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Central Christian to present 'The Little Mermaid'

Central Christian School will present "The Little Mermaid" on March 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. at the Central Christian School Performing Arts Center.

Ellen Pill

Central Christian School will present "The Little Mermaid" on March 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. at the Central Christian School Performing Arts Center.
"Kelly Beun has brought a new energy and provided great direction in preparation for the musical production of 'The Little Mermaid,'" said Craig Martin, principal at Central Christian School.
Lara Dudack is directing the pit orchestra with vocal musical direction provided by Tim Shue and Karla McMullen. Kayla Lehman and Beun are choreographing the production. Beun is the director.
"The Little Mermaid" is Beun's first show after taking a break from directing for several years, and it's her premier production at Central Christian. Previously she directed plays and musicals at Lake Center Christian School in Hartville.
The cast of 24 includes students in grades nine through 12. The cast is a mix of experienced actors and those trying out being on stage for the first time.
"It is always so exciting to watch students grow and become better performers," Beun said.
Rehearsals began mid-January and run four or five days per week.  
"The Little Mermaid" was chosen to attract students of all ages. "I wanted to pick a show that might draw audience members of all ages," Beun said. "It has a nice-sized cast to give many students an opportunity to be on stage. It also has a variety of good character parts that give students a chance to use their creativity."
Stage manager for the show is senior Rebekah Amstutz, who honed her backstage craft by starting in her freshman year working on stage crew and working up to assistant stage manager in previous productions.
"I always like the satisfaction of being backstage and helping put a show together and seeing the end product," Amstutz said.
Senior Caleb Crilow has been in a couple of plays and plays the role of Scuttle in his first foray into a musical production. "I couldn't sing," Crilow said, "so that's why I got Scuttle."
Crilow looks forward to possibly being involved in community theater later in life.
"I'm surrounded by a great group of actors," said senior John Lowe, who plays Sebastian.
Lowe, a member of the boys singing Comets as well as concert choir and varsity singers, has been in several productions. This is his second lead part.
"The school really helps push us to do things that are out of our comfort zone," Lowe said. "Last year the director was really pushing me to [take a lead role], and I'm really thankful he did that."
Lowe was reluctant to give away too much about his character and the production. "I like to add my own little spin to each character," he said. "Sebastian is going to be really distraught sometimes. We use the curtain and stage differently in this show. We go down and interact with the audience. It's completely new, which I love."
The production will feature a live pit orchestra composed of Central Christian students and several music teachers. Theatergoers who have enjoyed previous stage productions of the show will find this performance to be complete with the requisite tap-dancing sea gulls.
"Participation in drama productions builds speech and memorization skills, teamwork, camaraderie, character, and the ability to see the world through another's perspective," Martin said. "Our drama program helps students work together to develop skills they can contribute to their communities and churches."
Funds raised by "The Little Mermaid" performances will go toward supporting two senior trips to Pittsburgh. One excursion is community-service focused. Students work with local social service agencies including Light of Life, which provides housing and food for those in need. A spring trip gives seniors an opportunity to enjoy white-water rafting, museums, and other sights and experiences in Pittsburgh.
Performances will be at 7 p.m. at the Central Christian School Performing Arts Center, 3970 Kidron Road, Kidron. Ticket prices are $12 for premium reserved seats and $10 for general reserved seats. Tickets may be purchased in advance online at www.ccscomets.org/events/little-mermaid-musical or at the door if available.
The first name of a Central Christian School senior may be used as a discount code to receive $2 off the purchase price of any ticket. Seniors with 20 or more promo-code uses receive a free meal during their senior trip.

Published: March 9, 2018
New Article ID: 2018180309961