Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

April 10, 2013

Under the Sea: SDES presenting ‘Little Mermaid’


Greensburg Daily News

Westport — South Decatur Elementary students will perform a version of the animated Disney classic The Little Mermaid at the school later this month.  

Called ‘Little Mermaid Junior,’ the play is a performance of the hit Disney film ‘The Little Mermaid,’ which is a tale of love between a dissatisfied mermaid and a gallant prince.

The following synopsis of the well-known fairy tale will likely be familiar to many who have seen the 1989 Disney film.

Ariel, a sixteen-year-old mermaid princess, is dissatisfied with life under the sea and curious about the human world. With her best fish friend Flounder, Ariel collects human artifacts and goes to the surface of the ocean to visit Scuttle the seagull, who offers very inaccurate and comical knowledge of human culture.

Ignoring the warnings of her father (King Triton) and court musician (Sebastian the crab) that contact between mer-people and humans is forbidden (the sea’s primary contact with humans involve fishermen, so King Triton considers humans as nothing more than mere predators), Ariel still longs to be part of the human world.

One night, Ariel, Flounder and an unwilling Sebastian travel to the ocean surface to watch a celebration for the birthday of Prince Eric, with whom Ariel falls in love. A sudden storm hits, and Eric is tossed off the ship. He almost drowns but is saved by Ariel, who drags him to the beach. Upon waking, Eric has a vague impression that he was rescued by a girl with a beautiful voice; he vows to find her, and Ariel vows to find a way to join Eric.

Triton questions Sebastian about Ariel’s behavior, during which Sebastian accidentally reveals the storm incident with Eric. Triton furiously confronts Ariel in her grotto, using his trident to destroy her collection of human treasures. After Triton leaves, a pair of eels, Flotsam and Jetsam, convince a crying Ariel that she must visit Ursula the sea witch, if she wants all of her dreams to come true.

Ursula makes a deal with Ariel to transform her into a human for three days. Within these three days, Ariel must receive the ‘kiss of true love’ from Eric; otherwise, she will transform back into a mermaid on the third day and belong to Ursula. As payment for legs, Ariel has to give up her voice, which Ursula takes by magically removing the energy from Ariel’s vocal chords and storing it in a nautilus shell.

After Eric finds Ariel on the beach, he initially suspects that she is the one who saved his life, but when he learns that she cannot speak, he discards that notion.  He helps her to the palace, where the servants think she is a survivor of a shipwreck. Ariel spends time with Eric, and at the end of the second day, they almost kiss but are thwarted by Flotsam and Jetsam.

Grimsby, Prince Eric’s valet, arranges a singing contest on the third day to locate the owner of the mysterious voice and thus a bride for Prince Eric. When Ariel breaks through the crowd and dances, Prince Eric realizes how much he loves her and begins to propose. However, the sun sets and the spell is broken, turning Ariel back into a mermaid and drawing her into the sea. Sebastian rushes to warn King Triton, who agrees to hand over his trident and take Ariel’s place as Ursula’s slave. When Prince Eric attempts to rescue Ariel, Ursula loses control of her magic shell and Ariel’s voice is restored. Trident in hand, Ursula attempts to harness the power of the seas but creates a whirlpool that destroys her and the eels. With peace restored, Ariel returns the trident to her father.

King Triton realizes how much Ariel cares for Prince Eric and decides to restore her humanity. He gently deposits her on the shore, and Prince Eric rushes up and proposes. As Ariel answers, Prince Eric realizes that it has been her voice all along.

Staging Disney’s The Little Mermaid Junior, has given the South Decatur Elementary students an opportunity to learn that a large production requires many people to work in a variety of capacities to achieve one goal, said SDES music teacher Karen Meeker. The South Decatur Elementary production is a collaborative effort between Lori Bierhaus, art teacher, and Meeker.

The SDES production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid Junior is performed by fifth and sixth grade students. The SDES students participating in the musical have been rehearsing after school, working around sports, studies, their family lives, noted a press release from Meeker.

All can see Disney’s The Little Mermaid Junior on April 25 and 26 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5.

Reserved seating is available by visiting the SDES office or by calling 591-3115.

Tickets go on sale Monday, April 15. Tickets will also be available at the door.

For more information, contact Karen Meeker or Lori Bierhaus at 591-3115.



— Daily News