Valdosta Daily Times


May 30, 2013

The Little Mermaid

ADEL — Cook County Arts Council takes audiences “Under the Sea” for this year’s summer musical.

The Arts Council presents a live, stage adaptation of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” with two performances this weekend.

“This is the Disney version, yes,” says Jeremy Williams, the show’s director. “It’s based on the 1989 film. It has all the songs from the film (‘Part of Your World,’ ‘Under the Sea,’ ‘Kiss the Girl,’ etc.) plus a few new ones that were written for the Broadway version.”

For the past several weeks, Williams has rehearsed a massive cast of Cook County and South Georgia performers. “Sixty-three actors, ages pre-K through college,” says Williams, who is also Cook High School’s long-time theatre director. “Tech was done by student, parent, and community volunteers.”

Cook County is not the first area theatre group to present stage versions of Disney’s classic animated films. Peach State Summer Theatre has presented several live Disney adaptations. Earlier this year, Lowndes High School Off-Broadway presented Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” LHS rented costumes that replicated the movie’s characters and wardrobes. Cook County Arts Council has created the costumes for “The Little Mermaid.”

“We made almost all of our costumes,” Williams says. “More specifically, we had a handful of talented and dedicated parents who worked dozens of hours constructing mermaid tails, fish costumes, and seagull outfits, just to name a few. We did base most of the designs on the looks of the characters in the film.”

Cook’s summer shows have become a community tradition.

“This is the 17th year of Cook Summer Theatre, and the 10th year it has been in its current format of being open to a larger age group,” Williams says. “We now have at least two students in the program whose parents were involved as students themselves.”

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