Kennedy Actors Shine in Beauty and the Beast


Merideth Langton

Junior Luke O’Brien (Gaston) flexes behind the Silly Girls during the song “Gaston”.

Kennedy reopened their theater doors with the production of Beauty and the Beast Jr., directed by Kennedy teachers Steven Tolly and Nick Hayes with Student Director junior Calliope Matta. Kennedy’s production of Beauty and the Beast is a collaboration with local children theater, Playtime Poppy. 

This is Matta’s first time as a student director. 

“Being able to see the whole show instead of focusing on just my character was what I really loved,” said Matta. “I was able to get a better understanding of the whole show.”

Though this play is targeted towards children it was enjoyed by all ages. Beautiful costumes and sets made this production interesting for older individuals. The depiction of the original story gives a nostalgic feel to anyone who grew up with Disney. 

Beast actor, senior Jake Horton, said the live-action movie was what drove him to audition. 

“If I could change one thing about the play, I would include the song Evermore from the movie,” said Horton. “That was my favorite song from the movie and others would agree with me also”

Senior Elizabeth Goff, who plays Belle, did a fantastic job putting her character together. Her voice was made for the role and transports the audience into the play. 

The main cast did a fantastic job portraying complex characters. I was impressed by the commitment to characters throughout. Horton even walked like the original animated character in the musical. 

Actors portrayed each character in this play fantastic. The show felt professional for a high school production and made me want to see it again. Students from stagecraft put together a fantastic changing set, giving the play a magical feeling like the original tale.

“[The play] blew away my expectations,” said Horton. “I was proud of the performance everyone put on…everyone did a good job in my opinion.”

Though the choreography was exceptional, many times the background actors lacked facial expressions. 

“The ensemble has less in depth characters and you don’t really get a sense of them while watching the play,” said Matta. “They are all still really stronger actors, but the characters are a bit hard to get a feel for.”

This can be ignored because of the beautiful singing and expert dancing. The play was a great experience. I would  recommend going to see it, even if you don’t have children with you it will be a wonderful night. 

The final times to see the show are Thursday, Dec. 8 at 5 p.m. or Friday, Dec. 9 at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.