BV students to perform ‘Little Mermaid’


Buckeye Valley students will take audiences “Under the Sea” this weekend as they debut their production of “The Little Mermaid.”

Director Hannah Fuller said the show is based on the 1989 Disney animated film but has new things that fans of the movie haven’t seen before, including new jokes and songs. The 85-person cast includes students ranging in grade level from third to seniors at Buckeye Valley High School and has been in production since January.

The cast will perform the show on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and on Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the door.

Fuller said she enjoyed working with the elementary school students alongside their older castmates.

“(It’s been years since) we had an elementary school cast, and we’re excited to welcome them back and inspire a new generation of future performers,” Fuller said. “One of my favorite things working with our young performers is their enthusiasm and genuine curiosity. They want to know how everything works. They want to know why Ariel’s hair is a different color today. They’re definitely leaning into the magic, not only of ‘The Little Mermaid,’ the story, but also the magic of theater, and they’re excited to be a part of it.”

Fuller said she is excited for audiences to see the show this weekend.

“It comes with everything Disney; the big songs, the big colors, the big costumes and set pieces are all there,” Fuller said.

The show is led by sophomore Haley Bridge as Ariel, who said she has had “so much fun” working with the cast and crew.

“It can be (stressful to be the main character) but with the amount of support that the directors and cast give, it definitely lifts that weight of your shoulders,” Bridge said. “You just go out there and have fun. I was excited (when I was cast) because I knew how big this was for me. I was so happy to be able to do this my sophomore year. It’s been a journey, but it’s been the most fun I’ve had ever.”

Junior Eliza Finley plays the villainous sea witch, Ursula, and spends part of the show in heavy make up and in elaborate costuming. Finley said the production shows how much the theater program is growing at Buckeye Valley High School.

“It feels like every year gets better,” Finley said. “We’re more put together. This is the biggest production we’ve tried to put on. It can be a struggle working up to where we are today, especially with as popular as the show is. That can be nerve-wracking to try and live up to expectations, but it’s been a great experience and a challenge to build our skills and prove how awesome we can be.”

Finley said playing the villain is “definitely a change” after a streak of playing supporting characters.

“It’s an exciting change, and I’m enjoying it a lot so far,” she said.

The show has been a new experience for senior Riley Boyles, who said he usually does track in the spring instead of the musical. Despite his inexperience, he said he’s not nervous for the show’s opening, where he will play Ariel’s father, King Triton.

“I’ve done public speaking and stuff so I don’t get nervous too easily,” he said.

Boyles added he watched other schools perform the show online and said the cast at BV is “definitely the best.”

Luke Flavell, a senior, plays Prince Eric in the show and said he’s watched several versions of the show and took inspirations from lots of different sources.

“You take what you need,” he said.

Flavell has enjoyed the rehearsal process and working with the cast.

“I like the liveliness of the cast and the overall show,” he said. “It’s such a big production. Everyone is so kind. I’m looking forward to the show.”

Dennis Parker, a senior, plays Sebastian in the show and said this is his first year in a theater production.

“I think it’s really fun,” he said. “With this, every single day you’re working on something new. You’re doing a different song or dance. Every day is something new and you’re with a new group of people. It’s really fun to get to know everybody.”

Parker said he’s impressed by the members of the cast who are currently in elementary school.

“I expected it to be kind of hard because I have a lot of problems with being impatient but working with them has been so fun and has made me really enjoy working with kids and their excitement about everything,” he said.

Parker added he’s looking forward to the show because the community always “comes together for the musical.”

Lillian Hogan, a junior, is hard to miss as Scuttle, the seagull. Hogan said she has enjoyed putting on the vibrant show.

“I am so excited for this musical because it’s so colorful and fun,” she said, sporting a large wig and orange beak. “It’s a nice escape from reality.”

Madi Simmons, a sophomore, said the show is her first time acting in the theater program, and she’s had “a lot of fun” in her role as Flounder.

“It’s a very unique experience,” Simmons said. “It’s very social and interactive. I’m excited for all the hard work to pay off. It’s going to be a great experience.”

Isabella Sydney, a junior who plays and puppeteers the eel character, Flotsam, said the role pushed her “out of her comfort zone,” but she has had fun learning the part.

“It’s really fun,” Sydney said. “Everyone has worked so hard for this, and I know it’s going to go well, but it’s also a little bit scary to get on stage in front of everyone you know. It’s a really great show.”

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903.

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