Tyrell Wilde is tackling his most challenging dramatic role since the drama bug hit him a few years ago.
He'll portray the Beast when the Academy of Children's Theatre presents Beauty and the Beast, opening Feb. 26 in the auditorium at Chief Joseph Middle School in Richland.
"Many of the roles I have had in the past were comedic ones on the lighter side of acting," said the Kamiakin High senior. "With this role, it required a more dynamic character, plus I needed to be mean, which is a role I never really grasped well."
He credits the play's director Audrey Wax for teaching him how to play a mean beast -- despite his kinder nature.
"Audrey said I needed to put myself into the character and not the character into myself," Wilde said.
Wilde is a strong singer, and that will no doubt overshadow any acting mean streak. "His voice is amazing," said Linda Hoffman, ACT's executive director.
Wilde sings with the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, a professional adult choral ensemble, and plans to pursue music as a career. He studies voice with Tri-City composer and singer Reginald Unterseher.
And you can't have a beast without Belle, so Wilde's co-star is Amicherie DeCoursey, a newcomer to the ACT studio. She is a senior at Southridge High in Kennewick.
Belle is a spunky, book-loving girl considered, along with her father, to be a bit odd. Her father Maurice, played by Tri-City actor Bill Teague, is an eccentric inventor who becomes a prisoner of the Beast. To save him, Belle convinces the Beast to release her dad and take her instead.
Her beauty, thoughtfulness and courage are what the Beast eventually falls in love with, but he fights the love because of the curse that turned him into a monster.
Like any good love story, though, love conquers all.
Curtain times are 7 p.m. Feb. 26-27 and March 5-6 with 3 p.m. matinees Feb. 28 and March 7.
Admission is $13 adults, $10 students and seniors, $7 for ages 12 and younger. Tickets are available at Tri-City area Bookworm stores, ACT office at 213 Wellsian Way in Richland or at the door.
*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org