Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
Parkwood Theatre Presents The Little Mermaid
This past weekend the staff, students, and community of Parkwood Middle School were treated to a stunning performance of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” PWMS Theatre students lit up the stage with their talent, performing Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
The play was directed by Ms. Nicole DePietro, PWMS Drama teacher. Ms. DePietro has been choreographing the plays for the past 6 years, but this is her first year stepping into the role of director. “I really enjoyed getting to direct this cast,” said Ms. DePietro, “because they were all so supportive of each other and eager to do the best job they could. They worked very hard on this production, and it definitely showed.”
Any audience member would note the incredible singing talent of the students. Mr. Daniel Stanford, PWMS 8th Grade Social Studies teacher, was responsible for teaching the students the music and how to use their voices to tell the story. “It’s important that they realize the songs they sing move the story along.” Mr. Stanford said. “We talked a lot about acting while singing, and how the student’s tone in the song can help communicate their mood.”
It wasn’t only the cast who worked hard to make the show a reality. Mr. Jordan Marmara and his stage crew made up of 7th and 8th graders were responsible for ensuring that all set pieces and props were in place at the right time for the actors to use. It was a huge task, but they accomplished it well, transitioning seamlessly from one scene to the next.
One of the most notable aspects of the performance was the bright costumes and creative makeup worn by the cast. Mrs. Diana Domagala, the grandmother of one of the cast members was responsible for sewing and creating a number of the costumes, including the impressive Ursula costume, whose tentacles rose up to frame her body. The fish of the sea came to life in a rainbow of colors and scale patterned makeup on their faces.
Another important element of the performance was the set pieces built by chorus teacher Mr. Doug NeSmith and parent Mr. Craig Muller. Audience members felt as though Prince Eric’s ship was about to sail off stage, and were transported deep under the sea to the dark and creepy depths of Ursula’s lair. The set was brought to life further by the artistic abilities of Ms. Diane Howie, who painted and created many of the set pieces herself.
The talents of many people led to a spectacular production that wowed audience members of all ages. The program has come a long way from its beginnings 6 years ago, and it is exciting to think about where it will go next.
Written by: Nicole DePietro, PWMS Drama Teacher
Posted: May 05, 2014 by Lisa Chapman