Look At This Show, Isn’t It Neat CTAA Presents The Little Mermaid


By Taylor Ann Ono
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(Katie Hashimoto | Trojan Times) Maya Nakamoto (second grade), sea creature ensemble, is one of many young children who are a part of the cast. In this all ages musical, all actors have been practicing for the debut of “The Little Mermaid” musical on March 17.

This spring, Central Theatre Arts Academy (CTAA) will be performing a musical of the classic, “The Little Mermaid” at the Pearl City Cultural Center (PCCC). This is the first time that the musical has been held at PCCC, which will take place from March 17 to 19. This is Director Carolyn Taira’s first time organizing a musical at MHS, giving everyone involved a new process to follow, learn from and have fun with.

“I picked The Little Mermaid (because) I knew that this show could get a big draw to it. A lot of people would want to be in it and come watch. I knew I had to pick a show that would be easily accessible to people and family oriented. Also, personally I enjoy (it), I like the music, I like the storyline. The fantasy that it brings is really cool,” expressed Taira.

Everyone involved in the production has been having fun with bringing this young mermaid’s dream to the stage. “(The Little Mermaid is) about a girl who has hopes and dreams to expand what she’s seen. She’s used to being in the water and she wants to see new things. She wants to see what humans are like. She wants to learn what (the human) world is about and she falls in love, but at the same time she wants to stay with her family,” explained Freshman and Lead Actress Kimie Fujioka. Taira added, “My favorite scene (is) when the mersisters are singing. They’re singing this song ‘She’s In Love’ and Flounder comes on, and they’re all gossipping about how Ariel’s in love and they don’t know who she’s in love with. It’s always been a strong scene, that’s why I enjoy it.”

During the production process the actors created bonds and gained a better sense of their abilities. Their roles require them to act, sing and dance—sometimes all at once. “From a director’s perspective, I’ll see that they’ve built confidence, they’ll build new skills. (The Little Mermaid is) different from the last production which was a straight play. In a musical, they’re expected to do more,” explained Taira. “I love watching the bond between the cast grow and watching the students in the cast grow as well, just as people and characters. I always tell them my expectations are high, and every time they’re doing a run through, they always have to feel like they (earned) their spot. My expectation is for them to grow, and they do, and that’s the coolest part to see kids go from where they were into where they’re going.” Fujioka added, “For me I was really shy, especially with singing in front of other people, but I’ve grown. I have to build connections with every person in the show, so I get to meet everyone and their personalities.”

The audience comes to watch the actors perform, but there’s a lot of preparation going into the production that happens behind the curtain. “When you watch a show and see the costumes (and) set, (that’s) really the magic behind theatre, and it’s so cool to be like, ‘Wow, I did that,’” explained Play Production Costume Crew member Junior Christina Casanova. “Students in costume crew design costumes and put it together. It’s time consuming, and you have to be dedicated to theatre, but the results (are) very satisfying.”

Though this is CTAA’s last production for this school year, (all) the hard work and effort that was put into it will make it memorable for anyone who watches.