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    Eighth grader, Maggie Simmons, plays the role of an octopus. Brian L. Morgan
  • Brian_L_Morgan_20170426_BMH1409.jpg
    Sebastian, played by eighth grader, Josh Mellott, tries to hide from the chefs in the infamous kitchen scene. Brian L. Morgan
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    Seventh grader and actor, William Sabonis-Chafee, steers he and his crew mates out to sea. Brian L. Morgan
  • Brian_L_Morgan_20170426_DSCF9443.jpg
    Ariel, seventh grader, Lindsay Godard, leads out a dance routine with co-star, eighth grader, Maddie Plunk, who plays Scuttle, a seagull. Brian L. Morgan
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    Seventh graders, Zach Russell, also known as Prince Eric, and Ariel, Lindsay Godard, hold hands at their wedding in the play. Brian L. Morgan

Middle School Actors Dive Under the Sea for “The Little Mermaid”

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Spring season has started with another middle school play. This spring, the middle school drama department dove under the sea to bring us, “The Little Mermaid.” The play was directed by the Middle School Theater Director, Stephanie Simmons.

Being in the play brought many actors and actresses together that do not get to spend much time together other than being in the community of the arts. Fifth grader and actress, Ginny Kate McDaniel, who played the hermit crab, the frog, and the chef said, “I have enjoyed being with all my friends because we just grow closer together.” Along with McDaniel, seventh grade actor, Zach Russell agreed that, “the best part about the spring musical is the experience. Just going through the process and bonding with the whole cast brings us all together.”

Each show brings along beautiful scenes as well as silly moments with the crew. “The Little Mermaid’s” own Ariel, seventh grader, Lindsay Godard, said, “The funniest moments are when we have only a few people at rehearsal and have time to talk about the story. For example, one day Norah Bishop brought it to our attention that Ursula could have given Ariel ugly, deformed or animal legs of some sort, so she was pretty kind to give Ariel nice ones!” Prince Eric, played by actor Zach Russell also shared funny moments with his crew and said, “Throughout the whole experience, we have shared laughs from small things like messing up or just by bonding.”

The show was a success due in large part, to the director, Stephanie Simmons. Simmons said, “My favorite part of directing is talking with the cast about how real the characters are even if they don’t seem like they are. They struggle with real life things and are written with a purpose and they have a story to tell so how can we unpack that and relate to them and have them relate to our own personal lives and our stories.”

With every show, there are hindrances during the rehearsal and prep before the big reveal. Simmons said, “Our biggest [hindrance] that you can’t plan for is people being sick.”

The play also had yet another problematic strain on the show. The problem was, “the way our rehearsal schedule [was] and how it [hit] is we [got] a lot of the breaks, so we [got] like winter break, we [got] spring break and Easter break, which are all good things except you don’t have the repetition of getting to run stuff over and over again and it being fresh in everybody’s mind so then there is a lack of confidence and we have to build it back up again and keep reviewing.” With or without the breaks, the middle school pulled off the show without any major problems.

The play was loved by many cast members but Godard said that her favorite scene was, “The Contest, where all the ‘talented’ princesses try to win over Prince Eric’s heart through singing. I love it because, in my opinion, The Contest and Les Poissons are the funniest scenes in the show! My favorite scene that I am in would have to be Part of Your World; who wouldn’t want to perform the best Disney princess of all time’s most iconic song?”

Differing to Godard’s opinion on which scene was the best, Zach Russell said that his favorite scene was “the finale because we get to see the sea creatures and the land creatures joining together to sing the final song.”

The play could not go on without all of the background help. Simmons acknowledged Meg Foster, Jamie McNearney, Jennifer Plunk and Mitchell Mayfield. Simmons said, “[There are a] lot of people to mention but truly all of them have put in just as much work as I have for the past few months to help pull it all together.” Throughout all of the bonding, laughs and work the crew put into the play, it turned out better than expected as the middle school gave an outstanding performance.

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