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Sandy Journal

Little Mermaid Becomes Part of Your World in Sandy Production

Aug 22, 2016 04:36PM ● By Kelly Cannon

Ariel, played by Ali Wood, and Flounder, played by Noah Mayfield, admire a “dinglehopper.”—Sean Buckley

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]
The Sandy Amphitheater was transformed to a world under the sea during the Sandy Arts Guild’s production of “The Little Mermaid.” The show, which ran Aug. 5 to 13, combined a stunning cast with fantastic sets to create an aquatic wonderland of sight and sound.
Based on the Disney movie, “The Little Mermaid” tells the story of the young mermaid Ariel who falls in love with the human Prince Eric. In order to be with him, Ariel makes a deal with the sea witch Ursula. Ursula agrees to make Ariel human in exchange for her voice. Ariel then has to make Eric fall in love with her in three days, or else she becomes a mermaid again under Ursula’s control.
 The production was the second of the Sandy Arts Guild to be directed by Nolan Mitchell, who directed “Shrek the Musical” last year. Mitchell said he like the story of “The Little Mermaid.”
“Theater is about telling stories, not just the surface story where Ariel falls in love with a human and gives away her voice to get the guy. There are all these other stories that exist in that. For example, there’s the story of King Triton who judges every human by the actions of a couple. What a great story to be doing in the world when people are judging a group of people based on the actions of a few,” Mitchell said. “It’s those kind of stories, they are the ones I get excited to tell people.”
During the auditions, which took place in May, Mitchell was looking for not only actors who could sing, act and dance, but also those who were good at telling the story and who brought excitement to the production.
One of the more difficult aspects of the show was the technical work of the stage and special effects. This included not only Ariel’s transformation and Ursula’s demise but just the set in general.
“The audience has to understand at any given moment where we’re at, whether we’re under the sea or at the surface of the sea or we’re on the land and everywhere in between,” Mitchell said. “We’ve had to, through our set and all the technical stuff, make sure that we’re giving everybody an understanding of where they are.”
Danny Eggers, who played Sebastian, also said the technical aspects of the play were the most difficult when it came to the production.
“There’s a lot of set pieces, a lot of costume pieces. There is very intricate choreography. The show itself doesn’t have a lot of ‘drop to black, change the set and go back in.’ It’s one scene flowing into another so everything has to have the right pacing and timing and flow,” Eggers said. “Working to get that precise was one of the more difficult things.”
The role of Ariel is played by Ali Wood, who recently came back to Utah from Japan where she worked at Universal Studios for a year. Wood said she specifically tried out for role of Ariel and loves her.
“Besides the fact she is my favorite Disney princess, I love how adventurous she is and how true to herself she is and how much she wants to go out there into the world and go for what she wants,” Wood said. “It’s always been a story that’s been close to my heart since I was teeny tiny. When I found out there were auditions for the show, I was so excited. It’s been a dream role of mine.”
Wood described singing the iconic song “Part of Your World” as being a dream come true.
“Being in this show and working with everyone has been amazing. This story has been so close to me since I was little and it’s been a dream of mine,” Wood said. “To bring her to life and feel everything she’s feeling and work with all these amazing actors and the artistic team and the director and the music director, it’s been amazing. I’m so excited to show the story we’ve brought to life.”
To learn more about future productions of the Sandy Arts Guild, visit