By Colton Crowe

Did you know that life under the sea is better than anywhere on land?
That’s according to a small crustacean like Sebastian the crab in Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
Come see for yourself and experience that life under the sea as The Actor’s Charitable Theatre
brings this musical to the Bama Theatre in downtown Tuscaloosa, June 1-4.

The musical, The Little Mermaid, is based on the 1989 classic Disney movie that tells the story
of Ariel, the famous red-headed mermaid as she embarks on a journey to marry a prince that
lives on land. Along the way, she is accompanied by Flounder the fish, Sebastian the crab, and
Scuttle the seagull who help her restore life under the sea from Ursula, the evil sea witch.
Starring as the leading mermaid is LeeAnna Sparks, student at the University of Alabama.

Sparks says that she has always thought her and Ariel share similar personality traits since she was a
little girl. “She is fun-loving, adventurous, and determined,” Sparks said.
According to Sparks, determination is seen in Ariel’s journey during the show. “Ariel dreams of
being a human and does everything in her power to make that dream come true even though it
seems impossible,” Sparks added.

Along her journey, Ariel is faced with many obstacles, one being an evil sea witch named
Ursula, who will be played by Marissa Mena. Theatre teacher and ACT newcomer, Mena says
Ursula is one of the most iconic villains of all time. “The audience will be expecting what they
know from the movie so I want to keep the Disney essence of the character, but also make her
my own,” Mena said.

Mena says the set hasn’t been revealed to the cast yet but she is excited to see what it’s going
to look like. “I feel like the ACT always has a few tricks up its sleeve that always leaves the
audience talking about special effects and things like that, so I believe that will make this
production different from others,” Mena added.

Joey Lay, artistic director of the ACT, is both directing and costuming the show. “This
production of Disney’s The Little Mermaid is going to be a visual feast for the audience with
both the set and costumes,” Lay said. “We are constructing over 100 costumes from scratch,”
he added.

For this production, the ACT will be partnering with the charity, The Joy Like Anna Foundation.
This charity is a legacy honoring the love, joy, faith and kindness of Anna Kamplain. The
foundation’s purpose is to provide families with spiritual and financial assistance as they care
for their children with life-threatening illnesses.

Additionally, the foundation works with other charitable organizations with similar purposes to carry out the missions important to Anna. The
foundation also provides scholarships and assistance for youth with interests in missions
through their local churches and other mission oriented organizations.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid will be performed on June 1 at 7:30pm, June 2 at 2:00pm and
7:30pm, June 3 at 2:00pm and 7:30pm, and June 4 at 7:30pm with tickets ranging from $14 to
$21. For more information or to order tickets go to or call
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