Continues Friday, Saturday
© Dave Mathieson - Amherst Daily News
Ariel the mermaid, played by Grade 5 student Abbey Letcher, sings a song during rehearsals for The Little Mermaid. Rehearsals are finished and the first performance will be tonight at Spring Street Academy, followed by more performances Friday and Saturday
AMHERST - Few plays can boast a cast of 85, a chorus of 57, and an ensemble of 31, for a total of 173 students on stage.
"I don't like to turn anybody away, so that's why I have so many kids," said Ruth Nichols, director of The Little Mermaid. "If they don't get a main part, they can be involved in the chorus or the ensemble so, to me, the more the merrier."
Spring Street has been staging plays since the school opened eight years ago, and this year's play, The Little Mermaid, is the schools eighth production.
Nichols has been there since day one.
"There's nobody like Ruth Nichols," said Daren White, who looks after the scenery and props.
"I've had people from the theatres and people from other schools, and they come in and say nobody does musicals like Ruth Nichols at Spring Street Academy."
Kids, in one capacity or another, have been rehearsing since March Break, and kids who aren't in the play have also embraced the play.
"Every kid in the school has had a touch with the decorations. One class will do one part and another class will do another part. It's a full team event," said White.
Also, many kids who have gone through the drama program at Spring Street come back from junior high and high school to help with choreography, makeup and costumes.
"They come full circle and help," said White.
White said this year's production is better than ever.
"Gary Snook does the sound and lights," said White. "I think the effects will be the best on this one. We have bubble machines and huge clams for the under water scenes."
The Little Mermaid runs Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. and then on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The cost is $5, and White encourages everybody to come out.
"Ruth likes the Disney productions because they're well written," said White. "You can have lines that the adults will laugh at but the kids might not get, so there's something for everybody."
Nichols also hopes people come out to see the play.
“People should bring their kids. They will love it,” she said.