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The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

The Echo

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Ronan Guevara takes on a timeless tale

Senior lands role in Beauty and the Beast Jr.
Used+with+permission+from+Stages+Theatre+Company
Stages Theatre Company
Used with permission from Stages Theatre Company

Having an ever-rotating collection of shows every season, Stages Theatre Company is showcasing their most recent version of “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” from Nov. 17 to Dec. 27. Director Sandy Boren-Barrett said this show was chosen to celebrate their 40th anniversary of show seasons.

“A version of Beauty and the Beast was the very first production ever done,” said Boren-Barrett. “We chose Beauty and the Beast as our holiday show because we’ve also done it before in our holiday slot, and people have loved it, so bringing back what was a really audience favorite.”

Senior Ronan Guevara is participating in the show and playing Gaston. Guevara said he enjoys working at Stages due to the amount of learning opportunities in the community. 

“I used to do Stages shows when I was super little and also it’s really close to my home.  I had a really good time, so I just kept going back there whenever I could,” Guevara said. “(My favorite aspect is) getting to know the cast and meeting new people who have different acting styles that I can learn from.”

Choir director John Myszkowski, who has worked closely with Guevara, said he serves as a good role model for students who are looking to follow a theater arts pathway in the future. 

“(Guevara) wasn’t in choir freshman and sophomore year. Then came junior year and auditioned for Park Singers and got the role of the Beast,” Myszkowski said. “Those experiences changed the trajectory of what he wanted for career aspirations, and decided he wanted to be a performer. In that short span of time to clearly see what you wanted to do, and then pursue pathways to get there, he has a great deal of initiative and determination.”

According to Boren-Barrett, many different creative outlets and artists are used to bring the show together in the short-running time it has.

“I have the pleasure of working with artisans who are really visionary about how to bring this show to life and how to serve our particular young audiences,” Boren-Barrett said. “Since this is a junior version, it runs about 75 minutes with no intermission, so it’s a pretty efficient way of telling the story but that also means that you have really less time to tell the story.”

Guevara said a great deal of research and practice has gone into perfecting his character as Gaston, especially since Gaston has many singing parts.

“I’m happy with Gaston. There has to be a villain, and villains are really important for this story,” Guevara said. “He’s a really special role because he does a lot of singing. I like to sing. That’s probably my favorite part with Gaston. He is pretty evil, so he’s pretty fun.”

According to Myszkowksi, Guevara is a great fit to play Gaston, not only for his singing abilities but as well as his acting skills.

“He knows the show. He knows the Beast and he knows Gaston because he was in it last year. There’s a certain villainous side to his low register,” Myszkowski said. “He’s a fantastic actor, too. He actually did a monologue in front of class, because he’s doing college auditions and everybody was blown away.”

Beauty and the Beast Jr. is running from mid-Nov to the end of Dec with an array of showtimes each week. For more information on purchasing tickets and attending the show, visit the Stages Theatre Company website

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Abby Bartleson, Echo Staffer
Hey y’all!! My name is Abby, I’m a senior and this will be my third year on Echo (whoa!!). When I’m not designing an infographic on Canva hidden away in the Pub, you can find me drinking any sort of matcha (preferably matcha lemonade), or devouring a nice bowl of Pho from Quang. You can usually catch me with my headphones on listening to Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Tyler Childers or Zach Bryan! #PeaceOut #CanvaQueen

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