Rexburg Community Theatre seeks actors/actresses for "Beauty and the Beast" roles

REXBURG — The Rexburg Community Theatre needs you to audition for its upcoming "Beauty and The Beast" production.

“It’s for everybody. We have roles for children and lots of roles for adults,” said RCT director Ann Cluff. “We’re looking for 20 to 25 villagers and probably about 85 to 90 for the enchanted castle.”

There’s also a need for the leads such as Belle, The Beast, Gaston, Mrs. Potts, Lumiere, Chip and Cogsworth.

“Gaston is egocentric, narcissistic and chauvinistic. He’s the one that wants to marry Belle. She wants nothing to do with him," she said. 

Rehearsals will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday March 27 through Friday March 29 at the Woodman Ball Room upper rehearsal hall across from the Circle of Love.

“It’s an open audition,” Cluff said.

Those auditioning need to bring a musical number and sing 16 bars of a song that’s similar to songs in “The Beauty and The Beast.” Officials will also teach those auditioning a few basic dance steps.

“We’ll have them do a cold read from the script, see how they come across and what their abilities are. We’ll look for the emotions that they demonstrate, their body language – that kind of thing,” she said.

Audition officials often look for that fabled Hollywood magic ingredient called  “chemistry” where two actors seem meant for the part and to act together.

“When it comes down to it, we’ve got to put two people together who are believable. We ask ‘Are they believable? Do they look good together?’ ‘Yes, they’re talented,’ ‘Yes, they can sing,’ ‘Yes, they can act,’ ‘They have stage magnetism.’ We look for all that stuff,” she said.

Following the first auditions, Cluff plans to have callbacks. That’s where actors and actresses are given more challenging material to show that they have the ability to perform on stage for a particular part.

The musical play is adapted from the 1991 animated Disney film that was adapted from the Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont’s "French Fairy Tail" around 1748. Disney updated its "Beauty and The Beast" play in 2017 starring Emma Watson, of the "Harry Potter" movies fame. 

“A wandering enchantress transforms a cruel and vain prince into a hideous Beast, leaving him only one way to reverse the curse – fall in love with another and earn her love in return. Bell, a beautiful book-lover, encounters the Beast when she arrives at his castle to plead for her father’s freedom ultimately trading her own for his,” reports Broadwaymusicalhome.com.

In the meantime, Bell’s would-be husband Gaston generates tension in their town as he seeks to turn her into Mrs. Gaston.

“The relationship between Bell and the Beast grows, leading to an emotional and transformative conflict,” writes the webpage.

To find out what happens, you’ll have to see the play that’s scheduled for June 21, 22 and Monday, June 24 at the Madison Performing Arts Center.

The Rexburg Theatre production will feature a duet between Bell and her father called “No Matter What.”

“There are quite a few showstopper numbers. Sometimes people think the only big number is 'Be Our Guest' – the iconic number. The song 'Human Again' that’s quite a number,” Huff said.

Huff says there are numerous reasons why residents should audition for the play.

“We try to provide an opportunity for the community to share their talents and to use their talents. A lot of them have been in mothballs for a while. They haven’t done something since high school or college. This gives them an opportunity to come out,” she said.

Once actors have been selected, they can plan on spending the next three months rehearsing and then finally performing in the show.

“They get to make new friends. They come in as a stranger and leave as friends. They find, that with some stretching, they’re able to do the shindig necessary. They’re having so much darn fun at the same time. It’s fun to watch," Huff said. 

Huff noted that she often gets Brigham Young University-Idaho students who want to participate but aren’t theater majors.

“They’ll say ‘Do I have to compete against a theater major?’ We get everybody. Just because you’re a theater major, it’s not a sure thing. I always tell community members, ‘If you want to try out, come audition and get out of your comfort zone,” she said.

Even if someone auditions and doesn’t get the role they want, auditioning is still a good experience for someone, Huff said.

“It gives you self confidence. The more you audition, the better you get at it. It helps with a job interview. Put yourself out there,” she said. “Give yourself a shot. Sometimes people just want to be in the background and end up being the lead. They have an opportunity to do something they didn’t think they could, and they have a good time.”

Cluff says “Beauty and the Beast” is a really fun show.

“It’s magical. Everyone has seen one version of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ in the cartoon or live action. It has a good moral: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that we need to give people a break,” she said.

For more information on the play, call Huff at 208-201-2918 or log on to rctheatre.org.