The Little Mermaid

Kimball Area Theatre made a giant splash with their performance of Disney's The Little Mermaid on Nov. 17-19 at the high school.  Directed by Kenzie Traurig, the roster of 70+ cast members ranged from 3rd-12th grade. 

Also assisting with the Fall Musical were Music Director Amber Wang, Technical Director Rachel Kuebelbeck, Choreography Director Erin Donnay and Erin Durga, who was the mastermind behind the impressive costumes.

“At the end of each Fall Musical we look at the roster of returning students for the next year and research possible shows that would showcase our student's strengths,” said Traurig. “The Little Mermaid was a show we kept coming back to that would really showcase our talented cast and crew.”

And showcase did it ever. Senior Andy Becker and sophomore Ella Myers shined in their lead roles as Prince Eric and Ariel. Sebastian was proudly performed by freshman Roslyn Stang while senior Haden Rosenow played his role of King Triton with strength and precision.

Lead cast members (L to R): Haden Rosenow (King Triton), Ella Myers (Ariel) and Andy Becker (Prince Eric). A special thank you to Kyleigh Eisenbraun, who volunteers her time and talents to paint the mural for each play. This mural for The Little Mermaid was her best yet.

Cast members Roslyn Stang (Sebastian) and Taylor Libbesmeier (Scuttle).

The additional lead cast members were incredible as well. First year actress Brookelyn Kuechle blew her character of Ursula out of the water while 8th grader Jamison Zoller was the perfect swimming sidekick for Ariel as Flounder. Juniors Zach Kourima and Taylor Libbesmeier were also happily welcomed to the stage. Kourima offered great advice to Prince Eric on stage as Grimsby. Libbesmeier transitioned from his lead stage crew role last year to his hilarious and entertaining role as Scuttle on stage this year. The lead characters were rounded out by junior Maddy Groinus (Chef Louis), freshman Kennedy Theis (Flotsam) and 8th grader Aurora Voigt (Jetsam). 

 Cast members (L to R): Aurora Voigt (Jetsam), Maddy Groinus (Chef Louis), theatre fan Maria, Elly Myers (Ariel), Ben Foos (Sound Tech), Joshua Loch (Ensemble), Jamison Zoller (Flounder) and Kennedy Theis (Flotsam). 

“We directors continue to be impressed with the hard work that our students put into the Fall Musical,” said Traurig. “Our students go to school and most of them are involved in extracurricular activities right after school.  They have homework and a million other things going on, but they come to rehearsal from 5-7 pm each night of the week and are excited to be there.  The work they put in shined on stage during the performances this fall.”  

Brookelyn Kuechle blew her role of Ursula out of the water. 

Over 1,000 audience members enjoyed the incredible performances over the span of four shows. 

“We have really grown as a Kimball Area Theatre program over the last few years and it has really been amazing,” added Traurig. “Unfortunately, we have outgrown our space in the Cafetorium. We are running out of room for the props and costumes we have collected over the years.  Our sound and lights are outdated and do not accommodate the performances that we put on.  We get really creative with the space to put on the best show possible for our audience.” 

Thank you to our audience members who packed the house at all four shows in the Cafetorium.

Ariel's six sisters (L to R): Brooke Hinkemeyer (Andrina), Maddie Lindberg (Adella, Ella Lyrek (Atina), Kati Zimmerman (Allana), Alison Waldorf (Arista) and Denny Konz (Aquata). 

“I'm grateful for the community support and the students who keep coming back to be a part of the productions,” expressed Traurig. “It is rare for a small town to be able to put on three productions a year, but we have talented students that have the best support system behind them.”

Third grade cast members Makayla Freeman (left) and Loretta Fischer. 

Kimball Area Theatre had 11 seniors participate in the Fall Musical (L to R): Paul Potier (stage crew and foreign exchange student), Hope Weiman (ensemble), Alex Ludlow (stage crew), Alison Waldorf (Arista), Elly Lyrek (Atina), Charlie Moore (ensemble), William Serbus (stage crew), Ben Foos (sound), Haden Rosenow (King Triton), Andy Becker (Prince Eric) and Brookelyn Kuechle (Ursula). 

Kimball Area Theatre will not be participating in the One Act Competition this winter. Instead, the program will be performing a Spring Play in a dinner theatre style setting on April 5-7, 2024.

“I am looking forward to the students who have discovered their love for theatre,” stated Traurig. “Our students continue to grow on stage and I’m looking forward to new faces joining a strong and talented group of theatre students this spring.”  

Congratulations to the talented and hardworking cast and crew of The Little Mermaid.

Highlights from Disney's The Little Mermaid.