'Little Mermaid' Production Set for Weekend
The PlayHouse, a Division of Taylor Dance, presents "The Little Mermaid" at the Southern Pines Primary School at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 15, and at 2 p.m. Sunday. Nov. 16.
Ever since Hans Christian Andersen penned "The Little Mermaid" in 1837, it has undergone numerous adaptations. However, his original concept of courage and faith has always been the driving force behind each adaptation.
Twelve-year-old Killian Poplyk has performed in five feature roles since 2007.
"When I'm on stage I forget about everyone in the audience and flow with the story. Prince Eric is kind of hard because it is my first dashing hero type. Usually I play funny roles. But the challenge is exciting."
Riding the rush is seventh-grader Tara Brenner, playing the mischievous mermaid.
"It's a big exhilaration rush when you are on stage," she says. "I want to be an actress and possibly on Broadway when I grow up. We went to see 'Wicked' in New York; I would love to be Glenda in 'Wicked.'"
Acting is a job for fifth-grader Katie Holland.
"Acting really isn't a hobby," she says. "It's something I do and have fun with."
Both Frances Capel and Kathryn Hasty agree it is more than just a hobby. In fact, they have aspirations of making acting their jobs and have both spent time in California enrolled in acting classes and attending summer acting camps.
Sus Wagner, a seventh-grader, also has dreams of being on stage but has a practical backup just in case.
"Acting is a good outlet and great way to express myself," she says. "My dream is to be an opera singer, but if that doesn't work out my second choice is a forensic medical examiner."
The sisters of Maegan Pigg and Elizabeth Connelly have inspired them in different ways. Pigg, a fourth-grader, is enjoying being in her first play.
"I just want to see if I am a good actress like my sister, Elizabeth Pigg, who is at UNCG as a theater major," she says.
The memory of Elizabeth Connelly's sister, Lindsey, who died in 2006 of brain cancer inspires her.
"This gets very hard for me," she says. "Sometimes I don't think I am doing a good enough job. But my sister Lindsey tells me inside I can do this and I just keep going. It's almost like she wants me to be up on stage and make people laugh."
At 55, co-director Paige Morgan has spent her life on stage and teaching.
"It's just a privilege to work with kids that are eager to learn and who enjoy being part of the exciting world of theater," she says. "It offers everyone the chance to be someone else for a brief moment. You leave yourself behind and become a character that lives through you."
One student in particular shares Morgan's excitement in becoming someone else.
Amani Albrecht's first role was Alice in "Alice in Wonderland." During auditions, to her mother's surprise, she spoke with a lovely English accent, winning her the part of Alice.
"I really like to be on stage but when I am outside of acting I am very shy," she says. "When I am acting, I become that person and forget about me."
"We would like to invite everyone to see 'The Little Mermaid,'" says Rita Taylor, director of Taylor Dance and The Playhouse. "These kids have proven themselves. Their energy and enthusiasm is testimony that The PlayHouse is here to stay."
Other cast members are Tara Brenner, Clair Conti, Savannah Fitzgerald, Autumn Gibson, Caroline Gibson, Katie Holland, Mollie Klenzak, Vanessa Lennon, Calli McLean, Caroline Miller, Vanessa Mogensen, Brooke Olinger, and Kristiana Wade.
The Southern Pines Primary School is located on 1250 West New York Avenue. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children. They can be purchased in advance by calling 295-1320.
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