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‘Little Mermaid’ production planned by middle schoolers

Ellie Gullicks, center, sings a song as Sebastian during a rehearsal last week. Gullicks is also the production’s dance captain.

Students at Hastings Middle School are hard at work on their fall musical. “The Little Mermaid Junior” will be presented at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27, and Tuesday, Oct. 28, at the middle school auditorium. There is no charge for admission.

The production is about an hour long.

The director this year is Zach Filkins, a 2011 graduate of Hastings High School. Filkins was in a number of productions as he came through the Hastings schools and is very active in area theater groups.

“I’ve always wanted to do this play,” he said. “I thought it would be good for the middle school. Everybody knows the Little Mermaid. It’s a lot of fun and the songs are great.”

Part of the reason why Filkins picked this show is because he figured the middle schoolers would enjoy being in it and seeing it.

“I just want to pick shows that the kids will like,” Filkins said. About 50 students are in the production, he said.

Rehearsals began about six weeks ago.

“I really like it,” Filkins said. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s also a really touching show, too.”

In addition, there are several main characters who have important roles.

“This show has so many different characters in it,” Filkins said. “Ariel may be the lead, but she is surrounded by wild, crazy and colorful characters. It’s great to do shows that have lots of characters to give more kids opportunities to perform, so it’s not just Ariel and the chorus.”

Ariel is played by Grace Reilly. Prince Eric is played by Kai Waterhouse.

Nate Klingner is King Triton, Becca Schill is Ursula and Ellie Gullicks is Sebastian. Gullicks also serves as the dance captain.

Alex Ussatis is Flounder, Lucas Ussatis is Scuttle, Davitta Embu is Jetsam and Daniella Embu is Flotsam.

Jake McNamara plays Grimsby, Nathan Schindler is Chef Louis, Ryan Sherry is Carlotta and the princesses are played by Ella Bushey, Brita Lawrence, Eva Storkamp, Aaliyah Cardona, Lilly Flint and Grace Anderson.

The gulls are played by Megan Hill, Mikala Jetter, Ellie DeWitt and Eliana Lawrence.

The pilot/chef is played by Simon Hedin.

Trevor Zeyen is a sailor. Several students make up a number of choirs, including Tin Mai, Robby Geiken, Will Mace, Brody Hampl, Joey Roche, Jehnna Villneauve, Syd Mares, Hope Davis, Nikki Zimmerman, Sydney Giese, Bertina Peters, Allexis Bohmbach, Amy Gapp, Allie Majeski, Naomi Lockwood, Lauren Gerhardt, Lauren Reuter, Allison Amy, Molly Tribe, Kaley Arndt, Rebecca Mitchell, Linnea Hedin, Dakota Zwinger, Katelynn Krey, Makenzi Jorgensen, Charlee Simacek, Callista Christensen and Ella Kimmen.

The tech crew is made up of Joe Brau, Rhys Fillion, Dixie Lascelles, Jaydin Peterson, Bobby Traeder, Zach Pottinger, Drew Sonnenburg, Karin Linne and Joshua Wilson.