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Good vs. evil to play out at Springhouse M.S.



Springhouse Middle School theater students will perform Disney’s “Descendants: The Musical” Feb. 29 and March 1 and 2.

The show follows Mal, Evie, Carlos and Jay, the teenage children of villains Maleficent, the Evil Queen, Cruella De Vil and Jafar from the Isle of the Lost as they attend school at Auradon Prep.

The four were chosen by Prince Ben, the son of Belle and King Adam, The Beast.

Isabella Force, who plays Maleficent, and Max Miller, who portrays Prince Ben, commented on their roles.

“In this production, I am playing the iconic role of Maleficent,” Force said. “In this show, she is trying to take over Auradon, which is where all the good guys live.

“She sings, dances, and commands the stage whenever she comes into a scene.”

Force loves tapping into her evil side.

“I’ve never really played a villain before so this has been a really fun experience for me,” she said. “I also get to dance a lot which is nice because I’ve been a dancer my entire life.”

Miller said Prince Ben is able to see good in everyone no matter where they come from.

“He is always willing to give people a second chance,” Miller said.

“He doesn’t really say no or like to be rude.

“Overall he’s just a kind soon-to-be king.”

Miller explained why he likes being in this musical.

“Mainly the people, the community. Everyone is willing to talk to you and no one thinks they’re better than anyone else,” Miller said.

“We’re all just actors and that’s how we all see each other.

“And, that’s not to mention the leaders of the show, Mrs. (Erica) Silver and Mrs. (Jessica) Reitnauer.

“They’re fun and willing to laugh at your jokes. But they also know how to keep a show rolling.”

Elizabeth Doughan who portrays Mal, and Maanya Gope who plays Evie, discussed their characters.

“Mal is a confident, sarcastic cool girl who likes to be in charge and hides her emotions,” Doughan said.

“She eventually learns emotions don’t hold you back, but make you stronger after meeting Prince Ben.”

Doughan said what she likes about being in this show are the people.

“The people I get to meet became some of my closest friends, and the relationships we form are like no other bond I’ve ever had.”

Evie is the daughter of the Evil Queen from “Snow White.”

“Evie is initially portrayed as overly focused on her charm and beauty,” Gope said. “She’s shown as an overall flirtatious fashionista.

“However, Evie’s desire for attention and status soon grows throughout the show as she learns to become an ambitious and intelligent business woman and an incredibly kind and loyal friend.

“Evie’s charm and wit through the beginning of the show was incredibly fun to discover.

“I loved being able to embrace her confident persona and play into her dynamic character.

“Her message of individuality and self-acceptance is one that I believe to be extremely inspiring.

“I am so thankful I am able to develop her story.”

Gope said “Descendants” explores the lessons of friendship, acceptance of others differences, and growing into your own individual person, all while providing humor, catchy songs, and dynamic choreography.

Ryan Iorio, who plays Carlos, and Tristan Walsh, who portrays Jay, also commented on their roles.

“I like that I can try and experience a lead yet it is a very small one for how new I am to acting,” Iorio said. “I like that it is a very nice role that fits me by how the character acts and how many lines and how many scenes Carlos is in.”

Walsh said Jay, the son of Jafar, is evil and loves to steal.

“I love getting to interact with my fellow actors on stage for this role,” Walsh said. “Also, he is a comedic character and I always love playing them.

“Being in this musical brings a lot of fun energy and the harmonies are really great.”

Erica Silver is the director and musical director, with Jessica Reitnauer as the stage crew/technical director, and Pattie Winn the choreographer.

“This show is about the conflict between good and evil, and choosing who you want to be,” Silver said. “The story centers on the children of some of the most recognizable Disney villains and princes or princesses.”

“Prince Benjamin, son of Belle and the Beast, invites Mal, Evie, Jay, and Carlos, the children of Maleficent, Grimhilde, Jafar, and Cruella de Vil, to leave the Isle of the Lost and attend school in Auradon in the hope they can learn to be good and not follow in their parents’ wicked footsteps,” Silver explained.

“The production notes in the script end with the following quote:

“‘At its core, ‘Descendant’ is a musical about empathy, tolerance and acceptance.’

“We hope this show can be a reminder that no matter where we come from, we are better together.”

“Descendants: The Musical” will be presented 7 p.m. Feb. 29 and March 1 and 2; and 2 p.m. March 3 in the auditorium at Springhouse Middle School, 1200 Springhouse Road, South Whitehall.

This show is reserved seating.

All tickets are $7 per person and can be purchased with cash or check.

Tickets may also be purchased in the lobby starting one hour before each performance.

Tickets will be available noon to 1 p.m. on Feb. 24 and 5:30-6 p.m. Feb. 26 and 27 in the main lobby of Springhouse.

PRESS PHOTO COURTESY PSD Ryan Iorio as Carlos, Elizabeth Doughan as Mal, Maanya Gope as Evie, and Tristan Walsh as Jay, play the “Evils” on the Isle of the Lost.
Max Miller as Prince Ben and Elizabeth Doughan as Mal sing to each other on their date.
Ryan Iorio as Carlos, Tristan Walsh as Jay, Max Miller as Prince Ben, Maanya Gope as Evie, (back) Abby Eyman, Chloe Fadlon, Lola Whitehead, Zuri Wilson, Violet Foster, Bianca Wrase and Gavin Avrich, the Isle kids, rehearse the scene were Prince Ben visits the Isle of the Lost.
PRESS PHOTOS COURTESY PSD Ryan Iorio as Carlos, Tristan Walsh as Jay, Elizabeth Doughan as Mal, Maanya Gope as Evie, Max Miller as Prince Ben and Mira Kneller as Audrey practice their lines from the scene where the “Evils” arrive in Auradon.