In a magical underwater kingdom, the beautiful, young mermaid, Ariel, longs to leave her ocean home, and her fins behind to live in the world above.
Palatine Park District’s Youth Theatre Camp presents Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. on Friday, July 27 and Saturday, July 28, at Cutting Hall Performing Arts Center, 150 E. Wood St., Palatine. Both performances begin at 1:00pm.
According to Cultural Arts Coordinator Ashley Schiavone, the camp offers participants ages 10-15 both an introduction to theatre and an opportunity for experienced actors to develop their craft. “No matter what role actors play in the production, they are being introduced to all elements of musical theatre, including technical aspects of the show like preparing costumes, props, and sets” she said.
The production is being directed by Julie Price from Palatine. Price is being assisted by Natasha Laws of Buffalo Grove, Lilly Streich of Palatine, and Colleen Kaminski of Mount Prospect. “This is a show that can accommodate a really large cast,” Price said, “so our 18 kids are playing many roles. They are learning a lot and each of them have a lot of responsibility in the show.”
Since it’s summer vacation participants get some time each day “just to be a kid.” “After our morning rehearsals and all the business of the day is taken care of, we’ll go to the Park District’s Family Aquatic Center, watch a fun movie, play games, and even listen to visiting guest speakers,” Price said.
This is Price’s first time running an all-day theatre camp. She believes the extended time certainly has its perks. “It’s so nice to have the time to really work on the many elements of a show like music, choreography, blocking, and character development, she commented. “I’m hoping all the extra time with the kids will help the lessons we are always teaching stick with them – project your voice and enunciate so your family can hear you, put your feet forward so we can see your expressions, tell the story like it’s the first time,” Price said. “I think everyone will be very proud of the outcome.”
For Price, being in a theatre production is something every person should have on their bucket list, no matter their age. “Theatre is a team sport without any losers; everyone wins,” she said. “The actors, the staff, the audience. Everyone generally walks away happy.” She believes theatre reinforces important life skills like confidence in public speaking, listening to and comprehending directions, collaborating with others, asking questions, responsibility to others, and timeliness.
“It’s also a great creative outlet,” Price said. No matter where your creativity lies, theatre has a place for it. And it’s a physical sport, especially a musical. There are no couch potatoes here.”
According to Price, another benefit is the relationships that form through theatre. “It’s amazing how close people get when they work on a production together,” she commented. “The kids in this camp are a terrific bunch. They like being together. It’s a memory none of us will ever forget.”
Tickets to see this memorable performance of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr. are available for purchase through the Cutting Hall Box Office: online at cuttinghall.org, by phone at (847)202-5222, or in person at the performing arts center. Tickets are $12 in advance, or $10 at the door. For more information, contact Schiavone at firstname.lastname@example.org or (847)496-6237.
Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI, MTIShows.com.