Riverbank High School Drama will present Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ at the RHS Black Box Theater, 6200 Claus Road, in a series of performances later this month. Admission is $5 for all ages. There will be an evening performance at 7 p.m. on Fridays, March 15 and 22; Saturdays, March 16 and 23 and matinees will be held on Saturdays, March 16 and 23 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
The Black Box Theatre is being transformed to the bottom of the ocean to host the Little Mermaid production. The process began with a scale model of what the stage is going to look like so that everyone has the same vision. RHS stage craft and construction teacher Al Scoles and several students are in the process of crafting a stage fit for a mermaid. The former auto shop building was converted into the Black Box Theatre. Scoles said it took a lot of work and they had to make several changes. They painted the whole inside of the building black, installed the light systems, the students have done all the electrical work, and the stage is mobile. They can move the stage anywhere they need according to the production that they are staging for, said Scoles. In many of the productions utilizing the theatre, they have several scene changes so they had to create acting areas on the stage for the actors.
For this production, Scoles said there were several steps needed in creating the ocean on stage, from painting to building things. The students made undersea rocks out of papier-mâché and then had to paint them to look like rocks. The students do most of the work, but Scoles oversees the work and makes sure everything is safe. They don’t have very much funding, the teacher said, so they try to reuse everything they can or find new purposes for them. The whole process takes approximately two months, with crews working roughly an hour a day and an occasional weekend to make sure they stay ahead of production dates.
“We will go through and critique this over and over again before we are finished,” said Scoles.
RHS Drama teacher Stacy Blevins and her cast of students have started rehearsals on this production. Blevins is the director and the producer of the plays that are held at the Black Box Theatre.
For more information visit RHS Drama on Facebook or call the high school (209) 869-1891.