— A hundred children, mainly from Hendricks County, will be "under the sea" as they take part in Disney's "The Little Mermaid JR.," a youth musical presented by Hendricks Civic Theatre, Feb. 22-24 and March 1-3 at the Saint Malachy Catholic Church auditorium, 326 N. Green St., Brownsburg.
Friday and Saturday shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday shows are at 3 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at the door with first-come, first-served general seating. No reservations will be taken. Tickets are $14 for adults (ages 19-61) and $12 for seniors (62 and older) and youth (18 and younger). Group discounts are available. For more information or for group tickets, call 252-9626 or visit www.hendrickscivic.com.
The children in the cast range in age from 4 to 18 and will portray the Disney characters of Arial, Prince Eric, Flounder, Sebastian, Scuttle, King Triton, Chef Louis, Ursula, Princesses, and Mersisters, just to name a few.
"The talent of these young people is truly amazing," said Bob Jessen, director for "The Little Mermaid JR." "We were astounded at the number of youth that auditioned. We double-casted the main roles so we could allow twice as many youth the opportunity to be part of live musical theatre."
Alexandria Adkins, who will portray one of the Ariels, said, "I want the community to know that this show is so much fun and enjoyable. It's true, there's nothing like being 'under the sea' - though life on land isn't half bad either!"
With the creation of two casts for the main roles, each person portraying a main character in the musical will perform in at least three shows. Many of the youth will perform in all six shows and will portray several characters.
For some of the youth, this is their first live theatre experience. For other community or school theater veterans, their passion for performing continues to give them a thrill.
"I'm most excited to see all the kids on opening night, especially the ones who are doing theatre for the first time," Maria Mark, who also portrays Ariel, said. "I remember my first opening night and it was just amazing. You feel like you're on top of the world! I'm really excited for all the kids who get to experience that for the first time."
Other cast members are excited about the unique role they are playing.
"I am looking forward to being a crab of course. Where else do I get to have claws and not be looked down upon?" said Brooke Sheehy (Sebastian).
"I'm very excited for almost every song in this performance; they're classic Disney songs and you can always catch every cast member singing the songs even if they aren't casted to that specific song," said Jim Melton (Prince Eric).
Community theater veteran Lauren Graves (Sebastian) added, "The community should know how elaborate this show is, and how impressive this show is, especially for a junior production. This has to be the most intricate and detailed young actor's production that I have ever had a part in."
Thomas Whitcomb (Prince Eric) said, "It's going to be a great show and there is no reason not to come see this timeless tale of a young princess longing for her one dream."
The youth musical is directed by Jessen and music-directed by Dr. Mike Acquaviva. The production staff includes Julie Kays (assistant director), Kristin Kellermeyer (choreographer), Roch Hermantin (master set builder), Megan Attwood (set artist), and Kristin Benware and Deena Conway (producers). Many cast family members are volunteering behind-the-scenes.
Hendricks Civic Theatre's production of Disney's "The Little Mermaid JR." is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International. It is based on the Hans Christian Anderson story and the Disney film.
The cast includes the following: Joey Acquaviva, Jack Adams, Alexandria Adkins, Summer Adkins, Lexie Aydt, Phoebe Bacon, Gabriela Baker, Jennifer Barton, Vivian Bell, Tannah Benware, Addie Bross, Lillian Brouwer, Nathan Brown, Olivia Brown, Shelby Brown, Lexi Carmack, Jonathon Carroll, Madeline Champine, Jillian Conway, Jack Copeland, Megan Copeland, Erica Colarusso, Bridget Cox, Caitlin Cunningham, David Cunningham, Mikala Cunningham, Kennedy Davis, Grace Delgado, Sophia Delgado, Caitlyn Ehrlich, Morgan Engelman, Megan Esterline, Stephanie Evans, Ashley Ginn, Grace Gliva, Grace Graves, Lauren Graves, Isabelle Hackett, Audrey Hargis, Shaelyn Harloff, Bailey Rae Harmon, Emma Houston, Olivia Houston, Madelynne Hunter, Lauren Janning, Megan Janning, Justin Jehl, Emily Keith, Jadyn Kelly, Ashlin King, Drew Kobold, Katie Kobold, Hope Lewis, Amy Loberger, Kloie Mandeville, Ashley Margetts, Maria Mark, Aria Martin, Emma Maudlin, Cameron McFarland, Isabel McFarland, Isabelle Medjeski, Jim Melton, Megan Melton, Jordan Miller, Alexys Negron, Teagan O'Meara, Brooke Pelkey, Rachel Petersson, Elizabeth Plain, Emily Plain, Anna Rowe, Rebecca Scott, Spencer Scott, Will Scott, Brooke Sheehy, Samantha Shelton, Sophia Shelton, Julia Sheringer, Abigail Sigler, Noah Sigler, Lucas Sigler, Jodicee Smith, Madison Spahn, Nicholas Spencer, Kameron Stevens, Mia Stien, Lydia Thompson, Allyssa VanBuskirk, Amanda VanBuskirk, Megan Waning, Grace Werlinger, Lainey Westfall, Reece Westfall, Thomas Whitcomb, Grace White, Molly Wolfe, Anthony Worden, Camden Zetty, and Olivia Zetty.