Disney The Little Mermaid Jr - June 17 - June 18, 2022

Hemenway Elementary



The most exciting thing about this play to me is the great amount of opportunities for young actors. The whole script is centered around the Sea Chorus - a group of actors who create the story and maintain the flow from place to place. Working with this group of thirty two 5th graders, it was incredible to explore the ocean and learn from them as we created our magical underwater world. 


Many actors on this stage are making their theatrical debut, and The Little Mermaid Jr. is such a unique first for them to have. Each student plays multiple roles in this production; from ensemble to soloists, each actor has at least two hats they wear. Together, we have made this musical about community. In rehearsals, we created a community of young artists willing to look silly, try new things, and support each other on stage. In Ariel’s world, we created a Sea Chorus that helps take the audience on this non-stop nautical journey. 


Over the past two-years, students have faced many challenges that have obstructed a traditional elementary school experience. From shifting to full-remote learning, to entering a hybrid model, to full time classroom instruction, it can be easy to forget about the extra-curricular activities that make childhood such a magical time. It has been an honor to bring live theater back into the lives of Hemenway students. Whether it is being on-stage, helping out behind the scenes, learning an instrument in music class, making sculptures in art class, arts education provides kids with a safe haven to express themselves. My favorite part of this production by far is seeing the joy on these students' faces when they come out to perform. I encourage you as you watch, to lean into these moments of joy, and be swept away by the enthusiasm and dedication of these 5th grade performers. 


John Llewellyn




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