‘The Little Mermaid’ opens Thursday

Published 9:49 am Wednesday, February 24, 2016

In a collaborative effort, more than 100 Warren Central High School students along with teachers and members of the community have been working and preparing for the schools upcoming production of “The Little Mermaid,” which is set to open at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the school, 1000 U.S. 27.

“The support from the community has been insane,” senior cast member Caitlyn Jeffers said.

From making costumes to aiding in the construction of the sets, WCHS choral director Nancy Robertson said parents, teachers, school secretaries and people from the little theater have all pitched in.

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“We have a parent Russell Standish who brought us these heavy heavy cardboard boxes,” Robertson said, which were cut with saws to form the base of the grotto or “cave” where the little mermaid hangs out.

In 1837, Danish author Hans Christian Andersen wrote “The Little Mermaid,” a fairytale story of a mermaid willing to give up her life in the sea and her identity as a mermaid to gain a human soul, and in 1989, the story was adapted into the well-known animated Disney film of the same name, which was later modified for the stage.

Leading cast members of the WCHS production concur that the stage show is very similar to the animated Disney version.

Senior cast member Emily Worley, who plays Ariel — the little mermaid — said, “Most of the lines are exactly the same as the movie and most of the songs are in the movie too. “Kiss the Girl and “Under the Sea” are really recognizable, and I think the kids will really love it and be able to relate to it in some sort of way,” she said.

“The story line follows pretty well the Disney version,” Austin Stacey said.

Stacey is a senior at WCHS and he plays Prince Eric, Ariel’s love interest, in the high school production.

Jeffers, who plays Ursula, the sea witch who is the main antagonist of the show, said her character is similar to the one in the Disney film.

“She is big, grand and evil and it is so much fun to play this role. I have always wanted to play a big villain role, and I got so excited when I heard we were going to be doing “The Little Mermaid” because I thought ‘there is a female villain in the story. I could possibly do that,’” Jeffers said.

Unlike the costumes that have been made by the many locals, Jeffers said she will be wearing a rented costume that has three layers in the skirt, which include a hoop skirt, an over shirt and the third layer being her octopus tentacles.

“It is really heavy,” Jeffers said.

Senior cast member Bailin Caldwell plays the main protagonist in the play, Sebastian, a red Jamaican crab and a servant of King Triton. He has been given the job of watching over the King’s daughter, Ariel.

“It is definitely the funnest role I have done to this point,” Caldwell said, describing his character as an overstressed and panicked crab.

Caldwell said his favorite part of the show is the song “If Only.”

“It is the most powerful part of the show for me.”

“If Only” is a quartet sung by Caldwell, Worley, Stacey, and Keenen Jones, who plays King Triton.

Performances are also scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and admission is $7.

For more information, or tickets call 601-529-7171.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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