Wardrobe (Jamie Myers), Cogsworth (Brendan Williamson), Chip (Parker Lawrence), Mrs. Potts (Kim Harbison) and Lumiere (Micah Coucke) get ready for dinner. / W.C Mann, Cullman Tribune
FAIRVIEW – This past week, West Point High School’s Performing Arts Department (WPPA) put on Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” and took the show on the road to Fairview High School’s high-grade auditorium. There they put on multiple shows between Thursday and Sunday, for student groups and the general public.
WPPA Director Ty Parker shared on Saturday, “We’ve had incredible crowds here to see the show. The community has graciously driven to Fairview to support the kids, and they’ve enjoyed the show. And I think they’ve realized what we can do with the facilities that are here, and I hope someday we can have those facilities at West Point as a theater department, an arts department. It’s been amazing to watch the play come together, and watch the kids grown and transform as actors, performers, and singers, and soloists. It’s been an incredible experience to see them grow like that.”
He continued, “Working with Kim Harbison and Jimmy Harbison–they’re actually Maurice and Mrs. Potts, and their daughter Riley played Chip, too–they’ve been an incredible help as faculty members at West Point, to put the play on. And we look forward to working together in the future as an arts department in, hopefully, our new arts wing that we’re going to build, where we’ll teach choir, theater, dance, instrumental music and visual art.”
Parker had special kind words for Fairview High School. “They’ve so graciously let us stay here and use their facilities, and Chris Gambrill, (Fairview’s) principal, has been amazing to work with. They fed us breakfast Friday morning! They’ve just been incredible hosts.”
Between Thursday and Sunday, WPPA put on shows at Fairview High School for students from all West Point schools, Good Hope High School and Good Hope Primary, the Child Development Center, Harmony School and Cold Springs schools.
Said Parker, “This theater’s been packed several times. They’ve been bussing them across the county to see the production, and that has meant so much to me as a teacher, to see the other county schools come and support what we’re doing at West Point. It’s been incredible!”
After the show, The Tribune caught up with Micah Coucke, who had just given an appropriately over-the-top performance as the impetuous Lumiere. “It was so much fun! I just liked being able to perform at Fairview. It was one of, like, the great blessings, because a lot of us had never experienced it that much. But then, for them to give us the blessing to be able to perform on this stage and so many people come and see us, it was awesome!
“We had so much support this year, and I feel like we did so much better than last year. It was awesome! We had a little bit of improvement from last year, so we took on a bigger play. We decided, you know, that we were ready for the challenge.”
Continued Coucke, “We’re growing every year, and every year we’re bringing in new people. That’s why we do a lot of the shows for the younger kids, to just show them, hey, that we’re serious about this, we want this program to grow and we want it to be better. And all these kids came, and they were like, ‘Oh my gosh! This is just so amazing.’ We had girls coming up to all of the guys and giving them hugs; all the guys asking, ‘Was that really a kiss?’ And we’re like, ‘I don’t know’ and things like that. They had so much of a blast, and we’re just hoping that they’ll be able to grow up, get older, and see that this is actually something they’ll want to do.”
Cast and crew
The show’s cast included multiple actors for most of the roles.
Belle – Leah Smith, Sara Hudson, Anna Armstrong
The Beast/Prince – Colby Tyree, Carson Partain
Gaston – Jaiden Philyaw, Joshua Couch
LeFou – Joshua Couch, Tekoa Walker
Cogsworth – Brendan Williamson, Judd Douglas
Lumiere – Micah Coucke, Luke Sellers
Mrs. Potts – Kim Harbison
Chip – Rylee Harbison, Parker Lawrence
Belle’s Father Maurice – Jimmy Harbison
Babette – Presley Palmer, Ashley Mann
Wardrobe – Jamie Myers, Tamela James
Asylum proprietor Monsieur D’Arque – Kellen Drinkard
Silly Girls – Katie Coleman, CarrieAnn Douglas, Carly Wren, Anna Armstrong
Townspeople/Ensemble – Annalyse Cole, Haley Hickok, Rylan Jones, Piper Lawrence, Victoria Leonard, Kylee Marks, CJ Patton, Sam Scott, Garrett Thrower, Jon Trammell, Beth Waldrop
Danceline – Alexia Adair, Kelce Byram, Angel Carter, Kathryn Cleckler, Maddie Davis, Kaitlyn Harding, Breanna Hillburn, Taylor Jenkins, Ashley Mann, Macy Millsap
Stage Crew – Gabriel Aufderhaar (stage manager), Katie Campbell, Logan Eady, Billy Ellis, Nathaniel Ferster, William Ferster, Alyssa Garrett, Lisette Hernandez, Michelle Herrick, Alexis Livingston, Kohler Lovett, Tyler Sinyard, Chris Smith, Caroline Thompson, Chris Waldrep, Lilly Whitesell, Alex Wood
WPPA’s season isn’t over! “Camp Rock” moves to the front burner
Shortly after the sets are struck and the costumes put away, WPPA will begin rehearsal for Disney’s “Camp Rock,” coming up in April. This production is unique in the history of Cullman County Schools’ performing arts programs, with auditions having been open to students from all the county system high schools. Approximately 30 students have joined the cast.
Performances will take place on April 26-29 at Fairview High School.
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