Beauty and the Beast hits the stage in 100 Mile House

Melody Watkins, who plays the lead role of Belle, sings an opening number of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Melody Watkins, who plays the lead role of Belle, sings an opening number of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Melody Watkins, who plays the lead role of Belle, sings an opening number of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Melody Watkins, who plays the lead role of Belle, sings an opening number of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Melody Watkins, who plays the lead role of Belle, sings an opening number of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Melody Watkins, who plays the lead role of Belle, sings an opening number of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Melody Watkins as Belle takes a book from cast mate Rachel Shaw during a performance of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Melody Watkins as Belle takes a book from cast mate Rachel Shaw during a performance of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Melody Watkins as Belle reads a story to some younger cast mates during a scene from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Melody Watkins as Belle reads a story to some younger cast mates during a scene from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Melody Watkins as Belle, immersed in a book while the ensemble sings a song, during a performance of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Melody Watkins as Belle, immersed in a book while the ensemble sings a song, during a performance of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Melody Watkins as Belle and Kyle Lawrence as Gaston are featured in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Melody Watkins as Belle and Kyle Lawrence as Gaston are featured in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Maurice (Liam Guimond) shows off his latest invention to his daughter, Belle (Melody Watkins) during a scene from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Maurice (Liam Guimond) shows off his latest invention to his daughter, Belle (Melody Watkins) during a scene from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Maurice (Liam Guimond) shows off his latest invention to his daughter, Belle (Melody Watkins) during a scene from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Maurice (Liam Guimond) shows off his latest invention to his daughter, Belle (Melody Watkins) during a scene from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Maurice (Liam Guimond) panics at first sight of the Beast (Evan Kalmokoff) while the members of the palace staff look on in concern. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Maurice (Liam Guimond) panics at first sight of the Beast (Evan Kalmokoff) while the members of the palace staff look on in concern. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Melody Watkins as Belle sobs as she realizes she is a prisoner of the Beast (Evan Kalmokoff) during a scene from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Melody Watkins as Belle sobs as she realizes she is a prisoner of the Beast (Evan Kalmokoff) during a scene from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Sarah Carter as Lumiere (far right) pleads with the Beast (Evan Kalmokoff) to take pity on Belle (Melody Watkins) during a scene from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Sarah Carter as Lumiere (far right) pleads with the Beast (Evan Kalmokoff) to take pity on Belle (Melody Watkins) during a scene from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (Melissa Smalley photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

It’s been a long road for the students and staff in Peter Skene Ogden’s drama club, but their production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is finally hitting the stage this week.

Following months of pandemic-related delays and a change of directorship, the hard-working cast and crew are thrilled to finally be showcasing the production to the community, director Nicki Jackson said.

“The students are very excited to be putting on this performance, nerves are high but everyone is extremely enthusiastic,” Jackson said ahead of opening night Tuesday. “I hope the community comes out to support these students. They will definitely not be disappointed at all!”

Jackson said she is “amazed” at the level of talent among the cast and crew and suspects many in the community will also be surprised to see the calibre of performances throughout the production.

The drama club has had its share of hurdles to navigate along the way. The production was initially set to be performed in January, but COVID-19 restrictions forced the club to postpone despite months of hard work that had already been put in.

With the departure of the school’s drama teacher earlier this year, Jackson – who works in administration at PSO – stepped in to take over.

“We didn’t know what was going to happen with the drama program a few months ago after losing the drama teacher. With myself taking it on as an after-school program, it’s been a joy but a challenge,” she said. “If it wasn’t for the great support from the administration, staff and parents, I wouldn’t have been able to make this happen.”

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast runs nightly from Tuesday to Saturday at 7 p.m., with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Tickets are $10 each and available at Donex Pharmacy & Department Store and Didi’s Boutique.

“I just couldn’t be more delighted and proud of these kids,” Jackson said. “It’s been a long two years with the pandemic and it feels so amazing to get back to a new normal.”



melissa.smalley@100milefreepress.net

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