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Yukon set to go ‘Under the Sea’

It has been non-stop for the musical theatre department at Yukon High School since the start of the semester.

After holding auditions the week prior to winter break, the cast and directors have been preparing to show off their talent with the Little Mermaid Thursday, Friday and March 2 at the Yukon Fine Arts Center. The musical will begin at 7 p.m. all three dates.

More than 90 Yukon High School students auditioned to be in the production, and there are 132 students that are part of the show, whether they are on stage, in the orchestra or in the technical crew.

The directors for the musical are Darin and Derek Chapin, who are the co-choir directors at Yukon High School. Darin is the producer, while Derek is the conductor of the orchestra.

Yukon High School band director Darnell Zook prepares the orchestra. Megan Day is the Theatre Director and the Stage Director and in charge of the costumes.

Wes McAtee and Tony Travis are the Fine Arts Center directors and the set designers for the production and Elizabeth Dragoo is the choreographer. Dragoo is the only director in the musical that is not a Yukon Public Schools employee. She is a choreographer at the Bethany Stage.

“It’s been a great experience,” Darin Chapin said. “This is the eighth-straight year this team has done the musical. It’s a lot of fun to work with people you like. It’s a lot of fun seeing the different students come together. We share a lot of students, but we also get to see other students that don’t have on a daily basis.”

There were so many students that auditioned for the musical, the directors decided to create two different casts. The cast and crew have been rehearsing every day of the week except Sunday since the end of winter break.

Darin Chapin said they try and mix up the styles of musical they do every year. Last year, they did Guys and Dolls. Two years ago, they did Big Fish and the year before that they did Shrek.

From left, senior Kaela Adams (Ursula), junior Blaine Carson (Grimsby), senior Gabe Reyes (Prince Eric), junior Kali Grizzle (Ariel), senior Gabriella Beck (Ariel) and senior Sam Anderson (Prince Eric) pose for a photograph during a rehearsal for Little Mermaid. Photo/Kyle Salomon

“We look at the talent we have in our program, and who we know is planning to audition. We also try and consider what the community and school district might like.”

Each student signed up to audition, was given the music and three monologues three weeks prior to the audition. Each student then came and performed individually for the directors and then participated in a dance call the next night.

“It was pretty calm when we started the rehearsals,” Day said. “The chaos usually starts when we shift everything to the Fine Arts Center, which was about three weeks ago. The orchestra joined us this week, so it’s been chaotic, but it’s been good. I love the music in the Little Mermaid. It showcases the kids’ talent. These kids have tremendous dedication, they an incredible group.”

Gabe Reyes, who is playing Prince Eric in one of the casts, said he’s enjoyed this process.

“I feel like it has gone so fast. Everyone has really come together and learned their stuff. I am going to remember the music the most. There are so many different songs sang by different people. It makes for an amazing score.”

Kali Grizzle, who is playing the role of Ariel in one of the casts, said she likes seeing everyone come together.

“It’s great to see everyone working together and making art together. It will be sad when it’s over. There will definitely be an after-show depression. The rehearsals are what I am going to miss the most. I’ll miss everyone working together.”

Jaedyn Kanatzar, who will play Ursula in one of the casts, said she enjoys the challenge of balancing school and the musical.

“I love the musical. There is a lot of stress as well. We still have school and it’s a big honor to be able to do both and to get to interact with everyone. It’s crazy to think there is only two months of school after it’s over. The relationships that we create through this experience is what I will miss the most.”

Tickets for adults are $12 online and $14 at the door. For seniors and students, tickets are $10 online and $12 at the door. Children six-and-under are free.

You can purchase tickets online at or at the door prior to each performance. For more information, call 265-4442.

From left, senior Gabe Reyes (Prince Eric) and junior Kali Grizzle (Ariel)

1 Comment

  1. Cindy Reardon on February 28, 2019 at 11:17 am

    Our grandson Dylan Romero has been a part of this class since 8th grade , he’sa sophomore now. . I spoke with him this morning and he said it’s the largest production they’ve done since he started. He’s on the design crew and is very excited about participating in this musical!! To all of the cast and crew…” GOOD LUCK !!” I hope the weather doesn’t keep people away.

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