The Little Mermaid Makes a Splash at South

By Salah Hilowle

South’s thespians took elementary theatergoers, from across OPS, under the sea with their production of “The Little Mermaid” in October.

Throughout the performance, the youth-filled audience was captivated by the production. It is a testament to the quality of South’s production that no student was sleeping or looking down at an electronic device.

The kids were so engrossed in the performance that gasps were heard whenever something shocking or unpleasant happened. The audience even sang along to popular songs like “Under the Sea” and “Part of Your World.”

As the curtain closed at the end of the play, the children were smiling and cheering. Some even asked to shake hands with the actors and actresses.
The cast did an outstanding job with maintaining the fourth wall and remaining clearly in view while on stage. No performer turned their back to the crowd unless it was part of their script.
The cast also projected their voices clearly and effectively, colored with emotion that really impacted the audience. Each of the actors seemed very comfortable on stage, even with dynamic blocking and choreography.

Across the entire cast, the vocals were in tune, on pitch, and drew the audience in even more. Based on their reaction to her stage presence, the audience’s favorite performance was from OriLana Parks who was portraying the sea witch Ursula, the antagonist of the play. Her first appearance on stage was heralded with a song, which she performed with gusto. Her nefarious performance was made all the richer with Nyla Dawson and Jeffrey Atilano-Duenas as her slimy sidekicks, Flotsam and Jetsam.
Emma McKeone and Sam Pineda, cast as Ariel and Prince Eric, managed to maintain their composure, avoiding laughing or breaking character when the young audience vocalized their discomfort during romantic moments. As the leads, McKeone and Pineda carried the show well, making the audience laugh and become misty-eyed at all the right moments.

In all, if you missed South’s production of “The Little Mermaid,” the audience loved being part of that world as evidenced by the thunderous applause and permanent smiles on the audiences’ faces as they left the theater.