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The Little Mermaid Musical

The Little Mermaid Musical

By Emma Adams, Communications Student Intern

As an audience member, one might assume that musicals are all song and dance, literally, but any member of a cast would beg to differ. Every theatrical production teaches its cast at least one new skill that may not necessarily stand out as a learning curve. Every production requires adaptability due to unique demands. The abilities learned along the way then benefit participants later in life as they tend to have numerous applications outside of the theatrical world.






In the case of The Little Mermaid, one of the skills learned by a large portion of the cast is tap dancing. For the musical number “Positoovity,” a flock of seagulls performs a jazzy song and dance number with an upbeat tap dance throughout, requiring the cast to adapt to one another’s movements so that they remain in sync. This not only aids in rhythm, but also teaches the cast how to adapt to working as a team. In order to perform the musical number well, each member must collaborate with the others. Similarly, everyday life is also full of cooperation and compromise, so learning to work together on a small scale is beneficial toward doing so on a large scale.

As for staple skills of theater, these are learned annually as new members are welcomed into the theater. Such skills include, but are not limited to, projecting one’s voice, not turning one’s back to the audience, knowing the difference between stage left and right, delivering lines naturally, regulating one’s voice even when stressed, and, perhaps most importantly of all, not going barefoot on the stage floor. These skills transfer over into most everyday and work environment tasks. Learning to speak naturally while under pressure is a fundamental skill when trying to come across as professional and competent in all aspects of life as it is full of instances in which one must remain calm and regulate their voice. Also, memorizing lines for performances helps exercise one’s mind and aids in memory recall of other details.

Furthermore, when putting together a musical, cast members must also learn to regulate their singing voice as they move and dance. Singing requires strong control over one’s voice and breathing, which is made more difficult when performing any strenuous activity. Learning how to sing while dancing is a skill that then transfers into other situations as one might find a need to speak clearly and loudly while moving or completing a strenuous task as a part of their career.






Additionally, every good production needs a jaw-dropping set, so cast members get experience in constructing and painting set pieces as well as experience in creating and organizing multipurpose props. This teaches participants how to handle simple construction projects and how to approach problem solving in a creative way. Cast members also are asked to assist with costumes whenever possible. When costumes need modified, cast members are given the opportunity to practice sewing and learn how to make convincing yet stage-appropriate costumes on a budget.

Overall, theater is incredibly intensive. Musicals, in particular, include a wide variety of skill sets that are needed and developed throughout the rehearsal process. From dancing and singing to costumes and props, everyone has a place in theater and a way in which they are able to contribute or learn.