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Close to 70 children appear in Henderson's 'Little Mermaid Jr.'

By Clare McCarthy
July 12, 2017 at 4 p.m.

Close to 70 children, ages 4 to 18, will take the stage July 13 at the Henderson Civic Theatre for the musical, "The Little Mermaid Jr."

Director Gina Hughes says it's the theater's second largest production ever and 74 children are involved as cast members, stage hands and technical crew.

"Our leading children's production had 86 (children) a few years ago and that was '101 Dalmations,'" Hughes said. "We're close this year but we didn't quite beat that one."

"The Little Mermaid Jr." follows the same storyline as Disney's "The Little Mermaid," but Hughes said some of the scenes and songs in the show will be different. She said the children's shows tend to have shorter, simpler songs that are easier for the cast to learn.

"The kids have been awesome," Hughes said of the cast. "Some, of course, have been here several times for other shows… but watching the new ones that have never been on stage before — they get really excited and you can tell when they really enjoy it."

Hughes also said the show will feature a variety of special effects that audiences have not seen before at Henderson Civic Theatre.

"We have a wonderful light board that we're really just tapping into, and so a lot of this (production) is going to have light and sound effects to go along with the cast," she said.

Hughes said the theater has had the light board for several years but haven't had the opportunity to use it much until this production.

"Our other productions haven't really required many lighting special effects," she said. "For this show, the majority of it is special effects and lighting, so it's pretty fun."

Hughes said many of the scenes transition from under the water to on land, which creates an interesting spectacle for the audience.

"So we have the water effects and the lighting and then you can go from under the sea to on land in just a few seconds," she said.

The theater tries to have one children's production a year, usually in the summer so that students are out of school. She said although other productions throughout the year typically involve an adult cast, the theater is planning on starting a children's theater specifically designed for children to act in year round.

"It's the first one we've ever done," Hughes said of the children's theater. "So we're excited."

Tickets for "The Little Mermaid Jr." are available at the Henderson Civic Theater and can be purchased by calling (903) 657-2968. Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students and seniors (ages 55 and up).

The show will run July 13-16 and July 20-23, with show times at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and at 2:30 p.m. Sundays.



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