Abbey Players ready to make a splash with ‘The Little Mermaid’


The mersisters (L to R): Grace Trabucchi, Madigan Keating, Kelly Geraghty, Casey Roberge, Olivia Boudreau, Jamie Walsh (Courtesy / Olivia Boudreau)

Carter Brannon, Crier Staff

The Abbey Players will perform their spring musical “The Little Mermaid” this weekend.  Three performances will be held in the Dana Center: Friday, April 21 and Saturday, April 22 at 7:30pm, and Sunday, April 23 at 2pm.

The show is based on Hans Christian Andersen’s 1837 story and Disney’s 1989 animated musical film.  Many people will be familiar with the story and much of the music.

“[The Abbey Players] wanted to do something that was really well known and fantastical, and this was the choice,” director and producer Beth Daily explained.

“We all grew up with ‘The Little Mermaid.’  It’s a great show,” said Meg Query ’24.  “It’s so much fun.  You can’t really go wrong with a Disney show.”

Hope Jensen ’25 plays Ariel in the show and also designed costumes for the production.

“This is a very costume-heavy show,” Jensen said.  “[I’ve been] working on that, and working on who’s going to wear what, and how many quick changes we have.  I myself have seven different costumes and eleven different costume changes throughout the show, so just trying to find ways for that to be possible has definitely been a challenge.”

Steven Villanova, ’24 will play the role of Prince Eric. This is his first Abbey Players show, the first time he has ever had a major role in a show, and his first theatrical performance in several years. 

“I do in fact sing.  Most people don’t know that about me,” Villanova asserted.  “I’d just like to get the shock and awe out of the way now.  People are still surprised when they find out I can sing.”

Along with everyone else in the cast and crew, Villanova has put a lot of effort into preparing for the show.

“A lot more attention is on me and my performance, and it’s been a little stressful, but I’ve been trying my best to learn my lines, learn any dances that I do,” Villanova explained.  “I really tried to immerse myself in this role as much as possible.  I changed my workout at the gym to reflect what Eric might be doing on a ship. I was working on correcting my posture, and trying to get into shape in general.  That’s really been an experience.” 

Jordan Tavares ’26 says he has been looking at over-the-top performers in popular culture like Elvis and Elton John for inspiration for his character, Sebastian.

“I want to make Sebastian very authentic, very specific to me,” Tavares said.  “I think the challenging part is making him authentic to me, making him an authentic version of the character rather than some things you’ve seen a million times from everybody.”

Meg Query is the lighting, scenic, and sound designer, and the production stage manager.  For this show, many of the set pieces were rented.

“Instead of building everything on our own, we have rented from different theater companies,” Query explained.  “Instead of getting to design everything from scratch, it’s making sure everything fits together into a coherent look throughout the show.”

“For this show in particular, I’m glad we are renting pieces because it’s a big set,” Query said.  “There’s a lot going on in the set.” 

The rest of the the twenty-person cast includes Catherine Landry, Erin Golden, Samuel Cowan, Jackson Hyam, Casey Shiepe, Katherine Scannell, Colby Lynch, Sydney Mazur, Rina Simpson, Maeve Murray, Megan Spencer, Kelly Geraghty, Casey Roberge, Madigan Keating, Grace Trabucchi, Jamie Walsh, and Olivia Boudreau.  In addition, Julia Bard, Bella Dineen, Nolan Howard, Emma Link, Kathryn Langille, Evangeline Rockwell, and Emma Sheehan are on the crew and creative team.  The musical will also feature a live orchestra consisting of Jason Coburn, Jordan Ostrowski, Madison Shimko, Cora Dykens, Joe Conti, Angela DiBartolomeo, Ed Marshall, and Steven Duchesne.

“Come see this really amazing cast of people, and also come see the bubble machine,” Kelly Geraghty ’25, who plays Andrina the Mersister said.

The Abbey Players encourage all students, faculty, staff, and anyone who wants to journey “Under the Sea” to come see the show.  Tickets will be available at the door for $8 for students and $15 for faculty and staff. General audience tickets are also available online.