By CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA | Reporter

Disney’s “The Little Mermaid Jr.” is playing at Pierson Playhouse starting Friday, July 26, and running through August 4.

Theatre Palisades Youth, a youth theatre group that puts on two yearly shows at Pierson Playhouse, will perform the 60-minute musical, based on the 2008 Broadway production and the classic 1989 animated feature film.

The cast of 45 students will perform under the direction of Lara Ganz as well as Emma Green, Musical Director Rachel Howe Mixon, and Producers Susan Jackman and Rene Rodman. The show will include all of the songs from award-winning movie, as well as three new songs from the Broadway special.

“We don’t call it a camp because it’s really a performance workshop,” Ganz explained. “The kids are expected to come in and work like professional actors.”

For those that might have been living under the sea, “The Little Mermaid Jr.” takes place in an underwater magic kingdom where a young mermaid named Ariel “longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above.”

But she’ll have to do it against the king of the sea’s wishes, escape an evil sea witch and “convince a prince that she’s the girl with the perfect voice.”

With three separate casts performing nine shows, Ganz, her cast and fellow directors have had to work harder than ever to make sure the show is ready to go on July 26.

“I have a bunch of local Palisades teenagers helping me as my interns—kids who have aged out come back and help the kids and teach the choreography and help directors,” said Ganz, who had local UCLA student Daniel Mitchener volunteer his lighting design expertise.

Cast member parents have been coming in on weekends and after work hours to lend a helping hand with costume design and set construction. The young cast members have been learning aerial skills and acrobatics to take the show to the next level.

“I just really feel like this show, more than any other show, has local teens and parents of the cast who have really put this show on, it’s such a collaboration.”

For more information and show times, visit theatrepalisades.com.