Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Schools

February 22, 2014

Cast, crew preparing for "Beauty and the Beast"

Knoxville — Work continued behind the scenes of the Knoxville High School musical production of "Beauty and the Beast" on Saturday. Cast, crew, parents and supports alike have all come together to prepare for the first high school production inside the Knoxville Performing Arts Center. 

The play has a few differences from the well-known Disney animated film of the same name, according to the "Beauty" in the title, Jocelyn Beaver. Beaver, a senior, has been involved in several musicals over the years for KHS and Knoxville Area Community Theatre. The role of beauty Belle is one of her first leads, though big roles have previously come her way. She played Carlotta in last year's production of "Phantom of the Opera." 

The story is different for Beaver's co-star, fellow senior Austin Ramsey. Ramsey plays the Beast, and he was fortunate to land the male lead on his first attempt at taking part in musical theater. Ramsey said he got involved because members of the Class of 2013 told him how much fun taking part in the plays can be. He has found that they were right. 

"I wish I would have done it last year," Ramsey said. "It's just...the experience is real fun." 

Both Ramsey and Beaver are honored to have the lead roles in the inaugural high school production in the new auditorium. The community has shown its excitement for the production, as $1,500 worth of tickets for the shows were sold Monday, the first day tickets were available. 

While rehearsals have began to run later as production dates draw near, Ramsey and Beaver said the differences can be seen. Both feel as though the entire cast and crew are extremely well-prepared to put on a memorable show. The show's director, Jackie Duffy, agrees. 

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