MHS theater going ahead with ‘Little Mermaid’ play
By Rhett Wilkinson
MANTI—The Manti High School theatre department’s production of “The Little Mermaid” has been a handful to make reality.
The theatre department has had to limit its cast size (for the first time under Theatre Director Kory Howard). It has had to rehearse without a full cast because students have been on quarantine. During practices, those who can be there must wear face coverings.
Then there is building the set and making sure the department has props and costumes. When Howard was speaking with the Sanpete Messenger, he was dealing with a light board issue.
“It’s a big ordeal to put on a show,” Howard said. “We’re pushing through.”
Howard said hopefully audiences will like that the department is “able to put a show on during these times.”
Howard said audiences will “enjoy seeing this story come to life on stage,” as most folks are used to the 1989 Disney animated film.
“Seeing these characters in real life will hopefully be fun for the audience,” Howard said. “The kids are excited to do this.”
Due to COVID-19, masks are required. The department is limiting the attendees at the theater to 200 a night when they usually get 350 to 400 a night.
“So shows could sell out,” Howard said. “We are selling tickets at the high school office, so people can call and get tickets there.”
The department has blocked out seats in the auditorium to allow for spacing.
“Family groups will be able to sit together, but the groups will be separated from each other as much as possible,” Howard said.
“TLM” will see a matinee in order to spread out the number of attendees, due to the limit.
“(It’s) another show for people to come to,” Howard said.
Students headlining the cast include Ali Cook (Ariel), Kate Stevens (Ursula), Kellynn Nielsen (Prince Eric), Daegen Howell (King Triton) and Talia Cluff (Sebastian).
The playwright of “TLM” is Doug Wright. The score was written by Alan Menken, with lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, according to Music Theatre International. The play came out in pre-Broadway form in July 2007 and hit Broadway six months later, in Jan. 2008, according to Broadway.com. “TLM” book was written in 1837 by Hans Christian Andersen, according to Bustle.
Ariel, a daughter of King Triton, wants to go after the human Prince Eric in the world above. She arranges a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to trade her tail for legs. But the deal is not what it appears to be, and Ariel requires the assistance of her animal friends Scuttle the seagull, Sebastian the crab and Flounder the fish to bring back order under the sea, according to MTI.
“TLM” is about being able to grow up.
What distinguishes the musical from the film is that Ursula is King Triton’s sister, so Ariel’s aunt, Howard said.
Being family-friendly, “TLM” appeals to any age group, Howard said.
“TLM” will run Dec. 10-12 and 14th starting at 7 p.m. each evening, with the matinee at 2 p.m. the 12th. It will play at Manti High School, at 100 West 500 North St. in Manti.