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Student production heads under the sea for ‘Mermaid’
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Riverbank student Angel Gamez portrays Ursula, a sea witch who offers a mermaid princess a temporary opportunity to become human so that she can earn the love of a prince, within three days. It was performed by the Drama Department of Riverbank High School in its Black Box Theatre on March 23 and 24. Ric McGinnis/The News

Over the past weekend, the Drama Department at Riverbank High School successfully staged Disney’s Little Mermaid JR in its Black Box Theatre on the Claus Road campus.

They put on four shows over the three days. The curtain rose on both Friday and Saturday evenings, March 22 and 23 and there were afternoon matinees on Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24.

The stage production was based on the 1989 animated Disney film, and that, loosely based on the 1837 Danish fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen.

In the show, Mermaid princess Ariel, played by Yumali Duran, defies her father under the sea, King Triton, portrayed by Anthony White. The defiance comes after Ariel meets, and saves, Prince Eric, Allison Vernon, on the surface.

Looking to change her circumstances, Ariel bargains with Ursula, the sea witch, played by Angel Gamez, to gain legs and the opportunity to live with the prince on the surface. Of course, Ursula has designs on taking over the kingdom beneath the sea from King Triton.

Will she or won’t she, did she or didn’t she? Those were questions that were answered through the run of the play.

In addition to the cast from the Drama Department, a couple of players were from Cardozo Middle School, and students from the RHS Art Department helped with the sets and lighting design.

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Members of the chorus ensemble perform early in the RHS Drama Department’s production of The Little Mermaid Jr. in the school’s Black Box Theatre over the weekend. The students were directed by Drama Teacher John Thiel, with a large cast and crew creating the underwater scenes with sets, lighting and sound effects, with four performances over three days. Ric McGinnis/The News
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Anthony White plays the role of King Triton in Riverbank High’s Drama Department production of The Little Mermaid Jr., in the Black Box Theatre on campus over the last weekend. They staged four performances over three days, with evening shows on Friday and Saturday, and matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Ric McGinnis/The News
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RHS student Mia Ruiz performs in The Little Mermaid Jr., a production of the Drama Department. She portrayed Sebastian, a hermit crab, whose full name is Horatin Thelonious Ignacious Crustaceous Sebastian, an associate of the title character Ariel. The Disney show was performed over the weekend by the high school’s Drama Department, along with some Cardozo Middle School students, in the Black Box Theatre. Ric McGinnis/The News