BELLE AND CAST - Members of the cast of Beauty and the Beast: Stephanie Gonzalez and Kyra Gamelin, playing villagers, Isabelle Quartly playing Babette, Vanessa Hodgins as Belle, Kailyn Hall playing a member of the ensemble and Lumiere. Michelle Falk/Red Deer Express

Red Deer actress profile: Vanessa Hodgins playing Belle

Red Deer Notre Dame High School’s production of Beauty and the Beast

Vanessa Hodgins lives for theatre. The Grade 12 playing Belle in Notre Dame High School’s production of Beauty and the Beast is eager for audiences to see their take on the classic show.

“It’s really exciting to get to do Beauty and the Beast because it’s so well known and the movie just came out,” she said.

Hodgins is modest about her past accomplishments and theatre training.

In addition to taking musical theatre in school she takes voice lessons and has been part of the Cornerstone Youth Theatre since 2010. Last year Hodgins played one of the leads in Notre Dame’s production of Seussical.

The script and music for this production are from the Disney Broadway version, which differs slightly from the movie.

“It has different songs, but they’re just as good and still give the same iconic feeling,” she said.

Hodgins plans to continue to pursue theatre after graduating, and intends to do a diploma in musical theatre. In February she is auditioning for Capilano University, MacEwan University and Canadian College of Performing Arts.

This is one of three shows Hodgins is involved with this year. Following Beauty and the Beast, she is performing in The Wizard of Oz March 2-11 and Snow White in June.

She laughs that at least exams are finished now.

Hodgins said it was a real collective work that the students and staff from several departments have brought together.

Several of the roles, including Belle, have been double-cast to maximize opportunities for students. Hodgins shares the role of Belle with Katelynn David.

Beauty and the Beast will be on stage at the Red Deer Memorial Centre with daily shows at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. from Feb. 8-10.

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