Contributed Ariel is played by Abi Haynes and Sebastian by Aidan Kennedy in Xtreme Theatre’s upcoming production of The Little Mermaid.

Xtreme Theatre presents The Little Mermaid

The Little Mermaid plays at the ACT in Maple Ridge May 17-20.

Xtreme Theatre is returning to the ACT with their senior cast’s production of The Little Mermaid.

There are 50 children on cast for the production ranging in age from 14 to 18 years old.

The Little Mermaid tells the story of Ariel, a beautiful mermaid princess who dreams of becoming human.

Her father, King Triton, the ruler of Atlantica, warns her that contact with humans is forbidden.

But she ignores him and watches a birthday celebration on a ship for a prince named Eric.

When a violent storm tosses the prince overboard, Ariel saves him and brings him to shore, leaving him before he regains consciousness.

She vows to find him again and makes a deal with an evil sea witch named Ursula, who grants her wish to be human for three days in exchange for Ariel’s voice.

Ariel must then receive a kiss of true love from Eric to remain human permanently.

“If you read the original story, there are a lot of deep meanings in it,” said producer and coordinator Wendy Holm.

“Some people don’t like the story because they say Ariel was this real rebellious child and she gets her own way at the end.”

But Holm doesn’t see it that way. She believes the author of the original book, Hans Christian Andersen, had a deeper message.

Holm sees a redemptive story with deep Christian connotations.

“How God sent Jesus for us and we didn’t deserve him,” Holm said.

“That we don’t deserve to be shown grace and we don’t deserve,” she continued.

“Ariel didn’t [deserve grace] because she put the whole kindom in havoc. But her father came after her and forgave her and was willing to give his life for her,” she added.

In this production, as in the junior production of James and the Giant Peach, there will be a lot of projections to tell the story along with imaginative costumes and props.

“There are parent volunteers that go above and beyond the call of duty,” explained Holm.

One parent made jellyfish out of clear bubble umbrellas and white lights.

The production is the broadway version.

It will be based on the 1998 Walt Disney animation, except with more songs.

Songs like Under The Sea, Kiss The Girl and Part Of Your World will be immediately recognised by fans of the movie.

Holm says what makes putting on The Little Mermaid fun is that it is a true community project.

“It’s not just the students who are putting in their time but it is also the parents who come along side and they have work parties to paint sets,” said Holm.

Xtreme theatre was created by Holm to provide an opportunity for all home-schooled children to experience musical theatre. The group has a Christian leaning, but children of all faith backgrounds are welcome to join.

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