MCS Club’s 34th play takes audience ‘under the sea’

Sold-out show brings back a Disney classic

Mount Carmel School’s Theatre Club presented their 34th production, The Little Mermaid Jr., in a two-day special show on Friday and Saturday night at the school’s auditorium.

According to MCS president and Theatre Club adviser Gavin Deleon Guerrero, the play was sold out at its premiere show and had even more people on the second and final show.

“Despite all the headaches, heartaches, and body aches, what these students pull off with each production is truly miraculous,” said Guerrero. “Staging a Broadway musical in particular is very difficult, but after months of preparation, and with the support of their parents and families, the cast and crew of The Little Mermaid Jr. performed another miracle, taking the audience to another world under the sea.”

Director and junior student Aysia Santos is proud of the event’s success, saying the group practiced vocals, choreography, and acting three days a week. “I was not sure if we could pull it off but we did,” she told Saipan Tribune. “This was another successful event and it was definitely a team effort.”

This year’s play brought to life the animated Disney classic The Little Mermaid, about the mermaid Ariel’s quest to leave her ocean home to live in a world above. The 16-year-old mermaid princess is dissatisfied with her life under the sea and longs to learn more about the human world. On her journey, she defies her father, the king of the sea, escapes the clutches of an evil sea witch, and convinces a prince that she is the girl with the perfect voice.

The 60-minute musical, based on the 2008 Broadway production and the 1989 animated Disney film, marked the club’s 15th year of stage and film. It was also the first production to showcase the singing, dancing, and acting talents of students from first to 12th grade.

Sophomore Lance Deleon Guerrero, who played the role of the servant crab Sebastian, said this was his first time to sing on stage.

“This was the biggest role I’ve ever had in a play, so I worked extra hard. I rehearsed my songs in the shower, watched what I ate before I sang, and was very self-conscious about how I delivered my lines. This specific character is the only one who has a strong and unique accent, so delivery was a priority,” he added.

Star student actors in last weekend’s show included Junior student Luisa Camacho, who played the role of Ariel, Markel Sparkle Toves, who played the role of Prince Eric, Jonathan Pangelinan, who portrayed King Triton, and the evil sea witch Ursula, played by freshman Brianna Hunter.

Saipan resident Kanani Lee said the play was magical and beyond perfection. “The play was fun and interesting. I am excited to see what MCS has for us in the future!”
The Theatre Club staged the show on the school’s historic stage where the CNMI Covenant and Constitution were signed. A portion of ticket proceeds will go to the “Save the Stage” campaign.

Guerrero said that staging the show on the historic stage was a way of tangibly demonstrating the school’s faith in the campaign.

“In fulfillment of that faith…enough support poured in for the campaign that we were able to make it usable for this production, which included a backstage area, a higher back wall, and a repainted stage floor and facade. We thank all of our donors for their support, and look forward to continuing the ‘Save the Stage’ campaign in the months ahead,” he said.

The Theatre club already has its eyes set on two more plays to take place next school year: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and The Snow Queen.

Thomas Manglona II | Correspondent

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