The stars of BYU’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast maintained their luster during the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) hosted in Hawaii bringing home multiple awards.
“We really, really showed well,” said George Nelson, director of the tale as old as time. “I was proud. All of our kids supported everybody else, going to all the different shows they were in and were so involved in the festival.”
Both the actor who played the Beast and the actress who played Beauty had great achievements. Johnny Wilson won the regional Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship, tallying on the third year for BYU’s winning streak of the award. He also won the Classical Acting Award alongside his partner, Morgan Gunter, who won the Best Partner Award. Twyla Wilson was a popular sensation in the ’10 Minute Theatre Show.’ “She was the most popular actress in terms of everyone wanting to cast her in their show.” Nelson said.
The magic continued as Alana Jeffreys (Mrs. Potts) made an impact as an Irene Ryan finalist with her partner Mackenzie Larsen. Kasey Kopp, the dramaturge for the play, received the regional award for best dramaturgy. On top of the success, all of the cast members were selected out of the 100 people to participate in a new musical theatre initiative created at the festival.
Cast members including Twyla and Johnny Wilson, Cooper Campbell and Alana Jeffrey, performed two scenes met with high praise: Gaston’s stilt act with Belle and the Tale as Old as Time dance.
“They stopped the show. There were only 13 scenes invited to perform around the country,” Nielson said. “The overseer of the KCACTF said ‘We see BYU as the standard.’”
This talented cast will rejoin BYU’s MDT (Music Dance Theatre) program to perform the Broadway Revue tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m.