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Lowville middle schoolers staging “Little Mermaid Jr.”

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LOWVILLE — Penny S. Jay didn’t want the lack of a Lowville Middle School musical last year to become a habit.

“We had some personnel changes and it (the production of the musical) just didn’t happen,” said Mrs. Jay, music department chairwoman at Lowville Academy and Central School. “But we decided we had to provide the kids this opportunity, so we’re doing it at the beginning of the year. Scheduling-wise, that made it best for everybody.”

Mrs. Jay has teamed up with Cynthia Graves, a fifth-grade teacher at Copenhagen Elementary, and Brianne Sterling, Lowville Academy and Central High School choral director, to co-produce “The Little Mermaid Jr.” It will be staged Friday and Saturday in the high school auditorium.

“We didn’t want to forget these middle-school students because these are the kids we feed through to come to the high school for its musicals,” Mrs. Jay said. “We want them to have that theater experience.”

She noted that “The Little Mermaid Jr.” has upbeat music, which is great for the kids, who will be celebrating the return of middle-school musicals in the community.

“The kids are really doing well vocally,” she said. “We have a group of talented students who are excited to be on the stage and to perform for their parents and friends.”

Eighth-grader Collin Zehr, who portrays Prince Eric, is one of the students who is pleased about the return of musicals.

“Last year I really wanted to have one,” he said, adding that he is happy with the choice of “The Little Mermaid Jr.”

“I like the different kinds of music that are in it,” he said. “There’s different genres. There’s upbeat ones and meaningful slow ones.”

This is the first middle-school musical for seventh-grader Hattie M. Steele, who plays Ariel. But she’s looking forward to next year’s show and for the ones in high school, which are produced each spring.

“I like the setting of this one,” she said. “There’s not too many musicals that are under the sea. I like the costumes and the backgrounds.”

The show’s choreography was arranged by Katherine Jay, third-grade teacher at Lowville Academy. Student directors are high-school students Catherine Lyndaker, Elizabeth Kelly and Maggie Griffiths.

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The cast list of “The Little Mermaid Jr.,” presented by students at Lowville Middle School:

Hattie Steele is Ariel, Chloe Beehm is Ursula, Collin Zehr is Pince Eric, Zachary Zubrzycki is King Triton, Sydney Brown is Grimsby, Alyssa Brower is Sebastian, Abigail Rockwood is Flounder, Rachel Curry is Scuttle, Hannah Freeman is Flotsam, Rachel VanBuren is Jetsam, Brianna Strickland is Chef Louis and Kelsie Ouellette is Carlotta.

The Mersisters/princesses:

Anna Metzler is Aquata, Maryam Kirch is Andrina, Elizabeth LaClaire is Arista, Gabriella Frappier is Atina, Danielle Lehman is Adella, Jenna Ortlieb is Allana and Sara Wood is Pilot.

Seagulls, chefs, lagoon animals, merfolk, sea chorus, sailors and maids:

Tess Smith, Kendyl Hardy, Elizabeth Compo, Abigail Kaban, Caitlynn Woodward, Phoebe Jantzi, Abygayl Lee, Breanna Seybold, Aliegha Allen, Cole Brooker, Nick Houppert, Brandon Phelps, Gavin Cherry, Josh Barnett and Connor Nicol.

The details
WHAT: “The Little Mermaid Jr.,” presented by Lowville Academy and Central School middle school students
WHEN/WHERE: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Lowville Academy and Central School High School auditorium, 7668 N. State St.
COST: $5
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