After two-year absence, ‘The Little Mermaid’ revives WHS musicals

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WATERTOWN — As far as school musicals are concerned these days, things are going along swimmingly at Watertown High School for the music department’s production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.” to be staged for four shows, beginning tonight.

No WHS musical was staged the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In March of 2020 we were able to perform one dress rehearsal of ‘Mary Poppins’ before the entire world shut down,” recalled Rebecca A. Rose, director and WHS music teacher. “There are no words to describe how the cast and crew felt to do all that work to never get the chance to perform.”

A school year in the hybrid/remote model would create more challenges.

“It was difficult to work in extracurricular activities like a musical,” Mrs. Rose said. “This year, we were faced with the reality that we were almost rebuilding the program back from the ground. Students who were always in the show have graduated and students who are in the program now have not had the experience of live theater and musicals. We really had to do a lot of recruitment and promotion of the musical to get our students interested in performing live theater again.”

But the musical program, Mrs. Rose said, is lucky.

“There were a lot of students that were very excited when the show and auditions were announced,” she said. “We are running a cast of 35-36 students, and a crew of 20. Fifty-five students involved is a great number to start rebuilding our musical theater program here at Watertown High School.”

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