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High school musicals take the stage around York County

Jessica Schladebeck
505-5438/@JessDispatch
Ariel, played by Anneliese Reichart, sings "Part of Your World" during act one during a dress rehearsal of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" at Central York High School Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. The play will be presented Friday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday Feb. 27 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 28 at 2:30 p.m. Saturday's 2:30 p.m. performance will be signed for the hearing impaired. Bil Bowden photo

The Central York High School auditorium was abuzz with giant jellyfish and other types of sea creatures as students prepared for one of their final rehearsals before their opening night this weekend.

Central York's performers — as well as those students in the crew and playing in the pit — this year will be presenting the "The Little Mermaid," and they have been rehearsing since the beginning of January, sometimes five days a week, to make sure it's just right.

Ariel, played by Anneliese Reichart, kisses Prince Eric, played by Kellen Beck after their wedding during a dress rehearsal of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" at Central York High School Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. The play will be presented Friday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday Feb. 27 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 28 at 2:30 p.m. Saturday's 2:30 p.m. performance will be signed for the hearing impaired. Bil Bowden photo

Trevor Blood, the sophomore student bringing the character of Flounder to life, said rehearsals have been going well and he is looking forward to the show-stopping number "Under the Sea."

Triton is played by Carter Bowman during a dress rehearsal of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" at Central York High School Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. The play will be presented Friday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday Feb. 27 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 28 at 2:30 p.m. Saturday's 2:30 p.m. performance will be signed for the hearing impaired. Bil Bowden photo

"I watched 'The Little Mermaid' when I was growing up, so it really is a lot of fun to be a part of this show," he said.

The experience has been bittersweet for Kellen Beck, the senior who plays Prince Eric.

"It's always the people that make it the best," he said. "This year is the end for me. I've made some of my best friends here."

Scuttle the seagull, played by Lydia Stone, flies past Ariel, played by Anneliese Reichart and Flounder, played by Trevor Blood during a dress rehearsal of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" at Central York High School Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. The play will be presented Friday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday Feb. 27 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 28 at 2:30 p.m. Saturday's 2:30 p.m. performance will be signed for the hearing impaired. Bil Bowden photo

Senior Juah Toe, who plays both a sting-ray and then later a swan, echoed the sentiment.

"You rehearse and you're separated into these groups so you never really know what it's going to look like," she said. "Eventually we all just meshed together like a family."

And in spite of the long process and a ton of dancing, sophomore Alex Strausbaugh, who plays a mermaid sister, can't wait.

"The costumes are amazing, the set is huge," she said. "Once we get this giant production together, it gets really exciting."

The curtain for Central York's "The Little Mermaid" goes up Thursday, as it will for at both Kennard-Dale and Northeastern high schools' spring musical productions.

Ariel, left, played by Anneliese Reichart, Prince Eric, played by Kellen Beck, and his assistant Grimsby played by Dylan Warner, right, watch as Sebastian, played by Lance Mitchell, tries to sneak past during a dress rehearsal of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" at Central York High School Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. The play will be presented Friday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday Feb. 27 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 28 at 2:30 p.m. Saturday's 2:30 p.m. performance will be signed for the hearing impaired. Bil Bowden photo

Mark your calendars: The spring musical season, which begins this weekend, will run through April 10.

  • Central York High School will present "The Little Mermaid" at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and at 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
  • Kennard-Dale High School will present "Mary Poppins" at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 1 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday
  • Northeastern High School will present "The Little Mermaid" at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m Sunday
  • Red Land High School will present "Footloose" at  7 p.m. March 3-5
  • Red Lion Area Senior High School will present "Beauty and the Beast" at 7 p.m. March 3-5 and 2 p.m. March 5-6
  • Dallastown Area High School will present "Mary Poppins" at 7 p.m. on April 7-9 and 2 p.m. on April 9-10
  • Dover Area High School will present "Mary Poppins" at 7 p.m. March 4-5 and 2 p.m. March 5-6 
  • Northern High School will present "Footloose" at 7 p.m. March 4-5 at and 3 p.m. March 6
  • Spring Grove Area High School will present "Seussical, the Musical" at 7 p.m. March 4-5 and at 2 p.m. March 5-6
  • York Catholic High School will present "Bye Bye Birdie" at 7 p.m. March 4-5 and 2 p.m. March 5-6
  • York Suburban High School will present "The Little Mermaid" at 7:30 p.m. March 4-5 and 2:30 p.m. March 5
  • South Western High School will present "Honk!" at 7 p.m. March 17-19
  • West York Area High School will present "Shrek! The Musical" at 7 p.m. March 18-19 and 2 p.m. March 19
  • Susquehannock High School will present "Pippin" at  7 p.m. April 1-2 and 2 p.m. April 3
  • Eastern York High School will present "Fiddler on the Roof" at 7 p.m. April 8-9 and 2 p.m. April 10
  • Hanover Senior High School will present "Jekyll & Hyde" at 7 p.m. April 8-9 and 2 p.m. April 10
  • William Penn Senior High School will present "In the Heights" at the Strand Theatre at 6:30 p.m. April 8-9

— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at jschladebeck@yorkdispatch.com.

Ursula, played by Allison Rambler, sings Daddy's Little Angel, while Flotsam, right, played by Katie Giambalvo, and Jetsam, played by Koby Fink support during a dress rehearsal of Disney's "The Little Mermaid" at Central York High School Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016. The play will be presented Friday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday Feb. 27 at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 28 at 2:30 p.m. Saturday's 2:30 p.m. performance will be signed for the hearing impaired. Bil Bowden photo