Story and Slideshow: Beastly Performance

“Beauty and the Beast” headed to the Seneca stage

While the outside exterior of Seneca High School resembles a typical high school, the inside auditorium looks completely different. When walking into it, the stage has been transformed into a French chateau that would rival Versailles.

The colorful set will be used for the upcoming Seneca production of “Beauty and the Beast.” The show will run March 30 and March 31 at 7 p.m. There will also be two shows April 1 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“It is kind of daunting because everyone is familiar with the story,” said Robert Yates, who is directing the production. “We’re trying really hard to make sure that we live up to a lot of people’s expectations. You have a lot of memories in the back of your head on what the show is supposed to be. We’re trying to deliver on that. At the same time, we are trying to keep it fresh and entertaining. It’s a really weird balance to try to strike, especially with high school students.”

There have been more than 100 people who have worked in some capacity on this show. Besides the actors and actresses, there are volunteers who helped create the set, worked on costumes, helped with lighting and assisted with the audio components of the show.

“I think the show is really about how people can change and there is good in all of us,” Yates said. “I know it is a cliché lesson, but I want people to walk away happy and feel like they had a huge range of emotions and a really big experience seeing our show.”

One of the main characters in the musical is the Beast. In this production, one of the actors playing the role is senior Zach Butler.

“I play the beast with Dylan Paulson,” Butler said. “I’ve done musicals all four years since high school. My brother did them, and he pressured me into it. I did it, and it was so much fun. It’s such a great group of people. Being able to act onstage as a different person is a lot of fun.”

This role is a departure from what Butler has done in the past.

“Throughout my high school career, I played a bunch of different characters, and the Beast is someone whom I have never even played at all. He is a totally different person. He is super insecure, and he acts angry all the time. It is just that he is really scared. That really comes out in the second act when he and Belle have a stronger relationship. He becomes more caring and that really comes out.”

Senior Taylor Adams is one of the actresses who plays Mrs. Potts.

“When I heard we were doing it, I was so excited,” Adams said. “It is a dream to play Mrs. Potts. I’m so thankful and so fortunate. I love it so much.”

She has really taken to the role, using different methods to learn the character.

“I go on Spotify a lot and I have the Broadway version of the soundtrack,” Adams said. “I sing it all the time in my car. I go over lines a lot with my double cast Hannah who is my best friend. We practice with each other.”

Senior Anna Rossi is a feature dancer in the production.

“I have done all four shows at Seneca High School and ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is my favorite show,” Rossi said. “I was really driven to go out for it this year. I am really proud to be a senior this year. To have these kids look up to us and to see the show and everything that it is. I know it is something that people are shy to come out for, but just having these kids underneath us driven to come out, it’s great.”

This tale as old as time, from the choreography, to the energetic cast, to the intricate sets used in the musical, is a must-see musical, cast members said.

“I think we put on great shows here at Seneca,” Yates said. “These kids put in so much time and effort to put on a show. I want them to get the chance to be recognized for their hard work.”

Tickets for the musical are $12 for adults and $10 for students and children. All tickets will be sold at the door and Gold Passes will only be accepted for the 1 p.m. performance on April 1.

Click the box below to see the slideshow of behind the scene pictures of the production.

Behind the Scene: Seneca's Beauty and the Beast