WELLSBORO — This year’s high school musical will look and be presented differently than in year’s past.

In 2020, the musical “South Pacific” was the last school activity presented before the shutdown in mid-March. This year, Wellsboro Area High School students will present Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” at 7 p.m. on May 21 and 22. Performances, weather permitting, will be on the stadium field. In case of rain, limited seating will be available in the gym. Tickets are $5 each.

Co-directors are Jodi Niver and Maggie Sensenig; Daniel Sensenig is the musical director.

This year, the co-directors were seeking a light-hearted, family-friendly production. “The Little Mermaid” filled that requirement and carries a message of acceptance.

“It’s been nice because this senior group, we’ve had since eighth grade when some of them came up to fill in some roles in ‘High School Musical 2,’” Niver said. “They’re glad they get to do this their senior year.”

Filled with familiar tunes, the production also offers new songs and lots of dancing, Niver said.

The community support has been heart-warming, she added. The Wellsboro Area Education Foundation purchased a tarp — black on one side, blue on the other — which will be used to not only protect the field, but also establish different settings, such as Ursula’s lair or under the sea.

The Wellsboro Bible Church is loaning their mobile sound equipment, which will allow the audience to hear the actors, who will be wearing masks while performing.

The masks, which will coordinate with the costumes, are being supplied by the Wellsboro Music Boosters.

“This has been well-received,” Niver said. “We’re one of the few schools in the area that’s trying this. There’s some heartbreak with only performing two nights, but the students are glad to have the opportunity.”

Student voices

Karsen Kennedy (Prince Eric), senior, son of Brett and Lori Kennedy — It’s certainly not without its challenges, but everyone has been super patient with the updates and rolling with the tide. It has not been easy, but we’re pulling it off.

Giuliana Keeth (Ariel) , junior, daughter of Fanny Arango-Keeth and William Keeth — I’m happy with the music program getting more recognition. I hope it gets recognized for the amount of effort this requires. Music is just as hard as any activity.

Regan Regina (Ursula), junior, daughter of Gretchen Regina and Che Regina — There is a great plan in place. I’m very excited about it. Mrs. Sensenig had a vision and she always makes everything perfect. The sets are crazy and super magical. Being outside, it will be more magical in a way.

Josh Brelo (Sebastian, crab friend of Ariel), senior, son of Joseph and Cassie Brelo — It has a real good message to not judge and accept people for who they are. I learned that Sebastian really wants the best for Ariel. He’s almost like a second father figure for her when her father can’t be there, and also a friend.

Bianca Lorje (Chef Louis and Mer Sister), senior, daughter of Jeramy and Josh Reinhold — Thank you to everybody who participated in the show and did the best to their ability in this production and sharing their talent with the town. It’s amazing how many of us can put one thing together. Thank you for everything you’ve done to make it happen.

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