The Little Mermaid makes its debut at Fairbury High School



Ariel, played by Leah Mach ’21, sulks after her father King Triton, played by Jayson Klaumann ’19, discovers her cave of treasures and destroys her trinkets. Photo by: Caitlin Nimmich

After much hard work and preparation, the theater department finally performed their annual production, this year doing a rendition of The Little Mermaid.


Directors Darby Davidson and Joseph Fitzgerald chose the musical based on the number of roles, the score, and the amount of time that would have to go into it. The Little Mermaid fit all of the criteria.


Prince Eric, played by junior Dakota Gladson, heroically catches Ariel after she finds that using her newly attained legs is tougher than it looks. Photo by: Destini Warnke

“We considered a few other musicals, but after spending some time with scripts and music, it was clear that The Little Mermaid was the best choice for this year,” Ms. Davidson said. “We had to think of potential cast members, music selections, and time commitments… However, with a larger ensemble and a few principle roles, The Little Mermaid was the perfect selection!  As the music program district-wide continues to learn and grow, we definitely look forward to doing more in-depth and involved productions!”

The musical had about 700 people in attendance between the three total shows. This year, they changed the schedule to two shows on Saturday and one on Sunday instead of one each on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.


Senior Britney Scheetz filled the role of Scuttle, the obnoxious and illiterate yet lovable seagull. Scheetz prompted many laughs from audiences with her comical portrayal of the bird. Photo by: Destini Warnke

“Since we had a change in our schedule, with Friday’s show moving to Saturday afternoon, we weren’t quite sure how that turnout would go.  We ended up with a rather decent audience that afternoon (and it seems as though we weren’t missing any Husker football!),” Ms. Davidson said.


The cast and crew worked tirelessly over the course of several months to memorize lines, construct the various set pieces, and perfect their performance. Those involved in the production also included volunteers that donated their time to the musical.


After her fight with her father, Ariel is approached by her evil Aunt Ursula’s henchman, Flotsam and Jetsam portrayed by Michaela Buchli ’19 and Lauren Patton ’20. They convince Ariel to pay her aunt a visit, where she’ll make a deal she will soon regret. Photo by: Caitlin Nimmich


“With cast, crew, tech, pit, and directors, we had 54 people directly involved in the production,” Ms. Davidson said. “Obviously, this doesn’t include all of our volunteers who gave their time to help with the many small details, large set pieces, makeup, ticket-taking, and door monitoring!”

The time the cast and crew put into their production paid off, with 700 fans to show for it. The success of the show was certainly worth the long nights and tireless effort those involved put in.


Isaac Robertson ’19 was a fan favorite in this scene as Chef Louis, when he is preparing Ariel and Eric’s first meal together. He sings of his violent methods of cooking fish and shellfish while a horrified Sebastian cowers beneath his cart. Photo by: Destini Warnke


“Overall, I am extremely proud of the outcome after several months of commitment and hard work!  The cast truly left it all on the stage time after time, even battling through sickness and fatigue,” Ms. Davidson said. “To see them feed off the audience was refreshing after having several weeks of closed rehearsals.  We (Mr. Fitzgerald and I) pushed our cast, crew, techies, and pit to their limits and they certainly didn’t let us down!  We are proud directors!”