The Little Mermaid - February 27 - February 29, 2020

Rye Neck High School

 Director's Note  

I was a teenage boy when The Little Mermaid arrived in theatres. Too old, yes, far too old to be interested in mermaids...! No no, I had much more serious and important things to think about. Like Batman. And Star Wars...


But my sisters, Dorothy and Samantha, were the perfect age for this movie. Dotty was 13 and Sam was 8, and they loved Ariel and her story. ADORED it. I mean, this was the Frozen of its day. But even bigger, because there weren't already a thousand other entertainment options for children. So when The Little Mermaid hit, it was like...THERE IT IS! The answer for tween and younger girls.


The movie itself was huge. But when it hit VHS? Bam! Suddenly, "Part of Your World" and "Under The Sea" were on repeat every day at my house. Every. Single. Day. I started hearing that score in my sleep. "Kiss The Girl" and "Poor Unfortunate Souls" became as common as peanut butter & jelly. My sisters sang those songs again and again, and I'm pretty sure my young sister Samantha, with her red hair, thought she was Ariel.


So when the opportunity came around to produce The Little Mermaid at Rye Neck, the challenge was clear: how could we create a version of the show that not only stayed true to its original animated roots, but would work onstage as well? After all, it’s no easy feat to have mermaids appearing onstage alongside crabs, seagulls, electric eels and an evil octopus. We needed to create an entire underwater world for our audiences to step into, make it feel real.


Fortunately, with the help of my wonderful collaborators, I think we’ve pulled it off. Huge thanks to our extraordinary music director Kathryn Krull, our outstanding choreographer Fran DeAngelo, and exceptional stalwarts Ned Hatton and Preston Briggs, all returning from previous shows Grease and Damn Yankees. Joining the team this year was my collaborator Cindy Mulligan and our new lighting designer Julia McCabe - it’s been such a pleasure working with you all!


The students in the cast have really enjoyed working on the show this year! It's been quite a change - playing a fish is not the same as playing a '50s teenager! But no matter how tired they've been at our endless rehearsals, whenever we'd start up “Under The Sea”, the kids would jump right up and sing and dance their hearts out. I hope you’ll have as much fun watching them as they're having performing!


Equally important to the success of our show is our incredibly hard-working crew. Beginning with Stage Manager Maddy Bayha, ASM's Mia and Stefan, and our Art Crew who all began work way back in November, this show has been a real labor of love. To all our returning crew members, and to all the new faces on our stage, lighting, sound, and costume crews - thank you for all your hard work! Putting on a show like this is a huge team effort and every single one of you was so helpful.


Lastly, I’d like to thank the parents of the cast and crew, who have consistently supported their children’s interest in the high school musical. I hope you’ll love what we’ve done with the show. I think my sisters would be proud! So sit back and join us under the sea for The Little Mermaid!


Scott Harris

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