooke, share a vision during a dress rehearsal for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR, which will be on stage Saturday and Sunday at The Andy Griffith Playhouse.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_Beauty-and-the-Beast-1805-9599.jpgMaurice, played by Darius Nicholson, and Belle, played by Juliana Cooke, share a vision during a dress rehearsal for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR, which will be on stage Saturday and Sunday at The Andy Griffith Playhouse. Surry Arts Council

Gaston, portrayed by Erik Chelgren, strikes a pose with Robert Parks, who also plays Lefou. and the Silly Girls played by Madison Lawson, Brooksie Lawson, and Molly Easter.
https://www.mtairynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/web1_Beauty-and-the-Beast-1805-9564.jpgGaston, portrayed by Erik Chelgren, strikes a pose with Robert Parks, who also plays Lefou. and the Silly Girls played by Madison Lawson, Brooksie Lawson, and Molly Easter. Surry Arts Council