Syracuse Stage, Department of Drama Celebrate the Holidays with 2 Ring Circus and ‘Disney’s The Little Mermaid’

Disney's The Little Mermaid November 25-January 8

Put the “sea” in the holiday season with the family favorite musical “Disney’s The Little Mermaid,” at Syracuse Stage Nov. 25 – Jan. 8. Tickets are available now at or through the Box Office (315-443-3275). All ticket purchases are protected by Syracuse Stage’s “Worry Free Guarantee,” which provides automatic refunds to patrons if performances are canceled.

Based on the phenomenally popular 1989 animated motion picture (Academy Award for Best Score and Best Song “Under the Sea”), “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” tells the story of Ariel, a young mermaid determined to explore life beyond the depths of her watery home. A trip above the surface of the sea sets her on a romantic adventure filled with possibility and fraught with peril, as she enters into a dangerous bargain with the sea witch Ursula.

As the first princess released in the Disney Renaissance era, Ariel made a splash in 1989 for being the first modern heroine. The New York Times referred to her as “a spunky daredevil.” And Roger Ebert praised the character, “Ariel is a fully realized female character who thinks and acts independently, even rebelliously.”

In addition to “Under the Sea,” the vibrant score includes “Part of Your World,” “Kiss the Girl,” “The World Above,” “Sweet Child,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and many more sung by a beloved cast of characters including Flounder, Sebastian, Chef Louis, Scuttle and, of course, Prince Eric.

Co-produced with the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Department of Drama, “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” features a cast of 35 led by the accomplished performer Katie Emerson as Ariel. Emerson has performed the role previously under the direction of Melissa Rain Anderson, who returns to Syracuse Stage to guide this production.

Anderson said she believes this is a great tale to tell at the holidays because it offers an opportunity to “get behind a real hero” who gives up her home and much more in order to fulfill her life.

“It shows just how strong you have to be to become who you are destined to be,” she said.

Assisting Anderson in bringing the show to the stage is a creative team of talented designers and artists. Syracuse Stage veteran Brian Cimmet returns as music director and conducts an 11-piece orchestra. Choreography is by Adam Cates. Kimberly V. Powers is the scenic designer with fantastical costumes by Rafael Castanera and wigs by Jason Estrada. Lonnie Rafael Alcaraz is the lighting designer and Syracuse Stage veteran Jacqueline R. Herter is the sound designer.

The return of 2 Ring Circus to Syracuse Stage (“The Wizard of Oz,” 2017) adds high flying aerial excitement to the production. 2 Ring’s special circus skills and acrobatics make this production a version of the musical “not done by anyone before,” said Anderson. “The characters will dance in the air.”

“The holiday time is a great time for families at Syracuse Stage,” said Bob Hupp, artistic director, Syracuse Stage. “This season is especially exciting as we welcome back 2 Ring Circus to help us create a truly magical production of ‘Disney’s The Little Mermaid.’ Watching this cast light up the rehearsal room, I can’t wait for our community to see them on stage in this stunning production.”

With music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, and book by Doug Wright, “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” ran for 50 previews and 685 performances on Broadway from 2008 to 2009. It received a Tony nomination for Best Original Score. It has had numerous productions around the world.

“Disney’s The Little Mermaid”

Music by Alan Menken

Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater

Book by Doug Wright

Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and the Disney film that was produced by Howard Ashman & John Musker and written & directed by John Musker & Ron Clements

Originally produced by Disney Theatrical Productions

Orchestrations by Danny Troob

Incidental music and vocal arrangements by Michael Kosarin

Dance arrangements by David Chase

Directed by Melissa Rain Anderson

Musical Direction by Brian Cimmet

Choreography by Adam Cates

Scenic design by Kimberly V. Powers

Costume design by Rafael Castanera

Lighting design by Lonnie Rafael Alcaraz

Sound design by Jacqueline R. Herter

Wig design by Jason Estrada

Associate music director: Jacob Stebly

Associate choreographer: Andrea Leigh-Smith

2 Ring Circus: Joshua Dean, Ben Franklin

Production Stage Manager: Stuart Plymesser*

Casting: Bass/Valle Casting

Co-produced with the Syracuse University Department of Drama

Cast (in alphabetical order)

