Q&A with Megan Drahos, producer, vocal and pit director of 'The Little Mermaid'
Q: Why did you choose "The Little Mermaid" as your fall play?
Megan Drahos: We chose "The Little Mermaid" for several reasons. First, it was an excellent choice for our talented actors and pit musicians. Also, we knew this show featured many named, supporting, and ensemble roles to showcase the abilities of our students. Lastly, "The Little Mermaid" is a classic Disney musical that will attract a wide audience.
Q: What have been some of the challenges in putting together this production?
Drahos: A big challenge has been the time frame for putting on such a large-scale production. Auditions happened the week after school started, and we only had about eight weeks to put the vocals, blocking, choreography, and the set/tech elements together. We welcomed these challenges that helped bring out our best.
Q: What has been most rewarding or gratifying?
Drahos: The most rewarding part of the experience has been seeing the students create the story that comes to life on stage. To see all of the work that the students have done and the way they have transformed since the beginning of the rehearsal process is such an incredible experience. It has been my great joy to see the actors grow into their characters and the pit musicians bring out the charm and magic of the Menken and Ashman score with skill and passion. It's been a privilege to work with such talented students and musicians. Finally, it's been great to see their hard work rewarded when set pieces, lights and sound were added.
Q: What criteria did you use for casting the lead roles? Was this a difficult or easy show to cast?
Drahos: This show was challenging to cast. The leading, supporting and ensemble roles require great vocal ability as well as acting. We had a large amount of talent. The character development was another large part of the selection process. Throughout the process, the performers displayed substantial talent and spirit.
Q: What do you think audiences will like best about this show?
Drahos: "The Little Mermaid" is rich in character, music and story, as well as filled with positive messages. The magic and charm of the Menken and Ashman score do not disappoint. I think you'll find it hard not to sing along to the tuneful and beloved "Under the Sea," "Kiss the Girl" and "Part of Your World." Also, the bright costumes, scenic design and special effects will help the audience journey "under the sea" with us. This show teaches us that we can find love and happiness, no matter the obstacles, if we are confident in ourselves and step outside of our comfort zone.
Q: Anything else you'd like to share with readers?
Drahos: We have some special events happening during the show weekend. On Friday, Nov. 8, and Saturday, Nov. 9, the adults can enjoy beer, wine or a specialty cocktail at Ariel's Grotto, Also, we welcome everyone to join us for a "Picnic Under the Sea" with the cast on Sunday, Nov. 10 at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 10 and under. Preregister for the picnic at www.rosaryhs.com/picnic.