The Little Mermaid: Chira the CrustaceanFrom left to right, Dennis McAndrew as King Triton and Chira Bell as Sebastian.

The Little Mermaid: Chira the Crustacean

Millbrook’s fall musical, The Little Mermaid, is only a weekend away. Rehearsals began in early August, and now sets, makeup, and costumes are all com

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Millbrook’s fall musical, The Little Mermaid, is only a weekend away. Rehearsals began in early August, and now sets, makeup, and costumes are all coming together as the “practice runs” come to a close. All of the cast has enjoyed the experience in one way or another, from the ensemble to the leads. Chira Bell (senior) took on the task of playing the classic role of Sebastian, the very musical and energetic crab. From the revealing of the cast list up to final dress rehearsals, Chira has definitely enjoyed the experience.

She did not expect to be cast in the role, and was not exactly sure how to react when the cast list first came out. She said that about an hour after that, however, was when it truly hit her as something challenging and exciting. “It was really exciting to think about it, but then it also freaked me out because of all the work I would have to do to portray the character the right way.” As an iconic character, it becomes the goal to portray the main aspects of the character while also adding a personal touch. She did figure out a way of doing that though, starting with analyzing Sebastian’s core character traits. “My first approach was just trying to find his core character traits… he’s really anxious and nervous and… he holds a lot of anxiety in his person, even though he knows what to do.” On the other side though, “As a musician he’s really confident, and that’s [his] realm… capturing the two polar sides of him was probably the biggest [thing].”

Chira has performed in about fifteen shows, and this one has been a notable experience to add to her acting portfolio. “It’s been really great, there have been a lot of frustrating times, but… it’s been really fun.” In comparison to last year’s musical, Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Mermaid has a much larger cast. “It’s a bigger cast, but there’s still a really keen sense of community, and we really haven’t had any issues with that.” She goes on to say, “I like this show because it’s fun and it’s a lot of hard work, but we do it as a community.”

The days leading up to opening night of a show can be stressful but also exciting for the cast and crew. From Chira’s perspective, “We’re at a point in the show where we’re all kind of stressed because it’s coming to a close, but it’s been a really great time and we’ve developed something big and family-like.” In the end, “It’s all starting to melt together… It’s starting to get there, but when it clicks it will click, and it will be great.”

The Little Mermaid opens November 10 with a 7 P.M. performance, and runs until a 3 P.M. performance on the 12th. With the amount of work put in, it should be exciting for everyone involved.