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'Under the Sea' Show First of Its Kind on East Coast

Moorestown Theater Company opens the East Coast premiere of "The Little Mermaid" Wednesday at Hope Community Church.

You’ve never seen The Little Mermaid quite like this.

When the  (MTC) opens Little Mermaid Wednesday night—the company’s 57th production—they’ll be the first theater troupe on the East Coast (outside of Broadway) to ever stage the show.

“What it means right now is, there’s nowhere for (audiences) to see it anywhere,” said director Mark Morgan. “It’s interesting to create with nothing to draw on. It’s kind of a rarity.”

MTC’s production of The Little Mermaid, based on the Disney film of the same name, is the culmination of the first session of Summer Stage, MTC's annual musical theater camp, now in its seventh year.

There are 61 children in the cast, all between the ages of 6 and 16. Read on for brief snapshots of the show’s three leads:

Name: Morgan Snowden

Age: 14

Character: Ariel

How many Moorestown Theater Company shows have you done? Fourteen, including starring roles as Belle in Beauty and the Beast and Mulan in

Most fun aspect of doing this show: The most fun I get to have is with all my friends. I get to do what I love. This is what I love to do. I don’t wanna do anything else. This is what I want to do as a career. And to be the part that I’ve always wanted, this is just such a dream honestly … She’s always been my favorite Disney princess, always. As soon as I heard they were doing this play, I was like, “Oh, I’m gonna try out.”

Most challenging aspect of doing this show: Definitely getting down her character. She’s a teenager, but she has so many different aspects to her. She wants to become human. I already know what it’s like to be human. So it’s kind of hard to see the things that she wants.

Why should people come see this show? People should definitely come see the show cause it’s honestly a great family film, er, play. The people in this play have honestly worked so hard. And it’s a good message.

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Name: Jack Morgan

Age: 16

Character: Prince Eric

How many Moorestown Theater Company shows have you done? 50-plus. I’ve been the bad guy a couple times. I’ve never been the prince. I’ve been Gaston (Beauty and the Beast) and Jafar (Aladdin). Bad guy’s more fun.

Most fun aspect of doing this show: I love the camp. We learn a lot of good things from the teachers here. They’ve helped me with some of my acting. I’ve learned a lot of new musical things too. We’ve got a good music teacher this year. There’s a lot of talented kids here. It makes me happy to see them work, and more young kids are getting into it. One of our lead characters is an 8-year-old and he’s very talented.

Most challenging aspect of doing this show: I’m currently doing another role in another show too (Footloose, opening July 19). And it’s just the combination of both. This one is before Footloose, but Footloose is a lot more to do, so it’s tough.

Why should people come see this show? Just, y’know, support the arts. It’s a fun family thing. You can come see it, then go hang out on Main Street somewhere. These kids have put a lot of effort into it. It’s gonna be a great show for just having three weeks of rehearsal time. I hope a lot of people come to see it.
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Name: Melissa Tucker

Age: 14

Character: Ursula

How many Moorestown Theater Company shows have you done? This is my third one. I’ve been doing theater for seven years, and I’ve been usually roles like Ursula or the lead (played Rapunzel in MTC show).

Is it more fun to play a villain? Yeah. Because you can play it as big as you want it. There’s no limits to it … Being a villain, you can be sarcastic and conniving. You can’t just be one personality.

Most fun aspect of doing this show: I love Ursula because she’s just this loudmouth kind of person. I like playing the roles where everyone can hear you when you’re talking, where everyone watches what you’re doing because you’re just so loud and bossy.

Most challenging aspect of doing this show: Probably being funny with the sarcasm that she has … And the song, “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” the last part of it, the notes. But that’s little things.

Why should people come see this show? I’ve never seen anything like this. I love going to see shows, so I would definitely come and see Little Mermaid because it’s a classic. The way people will see this, it’s a totally different view on it, with all the costumes and seeing it live is a totally different experience than going to watch a movie.
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The Little Mermaid opens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, with subsequent shows at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday, and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday. All shows will be held at .

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased through the MTC website or at the door. The theater company is also offering a special “Ariel” double feature: Since the female leads in Little Mermaid and its next show, Footloose, are both named “Ariel,” theatergoers who purchase tickets to both shows at the same time will receive $5 off the total price.

Those looking to take advantage of the deal must call in advance. Call 856-778-8357 for more information.

Mark Morgan July 12, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Rob, Thanks for a great article, highlighting three of our very talented young leads. I don't know if it is a coincidence or not, but our opening night performance tonight of "Disney's The Little Mermaid, Jr." was SOLD OUT! And not only was this great news financially for the Moorestown Theater Company, it was even better news artistically as many audience members walked out saying that they thought this was a great show and possibly the best opening night performance that they had ever seen at MTC. So thank you to tonight's audience, many of whom I'm sure are allso "Moorestown Patch" readers, for showing community support for community theater. If you want to see for yourself, we have five more performances on Thursday (10 AM, 2 PM, & 7 PM) and Friday (10 AM & 2 PM) at Hope Community Church (235 W. Main Street). So that you don't get shut out if we have any more sellouts, please order your tickets on our website (www.MoorestownTheaterCompany.org). Thanks, and see you at the theater! Mark Morgan Producing Artistic Director and Director Moorestown Theater Company and "Disney's The Little Mermaid, Jr."
Rob Scott (Editor) July 12, 2012 at 04:35 AM
That's great news, Mark. Happy to help. I have to say—at the risk of sounding subjective—I was impressed with the rehearsal I attended the other day. At least the part I saw looked great. Congrats to you and the cast.
Munira Wells July 12, 2012 at 12:50 PM
The show last night was wonderful! This is my daughter's second show with MTC and we continue to be amazed by the their productions. The show was fun and the kids looked like they were having a blast performing. Thank you Mark, Carol Ann, Annette and entire team for a great evening.
Renee Walsh July 12, 2012 at 01:13 PM
We were blown away by the talent of these young children. And I have to say young because the voices on the two leading ladies belies their ages ( I had to check the program). The costumes were the best with LED lights and fabulous textures. Little Sebastian nearly stole the show with his incredible energy and accent. We were thrilled with this opening night production, hard to believe you all did this in less than 3 weeks. The grandkids have been talking about how much they have enjoyed their camp days and now we see why. Thank you for this experience for them, one they will never forget. A great night's entertainment.
erin clark July 12, 2012 at 01:52 PM
What an incredible show! The costumes were amazing, the kids were fantastic and the stage crew did an awesome job with set changes and keeping the kids on track. It is truly astounding how much these young actors were able to accomplish in just under 3 weeks. Congratulations to the entire MTC family on an awesome opening night!
Paula lynch July 12, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Mark and Company Thank you for an incredible show! What an amazing production in a 2 1/2 weeks! Thank you for creating such a wonderful opportunity for so many children to be part of this great experience. Break a leg Gavin Lynch and family
Joe Waninger, Jr. July 13, 2012 at 10:53 AM
I may be slightly partial ( my daughter is in the show) in my forthcoming comments, however, it is impossible not to be extremely impressed with the entire MTC Company, this rendition of Little Mermaid is awesome. The cast, support crew, production/management and administrative staff are all excellent, i am proud to have my daughter associated with such a fine group of people.

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