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Locust Grove Middle School performs ‘Little Mermaid’
by Christine Fonville
February 04, 2014 01:38 PM | 2218 views | 0 0 comments | 29 29 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Henry County residents can get reacquainted with Ariel, Flounder, Sebastian and the rest of the cast from the beloved Disney movie when Locust Grove Middle School students perform “The Little Mermaid Jr.” Wednesday and Thursday at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $7 at the Henry County Performing Arts Center at 37 Lemon St. in McDonough where the play will be performed.

About 60 middle school students in sixth through eighth grades are involved in performance, stage and crew parts.

Although the play is based on the popular children’s movie, director Shelia Gatlin said it is a musical the entire family can enjoy. And a musical, she said, is something the school has been interested in performing since it opened five years ago.

“Around our second year of the school’s opening, I approached our principal, [Anthony] Townsend, and asked him if it was okay if I started planning a musical for the next school year,” Gatlin said. “Needless to say, he was thrilled and very supportive and shared with me that he truly believed that the fine arts at our school was our biggest strength.”

She said she chose the show because it featured many prominent roles for girls.

“It always seems like we have just enough boys to fill any lead roles and then have girls play minor male roles, but this year we are lucky to have so many talented young ladies for the roles of Ariel, Ursula and Sebastian,” Gatlin said.

Since holding auditions in May, the students and teachers have worked hard preparing and practicing Monday through Friday.

“The students cast in the play were scheduled to take drama classes as an elective during the school week and after-school practices began after our fall break,” said producer Tamie Mason. “In November, the entire cast together began having rehearsals every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday rehearsals from 8:00 a.m. to noon began in January after winter break,” she said.

Though the school performed another Disney musical, “Mulan Jr.,” two years ago, Gatlin said using the performing arts center as a venue will enhance this year’s play.

“The Henry County Performing Arts facility is a state-of-the-art theater and we plan to take advantage of all it has to offer, from UV lighting to 26 wireless head microphones for the cast,” she said.

Gatlin and Mason encouraged residents to see the performance because, they said, patrons will be amazed at the quality of the production.

“All of the months of rehearsals and all of the hard work is about to come to fruition,” Gatlin said. “The students’ experience of teamwork, a common goal and the camaraderie that comes with knowing that you took your audience to a very special place, together, makes for an entertaining hour and 15 minutes.”

If you go:
What: "The Little Mermaid Jr."
When: today at 7 p.m.
Where: Henry County Performing Arts Center


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