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MPAC to Hold Auditions for "Disney's Beauty and the Beast"

originally published: 01/24/2024

MPAC to Hold Auditions for "Disney

(MORRISTOWN, NJ) -- Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC) will present Disney’s Beauty and the Beast as its 2024 spring production. Trend Motors returns as the lead sponsor for the third consecutive year. Four performances will be held May 31-June 2. The show will be directed by Cathy Roy, MPAC Education Director, with music direction by Charles Santoro.

​​​​​​​Disney's Beauty and the Beast has been produced in 37 countries worldwide. Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature, the stage version includes all of the wonderful songs written by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, along with new songs by Mr. Menken and Tim Rice. The original Broadway production ran for over thirteen years and was nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The classic story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end, and he will be transformed into his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.

“We're thrilled to be back for our 10th Annual Main Stage production at MPAC and even more excited to be presenting Disney’s Beauty and the Beast!,” said Cathy Roy, MPAC Education Director.  “This classic and ‘tale as old as time’ musical is filled with fantastic opportunities and exciting challenges for our young performers and artistic staff!  Not only is it filled with fun and vivid characters, amazing sets and costumes, a great score and wonderful staging opportunities, but underneath it’s all about love, kindness and seeing others for who they are inside.   It’s really a perfect musical for us, and I can't wait to bring it to life on the MPAC stage!”

The production will feature a cast of young performers ranging from age 7-25.  Auditions will take place at MPAC February 4 and 7. Click here for more information or to sign up for an audition time.

MPAC is seeking triple threat performers ages 13-25 for Principal roles and Ensemble, and performers ages 7 – 10 (and no taller than 4’10” for the role of Chip.)   They are looking for experienced performers of all types and backgrounds to play a variety of interesting characters.  This is a very challenging show.  All Performers should be excellent actors who are very strong singers and dancer/movers. Please prepare one minute of a musical theatre song in the style of the show.  The song should be fully interpreted with strong acting choices.  Must bring sheet music in the correct key.   You may be asked for another contrasting selection, so please be prepared.



 
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CHARACTER BREAKDOWN:

PROLOGUE

NARRATOR, a voiceover, an offstage voice, or an onstage storyteller delivers the prologue.

OLD BEGGAR WOMAN, a haggard-looking old woman, reveals herself to be a beautiful enchantress.

THE TOWN

BELLE, an intelligent and insightful young woman, longs for a life of adventure and belonging. Willing to sacrifice herself to save her father, she exhibits heroic altruism and selfless love. While kind-hearted and gentle, Belle proves her strength when she stands up to the brutish Gaston. Belle should have a strong mezzo voice

MAURICE, an inventor, is Belle’s loving and supportive father. A bit of an eccentric who often gets lost in his own world while tinkering on his contraptions, the villagers incorrectly label him a “crazy old man.”



 
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GASTON, the village celebrity, is in love with one person: himself. The epitome of toxic masculinity, Gaston earnestly and unabashedly harasses Belle, whom he values only for her beauty. Charming and manipulative, Gaston is the village’s de facto leader whose lack of understanding and compassion ultimately leads to his own downfall. Gaston is a high baritone with a large vocal range.

LEFOU, Gaston’s bumbling sidekick, is always there to boost his pal’s spirits. Lefou loyally and energetically serves Gaston, but lacking in good judgement, rarely thinks things through. Lefou should have good physical comedy skills.

MONSIEUR D’ARQUE, the scheming proprietor of the local asylum, is a dark and sinister force behind Gaston’s scheme to win Belle.

LES FILLES DE LA VILLE, French for “village girls,” are a group of Gaston’s fanatical female followers who energetically pursue him in the hopes of winning his affections.

CRONIES, frequenters at the tavern, are Gaston’s drinking companions. Loud and rowdy, they love a good laugh, even at the expense of innocent and eccentric villagers, like Maurice.

Other VILLAGERS create the hustle and bustle of daily life in the small provincial town. They include: the Shepherd, Marie, Tavern Master, Laundry Lady, Baker, Milkmaid, Flower Seller, Sausage Curl Lady, Candlemaker, Hat Seller, and Bookseller.

THE CASTLE

The BEAST, a spoiled prince turned into a terrifying beast, struggles to maintain his humanity as the Enchantress’s spell grows stronger. His hot temper can frighten and push people away, but a loving heart is buried beneath his gruff exterior. The actor who plays the Beast needs to evince a strong physicality to convey intense emotion and animal behavior; he must also be able to sell his agony of loss

COGSWORTH, a tightly-wound and enchanted mantle clock, serves as the head of the Beast’s household. Never one to disobey the Beast, he spends most of his time trying to talk Lumiere out of whatever convoluted plan he’s devising. Despite his tendency to appear uptight and strict, Cogsworth proves hardworking and loyal.

LUMIERE, a suave and debonair enchanted candelabra, finds the light even in the darkest of places. He loyally serves the Beast and counters his gloomy disposition with an optimistic flare. Though he leads “Be Our Guest,” Lumiere can speak-sing through much of it, so cast a strong actor who can first and foremost pull off his flirtatious and funny nature.



 
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BABETTE, an enchanted feather duster, is fun-loving and flirtatious. Bold and brazen, Babette is the embodiment of the vain and enticing French maid.

MRS. POTTS, a warm-hearted enchanted teapot, is the comforting caretaker among the castle staff. A wise and patient maternal figure, she is quick to offer a spot of tea and a dash of advice to anyone in need. Mrs. Potts is an alto who sings the title song.

CHIP, Mrs. Potts’s darling child, is a playful and bright-eyed enchanted teacup. Chip’s innocence and cheer make sipping tea a delightful experience, winning over even the grumpiest of hearts. Must be under 4’10”

MADAME DE LA GRANDE BOUCHE, a former opera diva turned enchanted wardrobe, is a larger-than-life personality who helps lift Belle’s spirits when she first arrives at the castle. Without her elaborate and theatrical costuming, Madame finds life difficult, but always manages to retain an air of elegance and refinement.

WOLVES, violent and frightening creatures of the forest, are known to attack innocent wanderers.

Other enchanted CASTLE STAFF, including the gargoyle, flatware, napkins, etc., serve the Beast by cooking, cleaning, and carrying



For the third consecutive year, Trend Motors will serve as proud lead sponsor of the production. “Trend Motors VW is thrilled to return as the proud Lead Sponsor of MPAC’s spring musical production,” said Adam Greene, President of Trend Motors. “Since 1965, our company has been passionately dedicated to supporting our local community, and over the past three years, we have become a major sponsor of MPAC and their wonderful programs that make Morris County the best place to live, work and visit. MPAC’s Spring Musical is a corporate sponsor’s dream. Sponsors of this production help provide an opportunity for young local performers to nurture their talents and learn from MPAC’s outstanding Education Director, guest artists, and more, and in return, our businesses receive tremendous exposure by being associated with this family-friendly community event. I encourage other local businesses to join me in sponsoring Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at MPAC – seeing thousands of smiles on people’s faces as they flock to MPAC in June for the production’s weekend-long run is truly priceless.”

Any individual or business interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities for Beauty and the Beast should contact MPAC’s Development Office.

Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, presents a wide range of programs that entertain, enrich, and educate the diverse population of the region and enhance the economic vitality of Northern New Jersey. The 2023-2024 season is made possible, in part, by a grant the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as support received from the F.M. Kirby Foundation, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation and numerous corporations, foundations and individuals. Mayo Performing Arts Center was named 2016 Outstanding Historic Theatre by the League of Historic American Theatres and is ranked in the top 50 mid-sized performing arts centers by Pollstar Magazine.


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