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Glenbrook students collaborate, perform The Little Mermaid

Anne Ribordy, staff reporter

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Whether students are singing and dancing on the stage, constructing the set with stage crew or playing music in the pit, students from GBS and Glenbrook North are fusing their talents together to put on the 2018 Glenbrook musical, The Little Mermaid. The story of Ariel, a girl trying to find her way in the human world, will be performed on April 26-28 at GBN in the Sheely Center for the Performing Arts according to the Glenbrook North website.

Before rehearsals started, the production started off with auditions to formulate a cast, according to senior Rachel Schwartz. Schwartz, who plays Ariel’s sister Aquata, says that there were different audition options depending on whether you wanted to be a singer or dancer.

“[The audition process] was a little bit scary but I had done it before, so I knew what I was getting myself into,” Schwartz said. “They had dance videos that you could choose between, and if you wanted to be a dancer there were other ones you could do. You had to sing one song, and you could opt to sing another one, which is what I did.”

According to Schwartz, her character is self-centered and envious of Ariel. Because of the contrast between herself and her character, it has inspired her to dig deeper into her character to accurately convey Aquata, Schwartz says.

“I’m portraying a completely different part than I feel like I am, and it’s just fun to work with my other sisters because we are all so different,” Schwartz said. “But, at the end of the day, they’re the nicest people I’ve ever met.”

Senior Zachary Adams plays King Triton, Ariel’s father, and says he likes the variety of emotions that his character goes through when transitioning from a caring father to an angry parent. According to Adams, he is portraying a complex character with a wide array of roles and reflecting his character’s feelings into his attitude helps him learn more about King Triton and developing his acting skills.

“It’s interesting to take a step out of my own body and just for ten seconds be able to realize myself in a character, and be able to fully take on the tapestry of being King Triton, Ariel’s father, and filling that role for the audience to see,” Adams said.

According to Adams, another significant part of the production besides the cast is the music in the pit and the crew. The music helps transform a peaceful scene into a tense one, Adams says.

“The music in the show is just so beautiful,” Adams said. “The crew is always doing a great job putting together amazing set pieces that really bring out the atmosphere and can immerse anybody that is watching into the culture of the sea.”

Last year’s musical, Fiddler on the Roof, and this year’s musical, The Little Mermaid, are completely different, Adams says. Seeing this year’s musical will be a distinct experience than from seeing last year’s musical, according to Adams.

“The Little Mermaid is a bit more light-hearted,” Adams said. “Going back to Fiddler on the Roof, there’s this devious sort of painful history behind the series, whereas The Little Mermaid kind of turns that on its head.”

What makes the musical dissimilar from other GBS productions is the collaboration between GBS and Glenbrook North. According to freshman Danny McNeela, who is in the ensemble, instead of competing against Glenbrook North, the two schools are pooling resources to make a better production.

“I think it’s a good opportunity to meet other kids and it’s obviously two times the talent if you have two times the people try out,” McNeela said. “I think it just makes it a better show overall.”

McNeela said that because of all the time the cast members must spend together to prepare for The Little Mermaid, it has created a tight-knit family. Schwartz agrees with McNeela about the family aspect of the show. No matter how big or small of a part anyone has, everyone deserves to be a part of the musical family, Schwartz says.

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Glenbrook students collaborate, perform The Little Mermaid