By Sue Moore
“I’ve always loved the “Little Mermaid” musical and the Walt Disney animated production from 1989, so I hopped on obtaining it right away when it became available,” said Christine Sargeant, director of Schoolcraft drama productions for the last six years.
“The music is terrific and the story is a fun rendition of the 1837 Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale. The Disney animation featured a beautiful princess who dreams of becoming human and marrying Prince Eric. The stage adaptation opened on Broadway in 2008 and just this year has been made available for community theatre,” Sargeant said.
It will open at the Schoolcraft Performing Arts Center on March 11, 12, 18 and 19 with the curtain going up at 7:30 each night. Tickets will be available at the box office.
Called “Sarge” by her cast, the director believes that the Kalamazoo area is the best there is for great community theatre. She has sent several of her actors to work in the Civic Theatre, and has a son and daughter who are completely immersed in performing.
The cast of 20 includes Holly Macfarlane as Ariel the Little Mermaid; Jacob Evans as Sebastian; Ben Eiler, borrowed from Portage West Middle School, as King Triton; Maegan Sargeant as Ursula, the witch. Flotsam is played by Isabella Parker; Jetsam is Bridget Crofoot; and Flounder is Brian Crofoot.
There are six seniors in the play but most of the cast consists of underclassmen experiencing their first run in a high school musical, Sargeant explained. The seniors are Madison Crissman, Casey Germain, Max Jones, Gwen Robbins, Evans and Macfarlane. Backstage, they are being assisted by Kay Satoh, piano; Cody Ladd and Ben Sampley on lights; Austin Ladd on sound.
“Holly Macfarlane was in one of my virtual classes and found a love of musical theatre with her role last year of ‘Into the Woods’. It is so rewarding to see these students grow in the theater and want to go on after they graduate to become involved in the many different aspects of stage productions. We are very blessed because they have these opportunities right here in the Kalamazoo area,” Sargeant emphasized.