The student news site of Kingwood Park High School

KP TIMES

The student news site of Kingwood Park High School

KP TIMES

The student news site of Kingwood Park High School

KP TIMES

Princess dreams come true for Helton

Senior+Cara+Helton+laughs+while+learning+the+One+Step+Closer+choreography.
Exa Nix
Senior Cara Helton laughs while learning the “One Step Closer” choreography.

When senior Cara Helton auditioned for “The Little Mermaid,” she was looking for a fun way to kick off her final year of high school. It also catered to her childhood love of the movie. What she didn’t know was that she would be Ariel herself.

“I wanted to join the musical because I really love ‘The Little Mermaid,’ it was my favorite movie growing up. I used to watch it on VHS and rewind it every time it finished,” Helton said.

While this is Helton’s first school show, she has done other productions during summers with Christian Community Theater (CCT), performing in “Beauty and Beast,” “Hello Dolly,” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

On the day the cast list for “The Little Mermaid” was announced, Helton was on a trip with the Journalism department to compete in Nationals.

“I was in Boston when I saw the cast list, and I had previously convinced myself I wasn’t going to be Ariel,” Helton said. “Right before I looked at the cast list I had to calm myself down and remember that I was going to have fun regardless of my role.”

Fellow journalism student Shelby Townsend, 11, was with Helton when the list was released. The two celebrated in the streets of Boston.

“We were jumping holding onto one another’s arms while I shouted a bunch of praise. I was so excited for her and it was so memorable being able to celebrate with her,” Townsend said.

Townsend has watched Helton in her CCT productions and is excited to see what she will bring to the table for this show.

Meet the cast & crew
Asa O’Farrell (Prince Eric)
Asa OFarrell plays Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid.
Asa O’Farrell plays Prince Eric in “The Little Mermaid.” (Emerson Harris)

Grade: Senior

Q: What has been the most difficult part of the rehearsal process so far?

A: “Singing high notes. I am a Bass 2, and Prince Eric was made for a tenor singer which is a lot higher than I am.”

Q: Who is your favorite character?

A: “I’m gonna say Scuttle. He has a lot of funny lines, a funny song, and is very bad at English.”

Q: Do you have any advice for people who might be interested in the theater world?

A: “I’d recommend you get a friend to join with you. It makes it a lot of fun. Of course you’ll make friends when you’re there, but I think it’s more fun when you have someone you’ve known for a while doing it with you.”

Q: What are you most looking forward to in "The Little Mermaid?"

A: “My songs and solos.”

Q: Who do you look up to in theater?

A: “Probably seniors from last year, like Cameron Williams. He’s a very good actor, but he wasn’t in the musical with me last year. We did a competition play together and he was very inspiring and good at what he did.”

Itati Lainez (Ursula)
Senior Itati Lainez stars as Ursula in The Little Mermaid.
Senior Itati Lainez stars as Ursula in “The Little Mermaid.” (Emerson Harris)

Grade: Senior

Q: What are you most excited about?

A: “I’m a better singer than I am actor for sure, but I’m really looking forward to ‘Poor Unfortunate Souls’ because I get to be a little brat onstage.”

Q: What has been most difficult so far?

A: “Probably the lines. I’ve never had to memorize lines. I’ve had to think of it as a song, just without notes. That is hard.” 

Q: Who is your favorite character in the show?

A: “Ursula. But that might be biased.”

Q: Who do you look up to in theater?

A: “Emerson Harris and Asa O'Farrell. I’ve seen them in 'Seussical,' 'The Triangle Factory Fire Project,' and 'Love/Sick.' And Uzi, he’s so good. I love the way he acts, he’s so sassy with it.”

Q: Do you have any advice for people who might be interested in the theater world?

A: “Just do it, man. No one in theater is going to judge you for trying out because they were all in your position once. #Noregrets.”

Maebeth Potter (Light board operator)
Maebeth Potter is the light board operator for The Little Mermaid.
Maebeth Potter is the light board operator for “The Little Mermaid.” (Emerson Harris)

Grade: Sophomore

Q: What are you most excited about?

A: “I’m most looking forward to getting closer to some of the cast members I haven’t met before and meeting new people.”

Q: Who is your favorite character?

A: “Flounder. He’s the best because he’s adorable and the most loving and funny character.”

Q: What has been the most difficult part of the rehearsal process so far?

A: “The rehearsal process has not been too difficult so far but I think the hardest part is going to be learning how to do something new and adapting to the light board.”

Q: Who do you look up to in theater?

A: “I look up to all of my junior and senior friends mostly because I know they’ll always be someone I can go to if I have a question or need help.”

Q:Do you have any advice for people who might be interested in the theater world?

