Press Release - ​​Beauty and the Beast

South Coast Repertory's Summer Players present Disney's Beauty and the Beast

COSTA MESA, CA. (June 10, 2016) – South Coast Repertory’s Summer Players will present Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on the Julianne Argyros Stage August 6-14, directed by Hisa Takakuwa, with music direction by Erin McNally.

 “Beauty and the Beast” is a traditional French fairy tale about an arrogant prince, who has been transformed into a beast, and his beautiful captive, who discovers that real beauty comes from within.  First published in 1740, the original tale has been adapted through centuries, but its themes remain unchanged as its popularity grows.

American audiences are most familiar with Disney’s Academy Award-winning animated film and its subsequent Broadway musical version, which Takakuwa has chosen for the Summer Players.  The stage version features lively hits like “Be Our Guest,” as well as the beloved title song.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is a song-filled show with a story that can be told from the actors’ point of view,” Takakuwa says.  “In the play—as in their lives—everyone has the power to change, grow and learn from every situation, good or bad.  That message will resonate, not only with  the cast but with young people in the audience.” 

McNally agrees that the story helps us understand that being unique or ‘different’ isn’t a bad thing.  “And it’s important that we learn this from a smart and strong female protagonist,” she adds.

The cast is made up of 35 actors from the Summer Players ensemble, students in SCR’s Kids and Teen Acting Program, who are chosen by audition after at least one year in the Theatre Conservatory.  Many Players are experienced actors, including high school students who  have been in the program since third grade.  For a few students, this will be the first time they have performed onstage.  “Our older actors are there for the youngsters, always encouraging them,” Takakuwa said.  “Instilling confidence and self-esteem is what our program for kids is all about.”

This is Takakuwa and McNally’s ninth musical together.  Takakuwa has been director of SCR’s Theatre Conservatory for eleven years and has performed with SCR’s Educational Touring Production and as Sally in A Christmas Carol.  She is a former member of the classic theatre company A Noise Within. 

McNally is an actor, vocalist and educator.  A longtime Theatre Conservatory instructor, she created SCR’s Musical Theatre classes for advanced Teen students.  She has been a frequent guest soloist at the Hollywood Bowl and the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, among many other venues. 

music by Alan Menken
lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice
book by Linda Woolverton
directed by Hisa Takakuwa
musical direction by Erin McNally, choreographer Chelse Baldree
set and costume designer Sarah Clement, lighting designer Karen D. Lawrence
sound designer Jeff Polunas, stage manager Kathleen Barrett

Belle is the captive of an arrogant Prince, who has been transformed into a Beast.
Can she convince him that there’s beauty in everyone— and he has the power to change?

Dates: Saturday, August 6 & 13 and Sunday, August 7 & 14 at 1 and 5pm; Friday, August 1​2 at 7pm
Tickets $15 (children) and $19 (adults) may be purchased through the SCR Box Office at (714) 708-5555 or online at

Aliso Viejo
: Tara Thompson (Ensemble)
Anaheim Hills: Rachel Bailey (Babette_)
Costa Mesa​: Sarah Cocroft (Silly Girl/Ensemble), Maddy Nickless (Ensemble), Grace Tomblin Marca (Ensemble)
Fountain Valley: Marley Green (Ensemble)
Foothill Ranch: Sarah Sparks (Ensemble)
Huntington Beach​: Dominic Brack (Ensemble), Grady Farman (Ensemble), Kelsey Kato (Beast), Sean Kato (Lefou), Kat Lewis (Silly Girl/Ensemble)
Irvine: Anthony Cervero (Gaston), Rachel Charney (Mrs. Potts), Lauren Dong (Silly Girl/Ensemble), Nick Kessler (Maurice), Alexandra Mason (Ensemble), Ben Susskind (Ensemble)
Ladera Ranch: Jacki Vellandi (Chip)
Laguna Beach: Olivia Drury (Ensemble)
Lake Forest: Nathan Burke (Ensemble), Nick Trafton (Ensemble)
Los Alamitos: Jamie Ostmann (Cogsworth)
Los Flores: Katherine Parrish (Belle)
Newport Beach: Jaden Fogel (D’Arque/Ensemble), Christopher Huntley (Lumiere), Mitchell Huntley (Ensemble), Lauren Lyons (Silly Girl/Ensemble), Aoife McEvoy (Ensemble
Riverside: Saul Richardson (Ensemble)
Santa Ana: Liam McHugh (Ensemble)
Trabuco Canyon: Kelsey Bray (Madame de la Grande Bouche), Joshua Myran (Ensemble)
Yorba Linda: Kasey Jacques (Ensemble)