Weathervane has been my theater home for over five years now. I got my start doing musical theatre camps, and singing with the Joseph kids choir. I was cast in my first show in 2012 (Annie) as an orphan. Being in that production sparked my love for performing and it has only grown since.
I was most recently in Weathervane’s production of “Hairspray” as Amber Von Tussle. This was my first opportunity to play a “big role” in a show, and I was ecstatic. Don’t get me wrong though; I have loved every single show I have been in, ensemble or not. I think that being in the ensemble helps someone grow, and I have learned everything I know today from those experiences. I’ve become a stronger singer, dancer and actress, and hopefully a tolerable cast mate.
Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” has always been a show that is so close to my heart. I was in it once before at Firestone High School as a Mersister and I have nothing but love and happiness toward the thought of doing this production again, and this time as Ariel. I have enjoyed getting to know everyone in the cast, and the kids give out nothing but love and support to me (even if they don’t say it, because I can see it in their adorable smiles).
This long-loved musical is definitely one that families will all love and cherish. Playing Ariel has helped me understand the meaning of the show more than I ever have. She not only is finding her true love in Prince Eric but also finding it in a place that she truly calls her home, somewhere where she feels accepted and loved. Along the way she learns the importance of family.
Jonathan Merechant (Sebastian) has been the best crab I could have ever asked for. His talent, dedication and wisdom never fail to amaze me. Alexandra Hartenstein (Ursula) is a very close friend and I have loved watching her turn into her truly evil character. Connor Powers (Flounder) is my very favorite on-stage best friend. He is such a talented young man who bring the little fish to life. The crowd will love his cute, awkward and lovable character.
My Prince Eric (Sam Fujikawa) also is a pleasure to work with. He was recently nominated for Best Actor in a musical in the Playhouse Square Dazzle Awards. He has been doing productions at Nordonia High School since 2007. He brings so much talent to this production and has been such a lovable and fun stage partner. Chris Simmons, our director, has worked a lot with the two of us and our connection on and off stage has truly grown.
Chris Simmons (Director), Kim Shama-Hanna (Musical Director), Megan Gargano (Choreographer) and Laura Niehaus (Stage Manager) have made the perfect team and I thank all of you for helping the whole cast be the very best they can be. I hope you all can spend a few hours “Under The Sea” with us, at Weathervane Playhouse.
Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. for the first weekend, and at 12:30 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday, at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays for the remainder of the run. Tickets are $14 through $18 and are available by calling (330) 836-2626 or going to www.weathervaneplayhouse.com.