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Jennifer Woods photos Ariel’s sisters perform a dance under the sea during Friday morning’s showing of “The Little Mermaid” at Park Theater. - photo by Jennifer Woods

Friday morning was a special day for area students from Hickory Creek Elementary, Irving College Elementary, Spencer Elementary, The Learning House and home-schoolers. All 460 students, along with teachers and parents, were enthusiastic to be treated to the Dream Reality Group and Park Theatre Group production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”

In Disney’s story based on Hans Christian Andersen’s tale, rebellious 16-year-old mermaid Ariel is fascinated with life on land. On one of her visits to the surface, she falls for a human prince. Ariel makes a dangerous deal with the sea witch Ursula to become human for three days to be with her new love. But when plans go awry for the star-crossed lovers, Ariel’s father, King Triton, must make the ultimate sacrifice for his daughter.

Creative director for “The Little Mermaid,” Logan Taylor said, “Visually this show is like something at Disney World. The crew has outdone themselves. I remind the actors and crew they are fortunate to do this in a rural community. It is a blessing for them and us.”

Elijah Hernandez, a senior at Warren County High School, plays Sebastian the iconic crab. 

“This show is fantastic,” said Hernandez. “It is nothing like the last version. Other productions show more feeling. This one plays with lighting and special effects.”

The lights, music, sound, costumes and set designs transformed The Park Theater into a majestic sea and beyond. With Dream Reality Group teaming with The Park Theatre Group, the production’s budget increased to where everything could be amped up and extraordinary.

Kristin Green and 3-year-old daughter Hadlee were eager to see the show. Hadlee was dressed in her mermaid outfit and carried her mermaid dolls with her. 

“I grew up loving Disney movies,” said Green. “Hadlee is really big into Disney princesses. She calls herself Princess Hadlee.”

“The Little Mermaid” production closed Saturday night at Park Theater. Dream Reality Group will be holding auditions soon for the summer production of “High School Musical 2.” 

You can find more information at www.drgmcminnville.com on the home page under Audition Info.