Olivia Lacie Andrews Mersister, Showgirl, Gull, Maid, Princess

Zachary Asnis Jetsam

Sean Bell* Scuttle

Kailee Brandt Mersister, Showgirl, Gull, Circus Flamingo, Maid, Princess

Jessica Cerreta Mersister, Princess

Shaun Collins Flotsam

Joshua Dean* Sailor, Leeward, Swan, Chef, Courtier, Seahorse, Tentacle

Katie Emerson* Ariel

Ben Franklin* Chef Louis

Alexandra Kafrissen Mersister, Maid, Princess

Katarina Kelly Mersister, Showgirl, Princess

Rachel Langetieg Water Specialty, Showgirl, Maid

Maddie Lentz Mersister, Princess

David Lowenstein* Grimsby

Ayana Momoki Swan, Showgirl

Jay Owens Sebastian

Erick Pinnick* King Triton

Jackson Poulin Pilot, Under the Sea Dancer

Thomas Riggelman Flounder

Crystal Sha’nae* Ursula

Anna Stanley Water Specialty, Gull

Sissa Strain* Showgirl

Truman Tinius Sailor, Under the Sea Silks, Circus Flamingo, Chef, Courtier, Tentacle

Isaiah Tucker Sailor, Under the Sea Dancer, Windward, Chef, Courtier

Axel Vera Sailor, Under the Sea Dancer, Chef, Courtier

Dylan Weaver Prince Eric



For Ursula – Charlotte Bush

For Scuttle, Eels, Flounder, Gulls, Male Circus, Male Dancers, Tentacles – Michael Di Leo

For Mersister, Princess, Flounder – Gwendalyn Rose Díaz

For Grimsby, Chef Louis, Pilot – Will Foohey

For Ariel – Alexandra Kafrissen

For King Triton – David Lowenstein*

For Sebastian, Prince Eric – Kirk Lydell*

For Ariel Double – Ayana Momoki

For Eric – Jackson Poulin

For Scuttle, Mersisters, Showgirl, Gull, Maid, Princess, Water Specialty – Rachel Revellese

For Swan, Flamingos – Sissa Strain*

For Sebastian, Swing – Isaiah Tucker

For Windward, Leeward – Axel Vera

For Mersister, Showgirl, Princess, Maid, Water Feature, Female Circus, Eels – Rileigh Very

For Water, Mersisters, Showgirl, Maids, Eels – Bella Zonderman



Gwendalyn Rose Díaz

Will Foohey

Rachel Langetieg

Jackson Poulin

Anna Stanley

Axel Vera

Rileigh Very

Bella Zonderman


*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Student, Syracuse University Department of Drama


Additional Credits

Intimacy Consultant: Melissa Crespo

Dialect Coach: Yusef Seevers

Dance Captains: Joshua Dean*, Rachel Langetieg

Student Assistant Director: Samuel Haines

1st Production Assistant: Erin C Brett

2nd Production Assistant: Em Piraino

Stage Management Intern: Maya Zepeda

Wardrobe & Wig Supervisor: Dylinn Andrew

Electrician/Board Op: Brian Jordan

Electrician/Spotlight Operator: Connor Beattie

Spotlight Operator: Chris Green

Assistant Audio Engineer/A1: Kevin O’Connor

Sound Assistant/A2: Shane Wright

Wardrobe: Megan Berner, Elissa Martin, Leah Moore

Deck Crew: Joseph Carter, Khayman Clancy, Matthew Mahunik, AnnaRae Martin, Caitlin Radziewski, Jakob Sanchez