On June 28th and 29th, 26 children from YWCA New Britain’s Youth Theater ventured “Under the Sea” to perform two shows of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr. at Trinity-on-Main in New Britain.
Even with warnings of a thunderstorm looming before the Saturday performance, the two shows sold 350 tickets. The production was directed by Jason Ferrandino, produced by Sandra Butler, choreographed by Christine Kuzia and the Stage Manager was Juan Berrios.
The dedicated cast consisted of fifth to tenth graders from New Britain, Southington, Plainville, and Berlin. The close-knit cast started practicing in May and immersed themselves in the world of Ariel three days a week for eight weeks. In this time period, they had to memorize their script, songs, dance moves, stage blocking and become familiar with the set. One actress, Alyse, left rehearsal and exclaimed, “Theater people are my people!”
The performances included many small details that truly brought the ocean adventure to life. The costumes, which were made in-house, were breathtaking. Audience members were able to purchase “stargrams” to send to their favorite cast members backstage. These cute delights were shaped like a starfish and contained special messages. They were delivered to the children during intermission. The concession stand was also filled with Little Mermaid-esque treats. Parents made cookies that resembled seashells, cupcakes decorated with edible shells, coral reef popcorn, and goldfish crackers.
“This was a very challenging show, especially costume-wise, but very rewarding. Just to see the excitement in the kids’ eyes on opening night said it all!! Everything we have heard so far has been positive from the cast members, the parents and finally from the audience,” said Chris Kuzia, choreographer and YWCA Performing Arts and Athletics Director.
Congratulations on a great performance, YWCA New Britain Youth Theater! As Ariel would say, “Who says that my dreams have to stay just my dreams?”