In the cold days of December, Princess Ariel, Prince Eric, Ursula, Sebastian, Flotsam and Jetsam, and a host of others began preparing for the March performances of The Little Mermaid at New Manchester High School. Students and teachers in the Fine Arts Magnet Education (FAME) program at the school take their preparation seriously.
Stage crew, set builders, lighting, sound, actors, dancers, and instructors spend about three months preparing and rehearsing for this kind of performance. They have intensive music and dance rehearsals after school and on weekends. Director of Theatre, David Kote, teamed with the rest of the FAME faculty to select and prepare for a show that best fits the talent of the students in the program.
Robert Connor, the FAME Director at New Manchester, is proud of the holistic approach of the program. “We really don't operate under the notion that our students are stars. Our main focus is to train them and prepare them for post-secondary options (college or professional). For us it's about giving our students the advantage by training them in ways that they cannot get other places. Our program has grown exponentially over the past four years. We are proud of their growth.”
Students in the program applied and auditioned and/or interviewed for acceptance. They are required to have good discipline and a strong academic record. Once enrolled, said Connor, they “...enjoy the opportunity to experience intense study in the areas of; Dance, Theatre, Vocal Music, Instrumental Music and Visual Art.” The instructors are “teaching-artists that train the students at an advanced level. “
The Little Mermaid stage production is adapted from the Disney film. The original Broadway run was nominated for several Tony Awards and the music was nominated for a Grammy for Best Musical Show Album. Connor shared, “You will see an exhibition of some of the best talent Douglasville has to offer. This show is a great family show and will exceed your expectations. We pride ourselves in saying, ‘We don't do high school shows, we do shows at a high school!’”
Evening performances will begin at 7:00pm March 8, 9, and 10. There is a 2:00pm Matinee on March 10 and a 3:00pm show March 11. Student tickets are $8.00 in advance and adults are $12.00. For more information visit their website at newmanchesterhigh.ga.dch.schoolinsites.com.