Go “under the sea” for TexRep’s production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid

(Photo by Alex Rain | TexRep)
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Texarkana Repertory Company has kicked off its 27th year with Disney’s The Little Mermaid. This broadway musical is highly anticipated and has sold out the first weekend. The upcoming shows will be held Friday and Saturday at 7:30 and a final show on Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

Artistic Director, Michael Cooper says, “We try to do a varied season with some shows for adults and others for family entertainment. The Little Mermaid is a wonderful family show and it’s really special to get to do things like we are today, where the children can meet the cast. This show kicks off our 27th season.”

Leading roles are played by: Julia Hornok as Ariel; Zac Shipe as Prince Eric; Amanda Ables and Catherine Rickett as Ursula; Tom McElroy as King Triton; Taylor Coleman as Sebastian; and Chase Livingston as Scuddle.

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Hornok has performed in several productions with Silvermoon Children’s Theatre, such as: Alice in Wonderland, Into the Woods, and Seussical, and The Nutcracker with the Texarkana Community Ballet.

She describes her favorite aspects about portraying Ariel, “I have always wanted to be a princess ever since I was a little girl, now I finally get to live that out and be one. Not only was the role so much fun to play, I just loved working with the people at TexRep. Michael is phenomenal as a director and he really helped me bring the character to life.”

Aside from the phenomenal musical numbers and catchy choreography, the costuming is quite extensive, with holographic fish, colorful sea creatures, and ornately dressed characters. Kaye Ellison, Costume Director, explains how Ursula’s costume took four days to complete.

“Costuming a production always has variable components including time period, character, activity and colors. When a person needs to transform into an animal or mammal or other, then the challenges are changed and the design concepts take on other components. The Little Mermaid is full of challenges, the hardest being Ursula, the sea witch who is based on an octopus but calls herself a squid in one of her songs. “

“Not only do you have to consider the look of the costume, but the evil color, movement to recreate water fluidity, and statement of opposition to King Triton’s good. I love a challenge and The Little Mermaid provided plenty. We rented half of the costumes ( mostly sea creatures and sister mermaids) because i knew if i made them, i would never use them again. The ones myself, Martha Dryden, Linzi Johnson and Tanya Fowler made, we are all very proud of and loved the experience.”

The set of Disney’s The Little Mermaid was primarily created by cast members and volunteers, with props by Wendi Evetts and Sara Barry. The most difficult prop to create was the main boat. It hasn’t been the most involved set, like as in August: Osage County, but there are so many details that had to be accounted for, like the seaweed hanging from above and the spinning canoe during the “Kiss the Girl” musical number.

Considering the musical numbers, the intricate costuming, and ornate set, Disney’s The Little Mermaid is a TexRep production you surely won’t want to miss. Bring the family out this weekend and sing along with the cast as they delve “under the sea” for this classical children’s story.

(Photo by Alex Rain | TexRep)
(Photo by Alex Rain | TexRep)
(Photo by Alex Rain | TexRep)
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