Penn Hills' Linton Middle School goes 'under the sea' with 'The Little Mermaid Jr.'
The stage at Linton Middle School is reminiscent of an expensive home aquarium.
Towers of what appear to be coral, barnacles and sea anemones run up into the rafters, though if you looked close enough, you would see brightly colored pipe cleaners and green bubble wrap.
Large “rocks” are in the landscape, created out of crumpled paper painted blue, gray and purple.
It all serves as the backdrop for “The Little Mermaid Jr.,” which will open April 4 at the middle school in Penn Hills.
At a rehearsal last week, director Tracey Johnson was in constant motion: making sure the audio tracks were loud enough, attempting to get a stage door unstuck and trying to round up the cast.
“Several of our kids had the nerve to travel to Florida with the band,” she said jokingly, a nod to the smorgasbord of activities in which many cast members are involved.
Beginning this week, rehearsals will take place every day after school.
Up to now, the cast has been rehearsing three days per week, “because so many of the kids are involved in other things,” Johnson said.
“The Little Mermaid Jr.” is an abridged version of the classic Disney animated movie, running about half the length of the full musical.
But shorter or not, it still is a lot of work.
“We started building the sets during the summer, because they're just so detailed,” Johnson said.
“Then we started back up with rehearsals around Christmas-time.”
Two parents and a Penn Hills substitute teacher volunteered to create the costumes, which use eye-catching colors and glittery fabric to create the iridescent look of undersea characters such as Sebastian the crab, moray eel henchmen Flotsam and Jetsam and the little mermaid herself, who will be played by eighth-grader Marianna Wolf, 13.
Though it is her fourth musical at Linton, this will be Wolf's first time in a leading role.
“It's hard remembering all the lines,” she said. “But it helps to have a story that we already know.”
There are 36 students in the stage cast, and more on the technical crew.
“A couple of our seventh- and eighth-graders really stepped up for (the fall production) ‘101 Dalmatians,' so I gave them a little more to do this time,” Johnson said.
In addition to all the rehearsals, set-building and line memorization, cast members also worked hard on fundraising this year, a function of the musical choice.
“We've shifted toward the more popular musicals, but that also means our costs have gone up,” Johnson said.
“We've also lowered the ticket price in recent years, which is another reason we needed to do a lot of fundraising.”
The show will run April 4 and 5 at 7:30 p.m., and April 6 at 2 p.m. in the auditorium at Linton, 250 Aster St., Penn Hills.
Tickets are $5, and can be purchased at the door or by calling Johnson at 412-793-7000, ext. 6132.
Patrick Varine is an editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- Penn Forest will host Outdoor Classroom
- Penn Hills ‘bad rap’ not backed by crime reports
- More money coming in, going out for Penn Hills schools