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Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

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Exploring new waters: Senior directors present “Little Mermaid Jr.”

    Students+from+the+Musical+Theatre+class+practice+Ariel+and+Scuttles+scene
    Rachael Richman
    Students from the Musical Theatre class practice Ariel and Scuttle’s scene

    Directed by seniors Rachael Richman and Kaitlin Black, the Musical Theatre class’s work will culminate on Feb. 23 with their performance of the musical “Little Mermaid Jr.” The show’s creative vision, as well as the production process has been completely student-led, with the senior directors making all creative decisions. 

    “[The process] taught me lots of lessons,” Black said. “I learned a lot because we didn’t have that much guidance throughout most of it. It was just like [being an] actual director. We’re the senior directors, and we take on everything. It taught me a lot about leadership, how to deal with other people, and how to work with someone else in a group.”

    Both Richman and Black have had to collaborate throughout the process, with Black taking on choreographed dance numbers and vocals, while Richman led some of the vocals and blocking. However, both directors worked together on picking the show and developing a vision.

    “‘Little Mermaid Jr.’ stood out to both of us,” Richman said. “We really liked the idea that it had like a good amount of roles. Everyone was going to be able to have a solo, but it also was a very fun show.”

    This was the first time that both senior directors had the opportunity to completely lead a whole production, including technical aspects.

    “It’s definitely something new and, being from the actor’s side, it was very different switching from the actor perspective, to the directors perspective,” Richman said “It  gives you an appreciation for everything that really goes into your show.”

    Additionally, the senior directors focused on casting students who are newer to the department. For sophomore Elliott Rotney, who plays Ariel, this is her second show at Vandegrift. 

    “One of my big moments was coaching Ariel,” Black said. “She was more closed off, and shy. I took her under my wing and helped her. Now she’s singing and every time I’m almost in tears, I’m so proud of her. 

    In addition to Ariel, the show also features the voices and choreography of newer members in other roles such as Scuttle, who is played by Evan Turnley, a freshman new to the department. 

    “I would like for [the audience]  to take away new faces,” Black said. “A lot of the people who have lead roles [in ‘Little Mermaid Jr.’] have not had a big role in other shows we’ve done. That means a lot to me and my co-director. We want [these new students] here.”

    ` The students in the class have been working on the production since the beginning of the school year, both during class and after school.

    “When we watched one of our run-throughs, we kind of watched it come together for the first time,” Richman said. “Me and Kaitlin, we both looked at each other and we said how proud we were, how far [the show] came along. It made us very excited to see that final result.”

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    About the Contributor
    Lourdes Hernandez Peraza, Staff Reporter
    Lourdes Hernandez-Peraza is a junior and is excited for her first year on the Voice. In addition to being a part of the staff, she also participates in theater, UIL academics, and National French Honor Society. In her free time, you can catch Lourdes reading, cross-stitching, baking and making smoothies, or doing nail art.

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