Connellsville Junior High's CenterStage perform 'The Little Mermaid Jr.' in March

| Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012, 5:21 p.m.

CenterStage, the musical theater department at Connellsville Junior High School, will present Disney's “The Little Mermaid Jr.” in March.

The musical will be performed at 7 p.m. March 22-23 and 2 p.m. March 24 in the junior high auditorium.

The musical is based on the 2008 Broadway production and the 1989 animated feature film.

CenterStage is directed by Ben Haines with help from an army of parent volunteers. Also on the production staff for “The Little Mermaid' will be Music Director Marilee McFadden; choreographers Katie Cline and Kristy Detar; and stage manager Korey Detar.

Haines said he is excited to take one a theatrical challenge.

“I'm really looking forward to directing this Disney classic. This is a show that many of these kids have grown up with. That makes me excited to see them bring this story to life,” he said.

“I'm also looking forward to the challenge of re-creating the concept of an ocean setting on the stage. There are going to be all kinds of colorful sea creatures and interesting aquatic life in this production. This is going to be a very fun show,” Haines said.

This classic Disney title contains all of the songs from the Academy Award® winning animated feature film as well as three new songs from the Broadway show.

“The Little Mermaid Jr.” takes place in a magical kingdom beneath the sea, where a beautiful young mermaid named Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. But first, she must defy her father, the king of the sea; escape the clutches of an evil sea witch; and convince a prince that she's the girl with the perfect voice.

“This is an exciting year for us,” Haines said of CenterStage. “With the new school district configuration of now having only one junior high school, we have the opportunity to reach all of our district students in this age group. This opens up the performance opportunity to a much larger pool of students than we have had here in the past.

“I'm glad to be working with such a large group of talented students who have performance aspirations in a musical theater setting. I know these kids are going to make this an incredible production,” Haines said.

Tickets go on sale in February.

Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.

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