The Booneville High School Drama and Choral departments production of Beauty and the Beast is more happenstance than in conjunction with a new release of the film by Disney.

“I was thinking about doing Shrek and the kids really talked me out of it because apparently there are a lot of negative things about Shrek on the internet these days,” said director Doug Sanders.

There was a second reason, Sanders said.

“We picked Beauty and the Beast based on the talent that we have,” he said.

The recently crowned Miss Booneville High School, Lexi Danekas will be playing the part of Belle. Band drum major Dustin McLeod is the Beast.

“He’s a really big kid and he’s grown a really long beard,” Sanders said.

Long before the two fall in love Belle exchanges herself for her father, who to avoid an attack by wolves flees into the Beast’s castle, only to be imprisoned.

“She’s a prisoner at first and agrees to stay there the rest of her life but in the process he becomes more gentile towards her and she ends up falling in love with him,” said Sanders.

Ashlynn Parker is filling the role of Mrs. Potts, Cameron Harbison is in the roll of Cogsworth, Michael Boersma is filling the role of Chip, Lumiere is played by Lilly Taylor and Levi Gray is Gaston.

“There’s just a lot of talented kids,” said Sanders.

The play will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, March 3 and 4 followed by a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, March 5. Tickets for the production are $5 and can be purchased at the door or in advance at the high school office.

This is the fourth play for Sanders, following last year’s Alice in Wonderland, Pocahontas and Annie Get Your Gun.