MINOOKA – Minooka Community High School is looking to take audiences under the sea when it presents a spring production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” Performances will run March 14-16.
Glenda Smith, the musical director for the production and an international thespian sponsor for the district, said she is glad they decided to choose “The Little Mermaid.”
“My kids were little when ‘The Little Mermaid’ came out,” she said. “When I heard the songs in it, I listened to them until I didn’t want to. I think there’s something special about it. We hadn’t done a children’s themed production in some time.”
Smith has more than 20 years of experience bringing productions to the stage.
“It’s a good show for returning students,” she said. “It also provides an opportunity for the younger students to get involved. It gave us an opportunity to do things we hadn’t done, like flying and renting puppets.”
The cast and crew started preparing the show in January.
Grace Preboy, who is portraying Ariel, said getting cast to play a part in “The Little Mermaid” brings great meaning to her.
“I was surprised,” she said. “It was a nice surprise. I wanted to be Ariel. ‘The Little Mermaid’ was one of my favorites growing up.”
Minooka High School senior Hannah Babyak, who is portraying Ursula, agreed.
“I’m loving it,” she said. “’The Little Mermaid’ was my favorite growing up. Having it be my last show in high school is great.”
Babyak said bringing her character to life was a bit of a stretch.
“I tried to make her as big as possible,” she said. “I’m more introverted than Ursula. I did everything I’m not, and I’m hoping it works. I’m channeling my inner drag.”
Babyak said seeing all the sets, props, lights and costumes is awesome.
“It brings the whole production under the sea,” she said.
Minooka High School junior Bryce Henderson, who is playing Flounder, said being cast in “The Little Mermaid” brings great meaning to her.
“I love it,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting it when I got the part. I was surprised. It’s my first big role. It’s nice to showcase what I can do.”
Henderson said she has a lot of similarities to the character that she is bringing to the stage.
“Flounder is peppy and only wants to be cared for,” she said. “I’m like that. He’s a little insecure. He’s a little bubbly character.”
Minooka High School senior Noah Marvo, who is portraying Prince Eric, Ariel’s love interest, said his role in the production piqued his interest.
“I like how he’s not the typical prince,” he said. “He doesn’t want to wear the crown. He wants to be on the sea and not ruling a kingdom.”
Marvo said knowing this production will cap off his high school career is a huge deal.
“It’s a big moment in time, saying goodbye to a lot of the cast and crew,” he said. “It’s a good send-off for my final year.”
“The Little Mermaid” features student directors Emily Blenck, Giovanny Sanchez, Andreanna Haritopoulos and Hannah Smith.
The cast list includes Grace Preboy (Ariel), Cody Olkiewicz (Pilot), Noah Marvo (Prince Eric), Sal Cesario (Grimsby), Bryce Henderson (Flounder), Makenzie Frost (Scuttle), Max Salazar (Windward), Ian Talley (Leeward), Aiden Cordon (King Triton) and Abby Uphoff (Sebastian).