The Cloquet High School fall play, "The Little Mermaid," is dedicated to Landon Hall, who died unexpectedly at his home June 8. Hall, a 2014 CHS graduate, was 23.

“It was his wish to do 'The Little Mermaid' the past two years,” director Kevin Hamre said. “We both decided that the year 2019 would be best."

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Hamre began to familiarize himself with the script in mid-June. The play is adapted from the Disney movie of the same name. The story's main character, Ariel, is a rebellious 16-year-old mermaid daughter of King Triton. Ariel breaks her father's rules about visiting the water's surface. During one of the visits, she falls in love with a prince and will do anything to be with him. The play's score includes catchy songs from the movie as well as drama, humor and colorful costumes.

“It’s a huge and difficult show,” Hamre said. Auditions for the play were held last spring. His wife, Gail, is a vocal coach for the lead singers and began working with them early in July.

“Karen Fox started to shop around for costumes,” Hamre said. “Wait until you see them.”

Ursula, played by Sophia Brenner, sings a solo during the Little Mermaid rehearsal Monday, Nov. 4. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal
Ursula, played by Sophia Brenner, sings a solo during the Little Mermaid rehearsal Monday, Nov. 4. Jamie Lund/Pine Journal

Iris Keller and Richard Brummer started drawing up set ideas such as the boat scene when Sebastian tries to help Ariel and Prince Erik kiss. Al Woodward and Anita Johnson also helped build the sets.

Students spent the first four weeks learning the music.

“I knew nothing about this play ... thinking it was just a little girls' play,” Hamre said. “But wow, was I ever wrong.

“It will tug at your heart, no matter what age you are, male or female,” he said. “There’s a lot of fun, exciting songs in this show. It’s Disney — of course, right?”

There are 82 students involved in production of the play, including actors and the tech crew.

“We need every one of them to pull off this show,” Hamre said.

"The Little Mermaid" debuts Thursday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m.

If you go

Who: Cloquet High School Theater

What: "The Little Mermaid"

Where: Cloquet High School Auditorium

When: 7 p.m. Nov. 14-16; 2 p.m. Nov. 17

Tickets: $12 adults, $10 students; visit isd94.org or at CHS one hour before each performance