New life brought to Disney classic

By Liliana Green/ reporter

TR will be putting on an altered rendition of Beauty and the Beast April 28 in the TR Energy Auditorium.
Tom Woessner/The Collegian

TR’s drama club is putting a twist in one of Disney’s original classics in the production of Beauty and the Beast: A Greek Tragedy, written and directed by Young Thespians Society president Natalia Luna.

The show, which runs 6 p.m. April 28 in the TR Energy Auditorium, is Luna’s first major production.

Along with a “devoted and passionate” cast and crew, Luna said they bring new life and a unique personality to “a tale as old as time.” TR student Jeremy Hill said this production has become much more than just a play. It has become a community.

Cast member Joseph Lasater, who plays the beast, credits the production and his role with personal growth.

“When I was growing up, I wasn’t exactly a saint in any regards,” he said. “I let down a lot of people I really cared about.”

While in the military, Lasater said he was shown the compassion he seriously lacked.

“Through the ordeal of becoming a sailor in contrast to Prince Adam, becoming the Beast showed me how to be a better person,” he said.

TR student Serenity Vongsavath, who plays Belle, has starred in past productions on NW Campus. She sees a little of herself in Belle.

“She’s independent, strong and does what she wants without a care of judgment from others,” she said.

TR student Malik Johnson, who plays Gaston, is proud to have the same confidence as his character.

“Gaston is a little more extreme than me, but he goes after what he wants,” he said.

TR student Juan Pinto portrays Lumiere. Chuckling, he said he is like his character as he too is “flame-buoyant.”

TR student Emani Pettiford plays Babette, Lumiere’s girlfriend who is transformed into a feather duster.

“The character is very similar in a way that she’s present but not overbearing,” she said. “Her presence brings a little spark to Lumiere. She’s very helpful and kind.”

TR student Alexandria Dinamarca will debut as a solo pianist. Her passion for music led to her facing one of her fears and offering to play for the show.

Luna said the actor who is most like his character is Lasater, so playing the Beast comes very naturally to him.

The person who is least like her character is Jessica Lopez, who plays the sorceress.

“The sorceress is a malicious person who wants to see the Beast fall into despair, but Jessica is very kind and an awesome person,” Luna said.

TR student Adrian Juare, who plays one of the extras, hopes that through this production, the audience and faculty will see the campus’ need and desire for liberal arts.

Luna’s purpose for the play is to remind the audience “we can always find the beauty and love within someone even in their darkest times.”

Admission is free, but anyone who wants to attend must make reservations via e-mail at natalia.luna@my.tccd.edu or radhia.addison@my.tccd.edu.

The play contains some adult language and weapon violence.