A: “My advice would be to always keep doing what you love no matter what and find the things that you enjoy.”

Chris Echols (Ensemble)
Senior Chris Echols is part of the ensemble in The Little Mermaid.
Senior Chris Echols is part of the ensemble in “The Little Mermaid.” (Emerson Harris)

Grade: Senior

Q: What are you most excited about?

A: “The music. The dancing. Everything that makes a musical a musical.”

Q: Who is your favorite character in the show?

A: “Gotta be Scuttle. I love Grace Potter, she’s a very hilarious person and I know she’s gonna kill the role.”

Q: What has been the most difficult part of the rehearsal process so far?

A: “Learning the music and the right notes.”

Q: Who do you look up to in theater?

A: “Mark Johanson. He got me started in theater.”

Q:Do you have any advice for people who might be interested in the theater world?

A: “Do it, it’s fun. You’re gonna love it. You’ll meet amazing people.”

Harper Toth (Stage manager)
Harper Toth is the stage manager of The Little Mermaid.
Harper Toth is the stage manager of “The Little Mermaid.” (Emerson Harris)

Grade: Junior

Q: What has been the most difficult part of the rehearsal process so far?

A: “There are a lot of people in the show, and there are a lot of call times, rehearsals, and different times to keep track of.”

Q: What are you most excited about?

A: “I think it’ll be really colorful to see all the kids’ reactions.”

Q: Who do you look up to in theater?

A: “Abby Hunt. She helped me learn a lot and was kind of a leader for me to follow.”

Q: Who is your favorite character in the show?

A: “I like Ariel.”

Q: Do you have any advice for people who might be interested in the theater world?

A: “Just try it out. There are a lot of fields you can go into, different roles. You can start small, you can learn different things before committing to a style. But there are a lot of things you can learn and different parts you can go into.”

Daileyanne Brom (Allana)
Daileyanne Brom is Allana in The Little Mermaid.
Daileyanne Brom is Allana in “The Little Mermaid.” (Emerson Harris)

Grade: Freshman

Q: What are you most excited about?

A: “I’ve had to learn a lot of new things, so I’m interested to see how they come together. Not to mention I love the costumes.”

Q: Who is your favorite character?

A: “Triton. I love how hard he tries to be his best for his daughters.”

Q: What has been the most difficult part of the rehearsal process so far?

A: "The hardest part of this rehearsal process so far is memorizing the songs and dances. Oh, and hitting a high C."

Q: Who do you look up to in theater?

A: "I look up to all of my fellow cast members who were brave enough to join and participate in this project. It would be hard to pick just one, considering that everyone is extremely talented and kind. My family and I have been attending high school performances for years, and I find myself in awe of them every time."

Q: Do you have any advice for people who might be interested in the theater world?

A: "The advice I would give is this: If you have an interest in theater, try it out, even if you if you think you don’t have the skillset. Talent comes with the work involved."

 

“Cara’s going to be such an amazing Ariel because not only does she work so incredibly hard but has tremendous talent and facial expressions,” Townsend said.

While her friends at school may be proud of her, her family is overjoyed with her accomplishment.

“She has worked so hard for this role and she truly deserves this so much,” said freshman Amy Helton, Cara’s younger sister and fellow cast member. “When I saw the cast list, I was so excited I was literally screaming. This is her dream role and I know she will be amazing.”

As an avid “The Little Mermaid fan,” Helton is incredibly proud of herself. Seeing herself as one of her childhood favorites is a dream come true.

“Getting to play the lead is so incredibly special to me, it’s not something I’ve ever had the opportunity to do and I’m just so excited for this role,” Helton said.

Though the acting side is appealing, Helton is also excited to learn the music for this show.

“This show has such beautiful music, aside from the high notes, I don’t think learning it is too difficult because I’m already familiar with a lot of it,” Helton said.

Helton is looking forward to socializing with fellow students in the company. In theater, a strong community bond is important.

“I’m super excited to build relationships with the cast and crew for this show. Working with people is so much fun and I’m excited we all get to act and sing together,” Helton said.

While Helton might have gotten in the flow of community theatre, she’s on a whole new planet with this show. The show will have its first performance Jan. 18. It will run through Jan. 20.

“It felt intimidating at first because everyone is your age and knows how to navigate rehearsals,” Helton said. “There’s still a lot I’m getting used to, but I have incredible friends who are very welcoming and kind and are helping me feel at home.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to KP TIMES
$1100
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Kingwood Park High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs. The journalism program at Kingwood Park is funded solely from student sold advertisements and community support.

More to Discover
Donate to KP TIMES
$1100
$1000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All KP TIMES Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *