Digital Exclusive: Holy Cross students visit elementary schools as “Little Mermaid” characters

Digital Exclusive

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – A group of middle school students went around to several local elementary schools in costume to tease an upcoming musical.

The cast of Holy Cross’s “Little Mermaid” treated kids to a sneak peek of the show while they ate lunch on Wednesday.

“A lot of these Kindergarteners, 1st, 2nd, 3rd graders haven’t probably heard that we’re even doing it at the other schools that feed to Heelan. We wanted to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to see all the hard work that we’ve done in the last couple of months and see the show that kids are familiar with,” said Gage Fenton, choir director at Holy Cross.

Gage Fenton, choir director at Holy Cross, said the cast traveled to four elementary schools, introducing themselves, perform a skit, and sing a song from the musical to the students.

“It’s magical, to be honest! To see their faces light up when they see the whole cast, and they see their favorite characters, they see Ursula, they see Prince Eric and Ariel. It’s so fun, especially to talk to them, hear all the cute things they say,” said Abby Demers, “Ariel.”

Abby Demers, who plays the character “Ariel” in the show, said it’s fun to think that kids see her as the Disney character, singing her songs.

Fenton mentions Holy Cross was able to get some special help in getting the rights to the musical.

“To have a tie to Ron Clements, who graduated from Bishop Heelan, and he helped us get the rights quickly and got us a discount on the rights, which was really nice and helpful. Since this is the first production we’ve ever done, we really don’t have a budget for this,” said Fenton.

All the characters were able to bring joy and smiles to the students through music and took pictures with the kids afterward.

“It’s so cool to have them all coming up because I love theatre so much and to be able to be that character and not just be a person playing that character is so magical,” said Demers.

The cast originally started practicing in March 2020 for the musical but had to shut down due to COVID. Fenton said most of the performers had the roles last year, making it easier to start up again this year.

“I mean, so many things have been taken from them in the last year and now things are…there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and we all can, I think, see it. So, it’s exciting that we can put on something a little extra special this year since so much was taken from them, I think it’s exciting,’ said Gage Fenton, choir director at Holy Cross.

The Holy Cross middle school students will perform “Little Mermaid” on May 13 and May 15 at 7 p.m. at the Bishop Heelan High School Auditorium.

For more information on Holy Cross Blessed Sacrament’s “Little Mermaid” musical, click here.

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