‘Beast’ dances to David Douglas High stage

See actors prepare for the ‘Beauty and the Beast’ debut on November 13 …

In the DDHS Horner Performing Arts Center Theater, the cast goes over group vocal numbers for their upcoming performance of Beauty and the Beast.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The magical and musical story of Beauty and the Beast is the fall presentation of the David Douglas High School (DDHS) Performing Arts Department.

Opening on November 13, the show features a cast of 45, pit orchestra of 30, and a crew of 25.

The show’s director, DDHS Theater Instructor Michael Givler, and conductor, Music Instructor Jennifer Muller, give instructions to the chorus.

The 1991 animated Disney film version, and four previous live-action films dating back to 1946, have brought this story to life – but the stage version is different, remarked the show’s director, and DDHS Theater Instructor, Michael Givler.

“The stage version of the musical challenges our audience members with the concept of introspection,” Givler told East Portland News. “And, introspection becomes the major theme of the story.

“For example, Beast, a troubled soul, is a really unhappy person who wears his unhappiness on the outside of him,” Givler said. “He is struggling to coming to terms with those choices. He’s going from being a victim, to taking responsibility.”

Townspeople gather around Eliza Fitch (who plays Belle), wondering about her fascination with books.

The student actors are up to this task, Givler said. “Beauty and the Beast is a fairly technical show, and a heavily-costumed show, with many masks and prostheses. Helping is that we have a new choreographer, costumer, and scenic artist with us for this show.”

Beauty and the Beast opens November 13
In the DDHS Horner Performing Arts Theater, the curtain goes up at 7:30 p.m. on November 13, when Beauty and the Beast begins its run.

Trying to come to terms with the situation in the castle are Camryn Gustafson (who plays Lumiere, an enchanted candle), Eliza Fitch (Belle), Dima Poperechnaya (as the Beast), Felisa Armitage (Mrs. Potts, the castle’s cook), and Hannah Kellebrew (as Cogsworth, butler of the castle).

This fun family show continues November 14, 19, and 21, at 7:30 p.m. each evening. There are also two Sunday Matinee performances at 2:30 p.m. on November 15, and again on November 22.

Tickets: $10 Adults | $8 Students and Seniors; the box office is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from 3:00 until 5:30 p.m.; their phone number is (503) 261-8270.

It’s at the Howard F. Horner Performing Arts Center 1400 SE 130th (between Stark and Division Streets).

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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