As summer winds down, area students are diving into an exciting performance at the Five Flags Theater, as Disney’s The Little Mermaid, presented by Rising Star Theatre Company, swims its way to Dubuque. Adapted from the classic Disney movie and the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, this fishy fable tells the timeless story of Ariel and her friends Sebastian, Flounder, and Scuttle, as she pursues the human Prince Eric in the world above. The production, opening August 10, promises irresistible songs, memorable characters, and a whale of a good time for the whole family.
Rising Star Theatre Company (RSTC), a local nonprofit theatre company, produces three shows each summer. This June, their production of Pippin featured local high school and college students, and from July 14-22, over 70 cast members of all ages took to the stage at the Five Flags Theater to present the classic tale of The Wizard of Oz. In their final production this summer, which runs August 10-13, over 200 area youth will perform in the company’s youth production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
RSTC established its youth production in 2010, seeking to create a show where every child who auditioned could receive a role. Now in its eighth year, the show still fills that need: any child age 8-18 may audition, and all will be cast, providing a valuable learning opportunity for the youngest actors as they look up to their older, more experienced peers.
This summer, 235 students will fill The Little Mermaid’s ranks of sea creatures, sailors, mersisters, and more – and director Megan Schumacher loves working with every single one of them.
What I love most about the kids is the energy they bring to every rehearsal, and their enthusiasm and creativity for everything they do,” said Schumacher. “Their creativity rubs off on me and helps me see new possibilities and directions.”
The actors comprise two separate casts, whose names have been taken from some of Ariel’s most famous lyrics. The “Gadgets and Gizmos” cast has been rehearsing in the mornings for the past few weeks, while the “Whozits and Whatzits” cast practices in the afternoons. Each cast will perform three times.
Though the rehearsal schedule is tight, with only six weeks of practice before the curtain rises, Schumacher is confident in her young actors. “We work really hard, but we have a ton of fun,” she said. “That’s the most satisfying part for me- knowing that we created this wonderful production and had a good time doing it.”
The “Gadgets and Gizmos” cast will perform August 10 at 1:00 PM, August 11 at 7:00 PM, and August 12 at 2:00 PM, and the “Whozits and Whatzits” cast will take the stage August 11 at 1:00 PM, August 12 at 7:00 PM, and August 13 at 2:00 PM. Tickets cost only $10 and may be purchased at the Five Flags box office or online through Ticketmaster (online service fees apply).
Come out and support the area’s talented youth as they dive “under the sea” to tell you this magical tale!
For more information visit: risingstartheatrecompany.com.