April 11th was a remarkable day at the RCBC Plaza—the school production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr. was performed to a fully packed auditorium. It was not just an ordinary school play because cast members had multiple roles, and the success of the play also depended on singing talent. Wanting to give a stellar performance, the Drama Club worked diligently by practicing and memorizing their lines for hours on end.
During the announcing of the cast, I was surprised to have been chosen as Madame de la Grande Bouche—a former opera singer, the castle’s lady-in-waiting, and fashion authority. She had been transformed into a cumbersome wardrobe closet, her sheer size as enveloping as her warmth. She was kind and consoling to Belle, yet fierce and bold when she defended the castle from enemy attacks. At the same time, I was chosen to be a villager and a narrator. Playing three roles was not that easy, but I was willing to give it a go.
Every Wednesday was rehearsal time. I, along with my fellow club members would practice our lines, dramatize our roles, learn new dance steps, and belt out new songs. Because I worked diligently to master my role, I successfully portrayed my role the way it was performed in the Disney adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.
The rehearsals at RCBC, with the sets, lighting, and costumes took place on the week of April 11. When I first looked at the sets and props, I marveled at how detailed and ornate the sets and props were. I was also in awe of the costumes when they were finally delivered to RCBC. When the cast donned on their costumes, their characters magically came to life.
The night of the show arrived. The cast tried to overcome their fears of being onstage; suddenly, the music started and the curtain went up. My heart was pounding. I felt overwrought, but the other narrators helped soothe my nerves.
As a narrator
It was now our turn. The four narrators stepped proudly on the stage. My heart was beating faster, but I managed to get it under control. We told the story of the Prince’s transformation using dramatic and suspenseful tones. The assistant student director told us the best way to express ourselves was to follow the mood of the music and the oral expressions of the vocal guide.
As a villager
The village scene was set up when the castle scene was pulled out. All the villagers got ready for their song. When the song began, everyone was merry and cheerful. Then they started making fun of an intelligent girl named Belle because she liked to read … which the villagers think is odd. I completely forgot that reading is my pastime as I acted like the villagers who disdained it.
As Madame de la Grande Bouche
After a few scenes (which went without a hitch) it was now my turn as Madame de la Grande Bouche. This time, when I performed, it was better than the rehearsals in school, particularly because I danced more fluidly (despite my heavy attire) and enunciated my lines more clearly! I felt proud of the way I played my role.
I relished playing my three roles and enjoyed being part of a supportive cast and inspiring director. I hope to return to the drama club and participate in the school’s next production, which I will be talking about on my next post!