Under the Sea at GVT – Greenbrier Valley Theatre presents Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid Jr.’

Greenbrier Valley Theatre (GVT), the State Professional Theatre of West Virginia, proudly presents the Youth Education Program’s production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, music by Alan Menken and book by Doug Wright. Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and the Disney Film produced by Howard Ashman and John Musker and written and directed by John Musker and Ron Clements.

The musical runs Mar. 18-26 at 7 p.m. with a Pay-What-You-Can preview performance Mar. 17 at 7 p.m. and a matinee performance Mar. 20 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for general admission, $13 for seniors and $11 for children/students. For tickets or more information, call GVT’s Box Office at 304-645-3838 or visit www.gvtheatre.org.

Mermaid Princess Ariel strikes a dire bargain with the sea witch Ursula to pursue her dreams of becoming human and finding her true love, Prince Eric. Featuring Ariel’s friends Flounder, Scuttle and Sebastian and the classic songs “Part of Your World” and “Kiss the Girl,” Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” is appropriate for all ages.

Starring 17-year-old seniors Jules Kessler as Prince Eric and Mary Claire Ickes as Ariel, this production showcases outstanding young talent.

“I am always amazed at the talent of the kids in the Greenbrier Valley. It’s very impressive to see their commitment,” Education Director Courtney Susman said.

Many of the actors grew up with Disney so it’s not hard to understand their dedication. Ickes began acting at age five as Marta in GVT’s High School production of The Sound of Music. She is a member of Greenbrier East High School Choir and participates in Young Life with her church. Though her schedule may be busy, Ickes has made “The Little Mermaid Jr.” her main priority and is excited to bring this particular Disney favorite to life.

“It’s cool to create a world of water on stage, to master swimming on stage,” Ickes said.

Like Ickes, Kessler is also heavily involved in extracurricular activities. He is a member of the GEHS marching band and choir and Trillium Performing Youth. Kessler explained that though his schedule is hectic, he enjoys his time at GVT.

“GVT for me is something that I can just have fun with. It’s fresh,” Kessler said.

Many cast members share classes and participate in the same after school activities, and Kessler knows that if he has any doubts he can turn to them for support.

“They’re all really talented. I look to them for encouragement and inspiration,” Kessler said.

Also featured in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.”: Charleigh Carter, Georgia Foster, Sarah Fullen, Sophia Gum, Corey Jones, Shaylen Lafferty, Kaelin Maro, Jacob Masters, Emily McClung, Sarah Miller, Sydnee Miller, Emarya Montgomery, Cedar Moore, Jade Napier, Jordan Reed, Khalil Samuels, Neely Seams, Sarah Stacy, Olivia Voltaggio, Ashton Webb and Jed White.

Kessler, Ickes and the whole cast, led by Susman, turn GVT’s stage into an underwater kingdom featuring all of the beloved characters and songs of the animated classic.

“If anyone grew up with this they will smile for the whole show,” Susman said.

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