Alyssa Cavazos will play Belle in our upcoming production of Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, so we sat down with her to talk about her love of the character and why she’s proud to act at DCT.
What did your family say when you told them you were going to play Belle?
They were ecstatic and went on and on about how proud they were of me. One, because they know me and how hard I work when it comes to performing. But also proud that I would be able to show other little Mexican girls that they can be princesses, too. That got me thinking how proud I am to be an example for girls of all races to reach for their dreams and be who they want to be.
How did that make you feel?
Other than my personal dreams coming true about playing my favorite Disney princess, it made me proud and gave me a huge sense of responsibility to represent Belle in the strongest way possible. I can still remember a time when I never assumed I could play Belle because of the way I looked.
Tell us about your experiences playing characters when you were little.
When I was young, my favorite thing to do was play pretend with my friends. No shocker that I became an actor! I remember playing princesses with my friends and wanting to be Aurora (Sleeping Beauty). My friend told me “But you aren’t blonde.” I don’t believe she was trying to be mean, just that it made sense to her that I should be Pocahontas or Jasmine who are still great choices. I remember this making me feel like I was missing out on something for the first time because of the way I looked. Disney does a beautiful job of painting strong characters for young people to admire, but we sometimes tend to lose sight of their purpose; characters that show us how to be brave, kind, truthful, strong, smart, and confident. These qualities can be applied to any young person no matter what they look like. The saying, “If you believe it, you can be it,” comes to mind, and I think everyone needs to believe that they can be what their dreams say they are.
What do you love most about Belle?
I love how confident she is. She is always the first to see the good in others, stick up for what she knows is right, and doesn’t mind being seen as odd for her love of books. She gets her beauty from her mom, but her confidence from the constant love and support of her papa!
What do you love most about this story?
I love the lessons it teaches us of not judging a book by its cover. The Beast seems so horrible at first, but underneath his harshness was someone that was hurting and alone. All he needed was someone to believe in him and take the time to get to know him. I also love all the personalities in this story…such a broad range of them.
What is your favorite song from the play and why?
My favorite song would be between “Be Our Guest,” because of how iconic and magical it is. Or “Something There,” when Belle and the Beast begin to discover their feelings for each other.
Talk about performing at DCT…
I’m thrilled to be coming back to work as an actor at DCT. DCT is like a home for everyone that works here, a family that truly cares about its actors, students, patrons, staff, and providing a professional experience for them. The love for what we do here can be felt the minute you walk into the front doors. Any chance to be a part of DCT is a chance worth taking.
How do you best prepare for such a role?
Well, this one is fun to prepare for! Other than memorizing my lines and songs, I am able to relive the joy of the movies by watching them and studying how Belle makes people feel. Being that Belle is my favorite bookworm, I am making more time for reading to understand how truly magical escaping into a book can be; I’ve really loved that part! Also trying to see the good in people every day. Belle reminds me to be kind. I look forward to starting the rehearsal process and creating this tale as old as time with our phenomenal cast.
DCT is thrilled to feature Alyssa in the role of Belle. We are sure she’ll bring her own special brand of kindness to the season opener, Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST! Be sure to come see her onstage from September 22 – October 27. Buy your tickets today, at dct.org.
Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice
Book by Linda Woolverton
Directed by Nancy Schaeffer
Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. MTIShows[dot]com
Sept. 22 – Oct. 27, 2019
Ages 5 and up
Be our guest for this tale as old as time! Spirited Belle longs for adventure beyond her small, country town. But does she get more than she bargained for when the Beast captures her father and she is forced to trade places to save him? Favorite castle figures Lumiere, Cogsworth, Chip, and Mrs. Potts hold out hope that Belle can, at last, be the one to help the misunderstood Beast learn to love and be loved in return. If so, they can all be rescued from the curse they are under. Can she do it before the last rose petal falls? Beloved songs mixed with a touch of compassion and kindness highlight the power of true love in this large-scale, family musical based on the Disney classic.
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