Marco Island Academy – The Little Mermaid

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Lexi Smith

Marco Island Academy’s Kira Swanson and Jacob Hibbard as Ariel and Eric.

Rachel Weiner , Contributing Writer

Cassie Letendre in the production of The Little Mermaid. (Lexi Smith)

Friday, April 8th and Saturday, April 9th, Marco Island Academy’s production, The Little Mermaid premiered on “The Rhine Stage.” Having a sold out opening night and packed audiences to the other two shows, this show was definitely a success. Now that the show is over, let’s look at the performance itself and the days leading up to it.

The final days of tech week were insanely stressful and overwhelming but had the cast prepared for their opening night. Over 270 seats filled with many Marco Island Academy staff, students, and people from Collier County in general.

As Kira Swanson sang her opening song, “The World Above” audience members had the cast ready to give it their all for the rest of the show. Cassie Letendre who played Sebastian quotes “Right after we heard Kira rock the opening song, the audience cheered and screamed which made us know we were prepared to finish the show strong.”

After the cast brilliantly performed Act 1 ending with Isabella Burgos performing “Poor Unfortunate Souls”, Act 2 matched energy and was performed just as incredible. And just like that, opening night was accomplished. With a standing ovation for the cast and the smiles reflected back, a successful night was had. 

Flounder, Ariel, and King Triton all together on stage. (Lexi Smith )

The next day around 12pm, the cast came back to the school to perform their 2 pm matinee. Starting with makeup, then heading to vocal warmups and mic checks, the preparation truly never ended, even before the show actually happened. The cast performed their second show with an interactive audience. And just as soon as they started, they were up to their last show. The seniors would be taking their final bow. The lights would be going dim and the set would be struck. Senior, Isabella Burgos reflects “It’s unsettling stepping out on the stage, knowing it’s the last time. Still, I learned to appreciate the beauty of the show and share my last moments with people that I love.” Every moment in this final show was appreciated and done to the best of the cast’s ability. Then the final moments hit. The cast ran down the stage to their final bows with everyone cheering and shouting at the work they had just shown. A show that had been “Part of their world” had just ended. 

Seeing the ups and the downs of this production, I have never been more proud to have been a part of a production than I was for this one. Seeing the students that had never performed rock the stage and Mr. Ray, our dean of students, took on a new role. It was amazing. To share a little insight on Mr. Ray’s role in this production, he was cast as “King Triton” after the students and Mr. Dayett had briefly asked him to join the cast in this show. Jokingly agreed, not realizing that in just two months he would be in the rehearsal process for something he had never done. Mr, Ray embodied and absolutely killed the role. Saying goodbye to Marco Island Academy, in general, will be very difficult, but saying goodbye to this theatre program will be even harder. I am grateful to see the growth from what we were to where we are and excited to see what the future holds for the program as well.