Do you have an Ariel fan or two at home? Or maybe you remember delighting in the story of The Little Mermaid when you were young (or not so young) yourself? Beginning March 10, you and your little sea creatures will have a chance to dive into the classic tale once again with Journey Theater Arts Group’s Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr., an adapted version of the Broadway production (and the motion picture). Read on for the scoop.

photo: Journey Theater Arts Group

The Tale
For anyone who doesn’t already know the gist: The Little Mermaid is an iconic story about a magical under-the-sea kingdom, starring an adventurous, young mermaid (Ariel) who longs to leave her ocean home—and her fins—behind and live in the world above. But things aren’t that easy, first she’ll have to defy her father King Triton, make a deal with the evil sea witch Ursula and convince the handsome Prince Eric that she’s the girl he’s seeking.

The Jr. Production
Journey Theater has adapted this classic underwater adventure from the full-length Broadway production. This means it’s perfect for little ones who get wiggly in their seats, as a Jr. show retains all of the original story elements while cutting a couple of the songs and some dialogue out so it only lasts one hour and 40 minutes (including time for a potty run during the intermission).     

dsc_5714photo: Journey Theater Arts Group

A Family Production & Experience
Recommended for little flippers four and up, Journey Theater Arts Group has created a theatrical experience that is truly a family affair. All actors and crew members are between the ages of eight and 18, and the production itself is managed by families as each cast member has a parent or other adult volunteer working on a parent committee that helps bring the show to the stage. The cast and the family-staffed crew do everything from creating costumes and props to selling refreshments!

What to Expect
Located in a middle school, this theater provides the perfect setting for families looking to introduce their kids to theater. With plenty of restrooms and hallways where little legs can be stretched, even the littlest audience members can be accommodated. Refreshments and snacks are available if you come hungry or if your little theater lovers grow an appetite in time for intermission.

Don’t be fooled by the location, this production is the real thing! The theater group has pulled out all the stops and gone above and beyond to produce a high-end theater experience with beautifully made costumes, fantastic sets, believable props, stunning lighting and sound effects and the student actors excel at telling a compelling story. Founder and area director, Bethany Larson says she loves this show for families because it’s fun to think that many parents were kids when “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” was in movie theaters. She guarantees parents will love experiencing this live version of the story with their children.

Insider tip: Don’t get up and run off as soon as the curtains drop, you’ll have the opportunity to meet the actors after the show! They’ll still be in costume, so you can get your playbill autographed and take photos with favorite characters.

dsc_5758photo: Journey Theater Arts Group

Show Information
Disney The Little Mermaid Jr. will run the weekends days of Mar. 10 – 19 at Alder Creek Middle School with both evening and matinee show times available for families that need to keep nap and bedtime schedules on track.

Dates & Times:
Fri., Mar. 10 & 17, 7 p.m.
Sat., Mar. 11, 2 p.m.
Sat., Mar. 18, 7 p.m.
Sun., Mar. 19, 2 p.m

Cost: Order tickets online in advance to save a few dollars!
Adult: $14/advance, $18/door; Children (2-18) $10/advance, $14/door; Seniors: (62 and up) $10/advance, $14/door. Groups of 10 or more are $9/advance; $13/door

Location:
Alder Creek Middle School
13801 SE Webster Rd.
Milwaukie
360-750-8550
Online: journeytheater.org

You can also look forward to spring junior performances of The Music Man Jr., High School Musical 2 Jr. and Guys and Dolls Jr.

What classic tale would your family love to see live? Share it with us in the comments below.

—Kris Wilhelmy