Under the Sea at WRHS
Under the Sea at WRHS
Submitted by: Joe Contreras
Community Outreach Intern
Disney’s The Little Mermaid, the musical and fantastical story of a mermaid living under the sea who falls in love with a Prince living on land, was told by the Weston Ranch High School Performing Arts Department for four nights of packed crowds.
The Little Mermaid musical was brought to life with roles being played by the combination of students from the Weston Ranch High School Choir and Drama Geeks.
Ariel, the mermaid living under the sea, tries to find her true love in Prince Eric but she must first go through the limitations of not being human and an over protective father who is the King of the Sea. While trying to become more human by having feet, her evil aunty Ursula tricks her by giving her feet in return for Ariel’s beautiful singing voice.
The planning for the musical began long before the new year and took months to build sets and to cast. Every student in the performing arts department played an important role in the musical, they were all challenged with the auditioning process.
This helped students to learn how auditions for actual musicals are ran and students gained more confidence in their singing and dancing abilities by participating in the auditions. Students were thankful that the new block schedule allows more time for rehearsals during school.
The Director was Drama teacher and English Department Co-Chair Bonnie Stogner. Musical direction was provided by the Choir instructor Jessica Claud. Costumes were created by Dianna Claud, the mother of Jessica Claud.
Stogner said, “The most difficult part is funding.”
She explained that the performing arts department receives no additional funding to perform a musical, so the drama club must earn enough money to support the musicals which typically cost between $1,500 - $5,000, depending on production fees.
Stogner mentioned that her favorite part of the musical was when the students worked in ensemble and finally sang in harmony while dancing at the same time.
She said, “I liked it because they finally realized how talented they were and how greatly they could contribute to the overall show when working together as an ensemble group.”
She also explained that the musical teaches responsibility, teamwork, and discipline. She mentioned that she really sees students evolve into young adults during the process.
The motivation behind the musical is finding an outlet for students in the performing arts to showcase their talent, and to bring live musical theater to the community.
After receiving their first applause, the cast realized that the audience really loved their performance. Seniors Erika Pongos and Marquis Hannon played the roles of Ariel and Prince Eric. For both, it was their first major role in a musical.
Pongos is planning to attend Modesto Junior College and get an associate’s degree in Nursing.
She said, “The hardest part was remembering lines and ques.”
She also mentioned that Nursing is her first option but going into Broadway could be another option down the road.
The Musical helped Hannon learn how to memorize a large amount of dialogue and he is proud of being selected for a main role.
The musical was also performed for elementary students from Great Valley and August Knodt.