ShareThis Page

Dorseyville Middle School students ready to raise curtain on 'Little Mermaid Junior'

| Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Jan Pakler | for The Herald
Dorseyville Middle School rehearses for their production on The Little Mermaid. In the mermaid grotto is Ariel (played by Deirdre Roberts) as she is fascinated by a human utensil.
Jan Pakler | for The Herald
As the cast rehearses for their production of The Little Mermaid the Sea Witch (Kieran Bartels) is surrounded by a whirlpool after losing control.

Despite landing a major role in the Dorseyville Middle School fall production, eighth-grader Kieran Bartels is more excited about her costume than her time on stage.

“I have this dress with huge tentacles,” said Kieran, who plays the sea ogre Ursula in Disney's “The Little Mermaid Junior.”

“I get to spray my hair gray with black stripes.”

To celebrate a decade of student productions, Dorseyville Middle School drama directors wanted to make a splash.

This was a fitting choice for middle school students since its message is about following your dreams, said co-director Pamela Miller, who collaborates with Peggy Perdue and Matthew Derby.

“We are trying to do shows that are upbeat and there's a limited number of junior versions out there,” Miller said. “The licensing just became available for this so we were excited.”

Shows are 7 p.m. Nov. 21 and 22, and 10 a.m. Nov. 23. Tickets cost $8.50 and will be sold at the door.

With 60 students in the cast and 40 working on the crew, the show gives many children the chance to become involved in theater.

“The most magical thing is the kids bond and make new friendships,” Perdue said.

“Kids that maybe don't participate in other things come out for this and find a niche.”

Kieran said she looks forward to participating in theater each year for the chance to meet new friends. The group sacrifices weeks of after school free time for rehearsal, but Kieran said “it's all worth it.”

Sixth-grader Madison Heininger plays an octopus in the sea chorus who belts out several scene-setting tunes, most familiar of which is the show's popular “Under the Sea.”

Despite being in “a ton of different scenes,” the 11 year-old said she's not nervous for opening night.

“I'm with a lot of my friends,” she said. “It's fun.”

The lead role of Ariel went to Deirdre Roberts, 14. She has participated in school shows the last two years but said this is by far her biggest role yet.

“I'm a little nervous,” she said. “I have a solo.”

Preston Rowe, 12, plays a sailor and is also in the sea chorus. He loves the switching hats because he sees it as a chance to express different sides of himself.

“I think the audience will love the show,” he said.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. She can be reached at

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.