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DCHS Theatre students to put on production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.” this weekend
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DCHS Theatre students perform scenes from “The Little Mermaid Jr.” during the school’s December production. - photo by Erica Jones

This Thursday through Sunday, students in the Dawson County High School Theatre department will put on a production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.” at the high school’s Performing Arts Center. 

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DCHS junior Cadence Giovimazzi sings “Part of Your World” as Ariel during the DCHS Theatre production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.” - photo by Erica Jones

The production is based off of the beloved 1989 Disney movie and tells the story of a mermaid Ariel who falls in love with a human. 

Cadence Giovimazzi, who is a junior at DCHS and plays Ariel in the musical, said that this will be her first time playing such a big role in a production. 

“This is the first time I’ve ever had a role so big and it’s definitely a big change but I’m so grateful for it because of all the experience I’m getting,” Giovimazzi said. “I just enjoy what I’m doing so much and it’s really rewarding to see it all come together. I’m so glad that I get to star with these amazing people; it’s all like one really big friend group.” 

DCHS senior Madde Castleberry plays Ariel’s best friend, Flounder, in the play and echoed Giovimazzi’s excitement to act alongside fellow members of the high school’s drama department. 

“This is my second time that I’ve had a lead role; I haven’t had one since seventh grade so it’s been a long time; this is like a whole new ball game because there’s a lot more lines and I’m on stage a lot more,” Castleberry said. “Especially with it being my senior year, I wouldn’t want to do a show with anyone else but these people. We worked so hard, and it’s good to finally get to show people what we’ve done.” 

For tenth grader Haydon Brooks, who plays Sebastian in the production, this will be his first time in a lead role. 

“This is my first lead role; I’ve been doing theater since sixth grade so this is really big for me, this is really exciting,” Brooks said. “It’s just a really fun experience.” 

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DCHS Theatre students perform scenes from “The Little Mermaid Jr.” during the school’s December production. - photo by Erica Jones

This production will be unique in that many of the students have also been involved in every aspect of preparing, directing and choreographing for the show, according to director Maggie Ellis. 

“I’m thrilled to direct the first Disney show I’ve ever done,” Ellis said. “I’m super proud of what the kids have done; they have choreographed, they have directed, they have helped teach music — they have really taken this and it’s been awesome.” 

DCHS senior Jace Trammell is one of the students who has jumped into the production with both feet, she said, and he has taken on the role of assistant director. According to Trammell, who has acted in many other productions before and is playing King Triton in The Little Mermaid Jr., getting to try his hand at directing has been a great experience. 

“It was very different adjusting from the actor to co-director lifestyle, but it was really awesome to see it all come together in the end,” Trammell said. “Our cast was very cooperative and very driven when it came to doing our scenes, so that just made it worlds easier to do our job. It was great to finally see the other side of show business besides just being an actor, because I had no idea what went into it — it feels great to finally have that under my belt too.” 

Similar to Trammell taking on the role of assistant director, DCHS seniors Ava Morrison and Sophia Thiltgen were able to try their hands at choreographing a show for the first time with this production. 

“This is both of our first time choreographing; it was a lot of listening to the music over and over again and thinking about what might work with the music,” Morrison, who also performs in the production as part of the ensemble, said. “It is incredible to see it all finally come together; it is really fun and I would enjoy choreographing other shows.” 

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DCHS Theatre students perform scenes from “The Little Mermaid Jr.” during the school’s December production. - photo by Erica Jones

“We’ve learned to respect teachers; learning to work with my own peers but as a teacher was definitely something I got to learn from,” Thiltgen, who plays the role of Attina in the production, said. “Our cast was very cooperative, so they all worked with us.” 

The students involved in the production have been hard at work on The Little Mermaid Jr. since August, and they each encouraged members of their community to come out and see the musical they’ve worked on for so long. 

“I would encourage people to come out because everyone has seen The Little Mermaid, so it’s a new version — you get to see it with new people, new actors,” Giovimazzi said. “I would also encourage people to come see it just so they can see how much we’ve worked and how much the youth of Dawson County can do when they really go for it. It always feels so good when you have a full house and they’re interactive; that makes it better for the actors as well.” 

Morrison added that, for the students in the high school’s drama department, having the support of the community allows them to continue honing their craft and to be able to bring even better shows to Dawson County in the future. 

“We mainly make money for our program off of the proceeds that we get for people coming to see it, so that helps us get better set pieces or better costuming for the show, for new shows and for rights to a bigger and better show for the next year,” Morrison said. 

“Sometimes it can be rough, but at the end of the day all of us love this program and love coming together to put on the shows that we do,” Trammell added. “It would be really awesome if everyone could see how hard we’ve worked.” 

The Little Mermaid will be showing on Thursday Dec. 1, Friday Dec. 2 and Saturday Dec. 3 at 7 p.m. and on Sunday Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be bought online or at the door and cost $5 for students and $10 for adults. 

For more information or to purchase tickets, go to https://dawsonchs.booktix.com/?fbclid=IwAR04Z9wwYtVQ6zeiBbeTRiwndsMy0hMHZM7j8EYVoxYN40U-0qJpJRRO7JY

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