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The Little Mermaid Jr.
June 24 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Disney’s “The Little Mermaid, JR.” will be playing at The Matthews June 22-24. The performances are at 7:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday, June 22-23. A final performance is at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 24. Tickets are on sale now for $8 adults and $5 youth (18 and younger). They may be purchased online at www.matthewsopera.com or at The Matthews’ art gallery during business hours, Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or by phone at 605-642-7973.
The 60-minute musical, designed for elementary, middle school, and high school aged performers, is based on the 2008 Broadway production and the 1989 animated feature film. The Matthews’ children’s theater group cast, the Peanut Butter & Jelly Players, contains approximately 30 students.
“Most of our children’s plays are junior versions of the original productions. That means that “The Little Mermaid, Jr.” is kept to around an hour’s length and the content is modified to pertain to the age of the actors. However, many of the famous original songs are in the play!” says Ann Froelich, play director.
Participation is free to all children and is partially underwritten with grants from the Spearfish Optimist Club, the Zonta Club of Spearfish, the Spearfish Area Community Foundation, the South Dakota Arts Council, and a private anonymous donor. “It is only through generous local support that we are able to offer this program free of charge. A month-long theater camp runs into the four figures per child in many parts of the country. We believe accessibility to the arts is important to all children – not just those families who can afford to pay high fees,” remarks executive director, Sian Young. “We fundraise throughout the year to ensure that this camp happens.”
Ann has been trained in the theater by her former students in her elementary classrooms, by the cast and crews of previous Peanut Butter & Jelly productions, and by several directors of adult shows at The Matthews. She loves young people and music and dance and is very grateful to all who have inspired her to “play” with young people in a musical theatre production. “It’s their show!” says Ann. “It’s amazing to see their designs and written suggestions for costumes, props, and the set.”