Under the Sea
Barbara Ingram School for the Arts brings the wondrous, enchanting fairy tale story Disney’s The Little Mermaid to life at The Maryland Theatre.
The shows begins Friday, April 15 under the direction of Ruth Ridenour, director of theatre arts, with musical direction by Kyle Weary, BISFA director of vocal and choral music and choreography by Shylo Martinez.
The production is based on both the recent Broadway national tour production and the beloved original Disney animated movie and features new music alongside traditional favorites by original composers Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. “We are excited to be the first group in the area to bring this entertaining, exciting story to the stage at the historic Maryland Theatre,” shares Ruth. “It’s an all-school production featuring 75 student performers, 15-student technical crew, and 15-member pit orchestra ensemble.”
Preparations began in December with students, teachers and faculty, and many volunteers. “We had a tremendous outpour of talent from parents, past parents and friends of the BISFA community. Tech High loaned us their facility to build scenery and we had many help with sets and costumes. Everyone has been kind and the cast is ready and capable,” states Ruth.
The leading performers and its supporting cast bring vast talent and energy to BISFA’s Disney’s The Little Mermaid production. Bailey Hovermale brings the lovable mermaid Ariel to life with her enchanting portrayal. Kyle Jacobus is cast in the role of Eric, Ariel’s enamored suitor. Cameron Geis portrays feisty Sebastian, who offers plenty of hilarious entertainment. The evil Ursula, who tries to keep Ariel and Eric apart with her host of devious doings, is alternately played by Addison Prosser and Nadia McClain. “All our leads plan to pursue the arts in college,” Ruth shares. “At BISFA, we do all aspects of our productions just as they are done in professional theatre. It’s a great professional experience and opportunity for the students providing them a solid foundation for pursuing careers in the arts,” Ruth shares.
The story’s characters return for a fantastical adventure that takes audiences into the wonders of the sea, thanks to Broadway Motions Design’s innovative projection technologies incorporated into BISFA’s production. “They contacted us to see if we would work with them to design and create projections for this specific production. The projections create the illusion of the sea as well as eliminate the need to raise and lower nearly a dozen scenery drops. The beauty is that we had significant input into their design and they are really tailored to our show. I wanted some animation in them as homage to Disney’s innovative animations. Broadway Motion Designs really put their heart and soul into them,” Ruth explains.
Other production highlights include flight effects by Las Vegas-based Flying by Foy. “The effects bring magic to Scuttle the Seagull and the scene where Eric falls from the boat,” Ruth shares. Audiences will enjoy the Second Act’s quartet performance and the evil antics and portrayals of Ursula’s slippery eel minions. “The choreography is amazing throughout and is especially fantastic when Chef Louis discovers Sebastian and tries to incorporate him into the meal he’s preparing for Ariel and Eric,” she laughs.
BISFA Foundation continues its tradition of hosting an opening night reception with “In the Lagoon.” “The Foundation has always hosted an Opening Night Reception for the donors. Most recently we have added feeding the students, crew, musicians and teachers before the Opening Night performance, giving board members opportunity to mingle with students and wish performers well,” Mimi Dickinson, BISFA Foundation executive director, shares.
BISFA will present workshop presentations during production weekends to elementary students from 13 Washington County schools demonstrating the technical development and rehearsal preparation for The Little Mermaid, hoping to stir interest in “live theatre” with young children in the community.
“Disney’s The Little Mermaid by BISFA is a real family affair – everyone takes ownership. The pool of talent makes this a fantastic, magical production that is one for the history books,” concludes Ruth.
Disney’s The Little Mermaid
Public theater by Barbara Ingram School for the Arts Theatre Department
April 15, 16, 22, 23 at 7:30 p.m.
April 17 & 24 at 2:30 p.m.
The Maryland Theatre
21 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown, MD 21740
BISFA Foundation Continues “Opening Reception” Tradition
The Opening Night Reception “In the Lagoon” will be held April 15 at 28 South, 28 S. Potomac St., Hagerstown, MD from 5:30 to 7 p.m. prior to 7:30 p.m. performance. Reception ticket cost: $60/person (includes orchestra ticket to show) or $35/member for Hearts for the Arts Golden Ticket members. Advance purchase only. Call 240.347.4934 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for details. Confirmation of receipt will be sent by email or phone and tickets will be given out at event. Online reception registration is available through barbaraingramfoundation.org/opening-night-reception.