In Westport, sweet sounds from under the sea

Curtain rises on ‘The Little Mermaid’ this week


WESTPORT — The Westport High School auditorium stage will be transformed to a warm, wonderful (except for one scary water witch) world beneath the sea this Thursday and Friday evening as Westport Elementary Drama Group performs ‘The Little Mermaid.’

The fifth and sixth grade cast members (ages 10 and 11) have been working after school toward this moment since last fall.

“We have been rehearsing since the middle of October, twice a week, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays said elementary school music and drama teacher Elizabeth Cote, who, with Marlo Dennis (music teacher at Macomber School), is directing the production.

Despite all that, energy levels remain high, she said.

“The students are all working very hard and have been right along. They are very excited to perform this week.”

The story and all that great music help keep them motivated.

“‘Under the Sea,’” probably the most famous song from the show, would be the students’ favorite,” Ms. Cote said. “The students truly rock out to this piece!”

The relatively simple set was assembled with help from parents; Sound and lighting is handled by tech director Chris Nunes who also has some student helpers.

Some of the sixth grade performers are veterans of last year’s production of Lion King Junior. also directed by Cote and Dennis. For the fifth grade cast members, this will be their first WES play.

Ms. Cote said they were blessed with a talented troupe and that matching students to parts is always tough. “We never have any obvious choices — the students pleasantly surprise us every time. They all do a fine job.”

She added, “We love working with these students. They are truly a spirited, enthusiastic, motivating, and talented bunch. 


There will be two performances, one each on Thursday, Feb. 16, and Friday, Feb. 17, at 6:30 p.m., at the Westport High School auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children and seniors and can be bought at the door.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.