Beauty and an Interview

Ashley Earl, Kristina Chu, and Nimra Ghani

In this year’s Ward Melville musical production, Beauty and the Beast, junior Olivia Passanante is playing the lead role of Belle. Upon receiving the part, Olivia was overjoyed and recalls how she “could not wait to start working with the cast.” Acting in any play, she feels, allows a person to meet many talented people and to expand one’s own musical abilities.

Since middle school, Olivia has acted in many plays, including: The Sound of Music, Oliver, The King and I, and City of Angels. However, playing Oliver’s, Artful Dodger was Olivia’s favorite role Olivia said, “It was an amazing experience because I played a boy, and I had never done that before.  I loved the bravery and confidence the character had and I had a fantastic time portraying him!”

In order to prepare for a role, Olivia first looks at how her character is usually portrayed to gain a basic understanding of the character’s personality. She then tries to add her own take on the character to make her performance unique and personal.  For inspiration on acting  and musical styling, Olivia looks to other performers, especially her favorite artist, Christina Aguilera.

For Olivia, performing is her passion; she explains, “Getting into your character is so fun, and [so is] acting with your cast.  I love being able to do it in front of an audience!”  Even so, like many performers, Olivia does get cold feet before a performance; however, she clarified, “I find that as soon as I step out onto the stage and start singing and/or acting, I get comfortable and the nerves just disappear.”

Olivia’s love for acting is evident in every role that she plays and her ability to transform herself into any part reflects her resounding talent as an actress. It is certain that this year she will do an outstanding job portraying Belle and putting on an excellent show for the community.

As Olivia declared, “The play so far this year has been fun!  Everyone is so talented and great to work with.  I can’t wait to see how the show turns out in the end!”

The play will run from December 12th to 14th . Tickets are on sale now! Follow the link below to purchase tickets online.