Life is Better “Under the Sea” With Northgate’s Performance of The Little Mermaid


Bailey Bullard, Staff Writer

Northgate’s Drama department has blown us out of the waters once again with their recent performance of the beloved musical, The Little Mermaid. From colorful costumes and detailed sets, to engaging choreography and incredible talent, the production of the show was nothing short of memorable. By the end of it all, the cast and crew had us all wishing that we were “part of their world.”

“It was an actual dream,” Lily Robles shares, who had the opportunity to play the lead role of Ariel. “I have always wanted to be a princess and it has been a dream role of mine… It was such a wonderful way to end my senior year with such a fun show. Getting to choreograph and be apart of the show meant a lot to me! … We also had some AMAZING talent… There was a place for a lot of people to shine!”

“Ursula is definitely going to go down in my book as one of my most favorite roles that I’ve had the privilege of playing,” Ashley Stephens explains. “Before this role, I had never played the villain, so it was a cool experience getting to explore a different side of my acting. Also, it was so much fun getting to play such an iconic character… Most things in theatre are over the top, but this character had to be even bigger… I love a good challenge, and that was some of my motivation in auditioning for the role.”

“Performing with such a hardworking, talented cast was incredible,” Kendall Profitt, who played the role of Flotsam, adds. “I learned so much from my mistakes, long [and] difficult rehearsals, and my peers. It was thrilling and an experience I’ll never forget… I loved playing the role of Flotsam! … [it] gave me opportunities to improve and try new things!”

The Little Mermaid was one of my favorite shows that I personally have done in my lifetime and was my favorite to do at Northgate by far,” Jared Simmons,who portrayed the comedic Chef Louis, describes. “When I first found out that I was playing this part, I was extremely nervous. Something as crazy and rambunctious as a lunatic chef was not my average character. However in the end, the character was a joy to play…”

“Performing in The Little Mermaid was so amazing and I loved getting to work with everyone,” Carson Bullard adds. “I was a part of Ensemble … and it was so much fun! I got to do many fun group dances and have many different, amazing costumes.”

“The best part about preparing for the show is watching it all develop from scrap and a bunch of random ideas,” crew member Bethany Brandon explains. “Building the set was amazing- painting wood marks onto boats, cutting styrofoam to look like rocks, and even sewing all the costumes. But the best part is that in the end of every show, you develop a relationship with the people that is hard to put into words, kind of like a family… I believe the cast did amazing. I am so proud of all of them for all of their hard work, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.”

“The show was incredibly successful,” Drama director Mrs. Scott shares. “We’ve received nothing but positive feedback from our audience and the community.”

All of the praise and memorable experiences would not have been possible were it not for the time and dedication that the students, parents, and teachers involved poured into the show. Beginning in December, the cast and crew spent endless afternoons preparing for the stunning end result. After the roles were assigned, lines had to be memorized, vocal parts had to be learned, choreography had to be both taught and remembered, blocking had to be thought through, and the costumes and set had to be designed and put together. “In the theatre world, Little Mermaid was an incredibly green cast.” Mrs. Scott explains. “Over two thirds of our production’s cast was new to theatre. This made the production more challenging because it required more focus on teaching new material.”

“…  This was a vocally demanding show…” Robles says. “So I had to really focus on getting my songs to the places where I wanted them!”

“… Overall the most challenging part was learning all of my props and being the character that I had to play,” Simmons shares. “When I first started learning how to play the character, I would often use my voice to manipulate the ability before my face. This was an extremely hard habit to break. I had to learn to use my facial expressions rather than my voice to be the character.”

For Bullard, the costume changes presented a challenge. “I played six different roles- including a chef, a maid, a seagull, a sailor, a firefly, and an underwater creature,” she says. “The best part though was that I got to be a part of almost every dance number even though I didn’t have any lines.”

“The most challenging part [of the show] is stitching together all the loose ends and making sure everyone works together to make sure the show runs smoothly,” Brandon adds.

Included in the checklist of tasks to accomplish was that any cast member that portrayed an underwater creature had to learn how to use Heelys to add to the watery effect. While this was a fun addition to the play, the learning curve provided its own set of obstacles. “Despite getting frustrated with time, music, and ourselves sometimes,” Profitt says, “The most challenging aspect of the show, for many of us, was learning to Heely in a short amount of time. It can be a lot harder than you think!”

“I’m not even going to kid myself—learning how to heely was honestly great,” Stephens shares. “It added some extra fun to rehearsal, especially in the beginning. We were all slipping and sliding around, and it was hilarious!”

Yet despite all of the challenges, headaches, and obstacles, this group of students pulled off yet another outstanding performance. “The cast put so much effort and energy into the show, and it absolutely paid off,” Profitt explains. “We put our hearts on the stage and shared our passion both with the audience and with each other. Every night was amazing.”

“… I couldn’t be prouder of this cast,” Stephens says.  You would’ve been hard pressed to find someone who wasn’t giving it 110%… I am confident that NGHS Theatre has an extremely bright future moving forward, and I can’t wait to come back each year and support the shows.”

“I loved working with students who constantly want to be better,” Mrs. Scott adds. “We have some students who always try their best and work their hardest — these are my favorite people to be around. They make being a part of the production awesome for all involved!”