Rehearsals are underway for Rexburg Community Theatre’s “Beauty and The Beast.”
The cast began rehearsals on April 2 and will continue through June 8. The cast, as described by Rexburg Community Theatre president and director Ann Cluff, is currently focused on learning the dances and songs.
“With this particular show, I’ve told the cast that you have to know your lines, your dance steps and your songs so well, it’s like the ABC’s,” Cluff said. “Once they’re at that point where it’s like muscle memory, they can put character development into that role. It’s something that really can’t happen until they get all the baby steps first.”
While the show will play at the Madison High School Performing Arts Center, the cast has been rehearsing in smaller venues around Rexburg, including The Zone Recreation Center and The Woodman Ballroom. This presents its own challenges.
“Once we hit the high school, there’s this challenge of where the brain has to do this big shift and adjust to larger space, and practice moving down the aisles, which they can’t really rehearse,” Cluff said. “We’ve added more rehearsals so that when we get to the high school on the first of June, the adjustment won’t be so severe.“
She said it takes eight to 10 weeks to do any show and give it justice.
“We’ve had a few shows where we didn’t have as much time, and we are flying to get it all done,” Cluff said. “It makes it a tough thing when your calendar doesn’t fit.“
Actress Elizabeth Mawlam said the rehearsals can be tough. While they are exhausting, Mawlam feels the rehearsals are equally fulfilling.
“Rehearsals can be long and tiring,” says actress Elizabeth Mawlam. “On Tuesday we ran through act one for the first time, to see what it looks like, and it was so good. You start to see how it’s going to come together.”
Mawlam, who plays the role of Mrs. Potts, showed a lot of enthusiasm for her role.
“It’s funny, sometimes I feel like I really am Mrs. Potts. I’m British, I collect teapots, I like floral patterns, I like to cater and cook for people, and I love having guests,” Mawlam said. “I have a son with a gap in his front teeth. She’s a great character, I get to sing in five different songs, so it’s a real privilege to play an iconic character.”
Around 200 people auditioned for roles in Beauty and the Beast.
“We audition people anywhere from the ages of 8 until they just can’t move anymore,” Cluff said.
The cast features children, students and teachers, including Evan Dunn, a faculty member at BYU-Idaho in the music department.
Beauty and the Beast plays on June 21, 22 and 24. Tickets are on sale now through the Rexburg Community Theatre website.