Underwater tales

Clarkston News Staff Writer
Clarkston Junior High School Drama Club brings to life the tale of a mermaid and her adventure to be part of our world in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” this Friday and Saturday.
“Ariel wants nothing more than to be human,” said ninth grader Hannah Budzinski, who steps into the role as Ariel. “She is in love with the land above the sea. Her dad, King Triton, is like, ‘You can’t go up to the surface. It’s dangerous. Humans will hurt you.'”

From left, Hannah Budzinski, Keith Garrison and Brooke Salinis from Clarkston Junior High School. Photo by Wendi Reardon Price

“It’s a very adventurous mermaid,” added eighth grader Brooke Salinis, playing Flounder, Ariel’s best friend.
She falls in love with a prince and bargains with Ursula, a sea witch, to become human. Ariel had three days to get the prince to kiss her or her soul belongs to the Ursula.
“Ariel is very free, very alive,” said Budzinski getting into her character. “It’s been really fun and enjoyable. She is very opinionated. When you get a role you want to become that role and become like them. I am growing with my character. I have taken Ariel’s persona and ran with it.”
Ninth grader Keith Garrison is Sebastian the crab, who helps Ariel during her adventure on land.
“For me it came easily because Sebastian is very stubborn and very head strong,” Garrison said. “He wants everything the way he wants it – special and organized. I am like that as a person as well.”
“Flounder is very playful and loyal with his friendship with Ariel,” Salinis said about her character. “I have always loved Disney and musical theater so it was easy for me to get into my character.”
There were no productions during the 2020-21 school year and the trio said it was good to be back.
“I am just so happy to be back because when I am here I am in my element,” Garrison shared. “I feel comfortable. I don’t feel subconscious around all the people because the cast is just one big family. It’s good to have that support system.”
“It’s so easy to be yourself when you are surrounded by people who enjoy the same things you do,” Salinis shared. “It’s a lot more fun when you are surrounded by this community of people who all love doing the same thing. It’s so fun.”
Budzynski added, “It’s nice to be back because you have that friendship support system like Ariel where you can be yourself.”
CJH Drama Club invites the community to come out and enjoy the show.
Salinis shared it’s great for those who love Disney and The Little Mermaid.
“It’s really an entertaining and fun musical to attend,” she said.
“It’s a very uplifting story and the music is fun and catchy,” said Garrison. “The environment CJH provides for the show is fun, warm and welcoming. I think when you come you are going to enjoy it a lot.”
“It’s a breath of fresh air from hectic life,” Budzynski said. “Everyone is having fun on stage so the audience will have fun as well.”
The performances are Friday, November 12 at 7 p.m. and Saturday, November 13 at 3 p.m. at the CJHS Performing Arts Center.
Tickets are $5 general admission and only sold at the door. No reserved seating.

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