USD 382 students have been busy rehearsing for the stage musical of Disney's "Little Mermaid Jr." to be performed on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 14 and 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 16th at 2 p.m. at Liberty Middle School Auditorium. Not only have they rehearsed almost nightly the past month, but parents and community volunteers have been pitching in to sew costumes, create publicity, build sets, and find props. USD382 students play all roles.

The show follows the movie for most of the story, but there are enough differences to make the audience wonder how the plot will resolve. Ariel, the mermaid played by senior Brittnee Hill, only wants to be human, and so in a proverbial plot twist she sells part of her soul, in this case her voice, to an evil villain Ursula played by Samaria Kohman, to turn into a human. A trio of sidekicks tries to help her along the way: Sebastian (Josh Powell), Flounder (Brynn Hampton), and Scuttle (Zach Stone).

Her father, King Triton, played by senior Johnathon Hurt, tries to intervene, but Ursula's goons, Flotsam and Jetsam, keep foiling every plan that might help Ariel. Sophomores Katie Buhler and Miranda Flemming play these two mischievous sidekicks.

Ariel continues to try to win the love of Prince Eric, a human (junior Jacob Schaefer), but she must contend with "The Contest" and a bevy of beautiful princesses (Natalie Bare, Hailee Colerick, Kierson Maydew, Haley Mitchell, Kara Nixon, and Nicole Reichenberger.)

Eric and Ariel get advice along the way from humans, Grimsby (David Schotte) and Carlotta (Courtney Blankenship). But humans stand in the way of Sebastian helping Ariel when Chef Louise, also played by Blankenship, goes after the lovable crab with the help of his sous chefs, played by Arica Alexander, Lauren Beardsley, Bailey Gillig, Brandon Guerra, Caleb Hitz, Morgan Schmidt, and Bryden Whitfield.

Several new numbers have been added to the traditional movie songs, and the Mersisters get to sing a fun, do-wop, sixties-style number. Alexander, Beardsley, Blankenship, Gillig, Schmidt, and Laurisa McAbee play the Mersisters.

Along with these roles, several other character parts make a big splash in the show: Pilot – Joseph Loomis, Gulls Guerra and Whitfield, and the deliciously delightful tentacles, played by Allison Clark, Dylan Cox, Olivia Gallaugher Fink, Rheagan Hoover, Kieara Kaufman, Hogan Thompson and Guerra and Whitfield again. In addition to these roles, there are Sea Horses and Sailors.

A chorus rounds out the cast with Shawney Gallios, Angel Colerick, Anna Cantino, Brynn Jellison, Sage Kohman, Alyssa McGraw, Nikita Melhorn, Jadyn Thompson, and Tiger Thompson.

In addition to the cast, a construction and lighting crew also showed up to work on Saturday, Oct. 19th with over 40 people there. Sue Buhler has designed costumes. Brandon Riney is leading the light crew with help from Dakota Hankins and Mitch Evans. Dee Hill is organizing publicity. Kerry Thieme will be painting much of the set, and an additional 10 to 15 students will be working backstage during the show on sets, costumes, and props. Parents have been volunteering with a wide variety of needs for the show.

Plan to see this fun production with such classics as "Part of Your World" and "Kiss the Girl." Tickets will be sold at the door for $5 per person. For more information, contact director Rose Beilman at or vocal director Brandon Wade at