Recommended for pre-k through 1st grade
Join us beneath the sea as we follow the story of the most beautiful fish in all the ocean, Rainbow Fish. Based on the international bestseller and award-winning book, The Rainbow Fish Musical brings its important message of friendship and belonging to life through song and dance. This production features an all youth cast under the direction of a teen production team.
GREAT EDUCATION: PLAY FOR ALL STAGES
In mid-September the Rainbow Fish Musical production team met for the first time, bringing mentees and mentors together to begin the process of mounting this student-led show in the Helgeson Learning Lab Theatre. But the dream to do this youth mentoring project actually began in February of 2019, with a grant proposal to the Central MN Arts Board. When funding came through to support it, GREAT’s Education team excitedly began planning to make the dream a reality.
Students interviewed to be a part of the production staff in August, and the project officially kicked off. Through conversations with mentors, production meetings, and individual student work, the team began to develop their designs for the show. Auditions were held in mid-October, and suddenly a cast of fourteen youth actors joined the Rainbow Fish production.
Seeing the hours of planning, designing, and directing come to life has been a joy, as students have had a hand in every aspect of production. From the original sketches of the ocean floor to the initial conversations surrounding movement, the youth production team has led the way in bringing this production to life.
Rainbow Fish: Bayley Schneider
Little Fish: Mazie Moore
Starfish: Noah Lundy
Ms. Minnow: Amelia Reker
Octopus: Cadence Mix
Pufferfish: Maren Inkster
Hermit Crab: Max Hall
Sardine: Ella Bensen
Clownfish: Makiah McGinnis
Ensemble/Mackerel: Morgan Schneider
Ensemble/Nautilus: Caroline Popp
Ensemble/Humu: Abby Williamson
Ensemble/Red-Tailed Guppy: Monica Schlough
Ensemble/Blue-tailed Guppy: Blake Hogenson
YOUTH PRODUCTION TEAM
DIRECTOR: Grace Radeke
MUSIC DIRECTOR: Alexia Engels
CHOREOGRAPHER: Fiona Cheever
SCENIC DESIGNER: Lexi McKay
LIGHTING & SOUND DESIGNER: Brendan Engels
COSTUME DESIGNER: Emma Carney
STAGE MANAGER: Amelia Reid
DIRECTOR MENTOR: Kendra Norton Dando
MUSIC DIRECTOR MENTOR: Hillary Vermillion
CHOREOGRAPHER MENTOR: Yadaira Rivera-Reyes
STAGE MANAGER MENTOR: Anita Reber
SCENIC DESIGN MENTOR: Rich Kimmerle
LIGHTING & SOUND DESIGNER MENTOR: Colin Jarrell
COSTUME DESIGNER MENTOR: Sarah Beth Stewart
EDUCATION INTERN: Emily Prestby
GREAT THEATRE BRINGS BELOVED CHILDREN'S BOOK TO THE STAGE
Sarah Colburn | Special to the Times | Published 5:00 p.m. CT Nov. 12, 2019
Students are directing and designing for the upcoming production of “The Rainbow Fish Musical” in the Helgeson Learning Lab at GREAT Theatre.
The musical was inspired by the children’s book “The Rainbow Fish,” about a fish with beautiful scales who all the other fish admire despite her lack of kindness and her overly proud demeanor.
“She eventually learns the joy of sharing and caring for other fish,” said Kendra Norton Dando, education director for GREAT.
The performance will be in the round so the audience is close to the action and kids can get an up-close view of the stage. The set includes a beautifully-painted ocean floor and accompanying rocks and works to create the underwater world.
The cast of 14 is being directed by a production team of 14- to 17-year-olds. The teens are heading up every avenue of design, from directing and choreography to music, costume, scenic, light and sound design and stage management.
“The goal is to give high school students the opportunity to work on the backstage and design elements of theater,” Norton Dando said.
Teens interviewed for positions on the production in August and began working as a design team in September.
The musical lasts just under an hour and is appropriate for younger audiences, the target age being through second grade.
“It’s been a really fun experience working with teens; they’re incredibly creative human beings who have really good thoughts about how to tell the story,” Norton Dando said.
While the teens do work with a team of adult mentors, they’re the ones running rehearsals and production meetings and truly shaping the production.
This activity is made possible in part by a grant from the Central MN Arts Board with funds appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature from its general fund.