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The Little Mermaid Kicks Off the SYT Season

The Lawrence Arts Center’s Summer Youth Theatre season kicks off with the opening of Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. this Thursday, June 14. With a cast of over 100 talented young performers, this beloved musical delights the whole family with theatrical flourishes such as a scene-stealing seaweed chorus and Ursula’s living tentacles.

Actress Lilyana Otter has enjoyed playing her role as Carlotta. “She’s a motherly figure for Ariel. She looks out for her and just wants the best for her.”

Lilyana has been in several Summer Youth Theatre productions, but this one has found a special place in her heart.

“It’s been really fun to spend time with my friends. My favorite scene is when the princesses line up to sing for Prince Eric, but he sees something different in Ariel.”

– Lilyana Otter

Director of Performing Arts Elizabeth Sullivan also finds something particularly timely about this play’s protagonist:

“Ariel’s agency to make bold choices sets her apart from other Disney heroines. Ariel’s search for her true voice couldn’t  be more relevant than it is today. And, oh what fun the search and discovery of each character’s voice has been in this production!”

– Elizabeth Sullivan

The theme of finding your true voice is threaded throughout this summer’s other productions: William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet (June 21-23), The Trials of Robin Hood by Will Averill (July 19-21), and the Tony award-winning musical, Pippin (July 26-29).

Summer Youth Theatre has been a community staple of dramatic arts education in Lawrence for over forty years. The offerings have recently expanded to include preschool, kindergarten and early elementary students. A behind-the-scenes tech class brings youth together with professional designers to create scenery, lighting and sound. The Summer Youth Theatre Internship program enables experienced youth to mentor beginning students while gaining professional theatre experience.