Director Stephen Arment and his cast and crew of 33 students will perform ‘The Little Mermaid’ at the end of April.

Durant Theatre Company will transport their audience under the sea at the end of April for their spring musical, The Little Mermaid.

With a cast of 33 students, director Stephen Arment decided to produce The Little Mermaid following the success of Beauty and the Beast last year.

Little Mermaid is an enormous, complex show. We are tasked with creating an entire world ‘Under the Sea.’ We’ve brought on DHS alumni and current Disney princess Marissa Steiner as choreographer this year to help make things a little easier and she has just been wonderful. This is a very tech-heavy show, so our crew members definitely have their work cut out for them if we’re going to be successful,” explained Arment.

Eight crew members, led by senior stage manager Autumn Bodenweiser and senior tech director Kalyn Hansen, have worked hard to execute an exciting and immersive show.

Senior and four-year company veteran Madison Tolley will take the stage as Ariel. Prince Eric will be played by senior Ryan Gagnon, who joined the cast this year.

“Natalie Doucette is holding her [own] as our resident villain, Ursula. Natalie has also been involved all four years of high school and is thrilled to meet the challenge of her first leading role in a musical,” said Arment.

This is also the first year Arment has been able to double-cast a role, meaning both senior Gwynnie Ocampo and senior Jessie Leathers will play Flounder.

“Both girls breathe so much life into the yellow and blue fish and it’s exciting that folks will have an opportunity to see different performers at different shows,” praised Arment.

The cast is also being supported by Durant’s chorus teacher, Giselle Panagiotakis. Arment admitted the theater company is not specifically a musical cast, but Panagiotakis has played a key role in encouraging the cast to step out of their comfort zone.

“I can remember being in awe of their willingness to do that in Beauty and the Beast, and I continue to be amazed at how they take ownership of this daunting challenge,” said Arment.

The performances will take place from Thursday through Saturday, April 27 at 7 p.m., April 28 at 7 p.m. and April 29 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets will be available at the door or online at

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Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.