Apple Tree Arts thespians perform summer shows

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The cast of  “The Little Mermaid Jr.”
The cast of “The Little Mermaid Jr.”

Grafton – Local theatre attendees recently were able to enjoy two charming productions this summer courtesy of the young thespians from Apple Tree Arts (ATA).

Audiences traveled under the sea to the world of Ariel, a young beautiful mermaid in ATA’s  production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” The show was staged in the Grafton High School auditorium Aug. 5.

“It was exciting for us to premiere our summer youth musical in the Grafton High School auditorium,” said Lisa Scarlett, theatre arts director. “The modern stage allowed us to use advanced technology and theatrical tools in the production.

“With our recent move back to the Grafton Town House, now we are able to offer all our programs including theatre arts in Grafton,” she added.

Based upon the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale and adapted from Walt Disney’s

The cast of “Hats! A Musical That Celebrates What’s Underneath” (Photos/submitted)
The cast of “Hats! A Musical That Celebrates What’s Underneath” (Photos/submitted)

Broadway production and film, the story is set in the magical underwater world of Ariel who longs to be human and leave her ocean world behind.  Favorite songs from the show include “Part of Your World,” “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl.”

“This popular musical has a lot of characters so it works well for our large cast of 45,” explained Scarlett. Laurie Baker, theatre arts faculty member, was co-director, and the women were assisted by Ashley and Noelle Scarlett and Teddy Kiritsy. Cast members in grades three to seven were from Douglas, Grafton, Millbury, Oxford and Sutton.

What do Daniel Boone, Milliner Mille, Abe Lincoln and Queen Elizabeth have in common? It’s not important what type of work or nationality each person represents — what’s in each person’s heart is what matters. ATA’s mini-musical “Hats! A Musical That Celebrates What’s Underneath” illustrated this timely theme through music and dance.

The 15 actors in grades one to two danced, sang and performed six musical numbers Aug. 5 in the production held in the Great Hall, One Grafton Common.

The rhyming script and catchy songs explored different kinds of people and hats. Songs included “The Perfect Hat for Me,” “Uncle Sam is Who I Am,” and “My Head, My Heart.”

“This play is a musical journey about friendship and self-value. The show starts at the top of your head and makes its’ way to the bottom of your heart,” said Shannon May, theatre arts faculty member.  May was assisted by Juliana Kallio, Madie Geoffroy and Annie May.

Apple Tree Arts offers music and theatre arts programs for all ages. The nonprofit 501 (c) 3 community school of the arts offers early childhood music classes, group keyboard lessons, private music and voice instruction, ensembles, theatre arts programs and community concerts year-round. For more information, visit www.appletreearts.org.