Preview: Penn Hills rehearses 'Beauty and the Beast'

by: Kim Raguza Updated:

The students of Penn Hills High School rehearse "Beauty and the Beast."

The students of Penn Hills High School will perform the musical “Beauty and the Beast” this year.

This is the last year the students will rehearse and perform on the old high school stage.  Next year, the students will be in the new high school, which is currently under construction.

Co-director Claire Davidson wanted one last memorable show in the building, which is why she chose “Beauty and the Beast.”

“It’s a big, popular, family friendly show,” said Davidson.

Davidson, who is in her twelfth year directing at the high school, really enjoys working with the students.

“We have a lot of new members in the cast this year. It is exciting to watch them learn and grow together.”

Senior lead Katie Rogers, who plays Belle, also enjoys working with the cast.

“They’re fantastic! Everyone is putting a lot of work into this show, and it’s great to work with them,” said Rogers.

Rogers has been involved in theater since age nine and takes classes at the Pittsburgh CLO Academy. Even with all her experience, there are still some challenges to her role.

“Belle has a lot of sides to her. She’s sweet and kind but also very smart and knows what she wants, so sometimes it’s hard to remember that. She’s just not your average princess,” Rogers said.

Tyler Harper, who plays the unlikely prince to Roger’s princess, loves his role.

“The feral nature of the Beast makes it a fun role to play. All of my emotions can be drastically dramatized on stage,” said Harper.

Harper, who is in his senior year, doesn’t plan to pursue a theater career. He will, however, attend Carnegie Mellon in the fall as a bassoon performance major and continue his passion for music.

“Beauty and the Beast” will be a memorable show. It runs April 20-22.