• Sebastian the crab, played by Nik Braswell, talks to King Triton, played by Christian Sanders, in a practice performance of “Disney’s The Little Mermaid,” on Monday, June 19. The musical will close the 2016-17 season for Graham Regional Theatre. (Leader photo by Thomas Wallner)
  • Ariel, played by Skylar Peters, sings to Prince Eric, played by Race Ricketts, in “Disney’s The Little Mermaid,” which is being performed by the Graham Regional Theatre starting this Friday at 7 p.m. (Leader photo by Thomas Wallner)
  • Ursula, played by Katie Huitt, sings with Flotsam and Jetsam, played by Nan Poteet and Kem Forbus, in a practice of the Graham Regional Theatre production of “Disney’s The Little Mermaid,” which has its first performance on Friday. (Leader photo by Thomas Wallner)

It’s time to sink or swim for GRT’s ‘The Little Mermaid’

The Graham Regional Theatre closes their 2016-17 year with a summer musical performance of “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” which will be showing for two weeks starting Friday, June 23, at 7 p.m. in the Memorial Auditorium.

GRT Director Christian Sanders has been working with a cast of over 40 members for the last five weeks to make sure the performance is ready for its debut Friday.  Preparation for the scheduling of show must be done far in advance though, Sanders said.

“We have to plan about a year in advance,” he said. “It’s against licensing and we are not allowed to announce a show until we’ve paid for the rights and so we decided a year in advance what happens.”

Even after five weeks of practice the group is just starting this week to run the show fully and get a feel for the scenes as a complete story. Sanders said as the week progresses the group will become more accustomed to the material.

After the conclusion of their Summer musical and a brief rest period for the organization, the 2017-2018 will kick off at The Perry theater. In choosing the performances with Graham Regional Theater Board, Sander said he wanted a diverse set of shows.

“Just because something sells better than something else is not the deciding factor,” he said. “We are a nonprofit and we are here to put as much culture and different ideas and different shows in front of people as we can.”

The next season will increase the amount of shows from six to ten per season and will have other different kinds of shows scheduled in between the theatrical performances.

“When you see bits and pieces of the trick, when see just little bits of what’s happening it starts to get you excited, but once you see how it fits together from one scene to the next and how the show flows they get much more excited as this week happens,” he said.

The first performances of “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” will be on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. from June 23 to July 2 in the Memorial Auditorium. For more information or to purchase tickets online visit the theater's purchase page here.

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