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Laurens County Community Theater brings iconic musical, The Little Mermaid, to CHS stage

All photos by Judith Brown, Laurens County Advertiser.

Clinton, South Carolina – Actors, sets and costumes will transport the stage of the Clinton High School Auditorium “under the sea” as the Laurens County Community Theater production of Disney’s iconic musical, The Little Mermaid, opens at 7:30 p.m. this Friday night.

It’s LCCT’s second large-scale play during this theater season. Willy Wonka Jr. was produced in the fall of 2022, but this is the first season with a full slate of shows planned since the pandemic. It follows the fall show, The Wizard of Oz, which was performed in October, ’23.

The CHS auditorium has become the LCCT’s new home base, and Joe Timmons, who had been serving as the high school’s language arts and theater teacher, came on as the non-profit’s executive director last year.

In early December, however, barely two months after the opening of The Wizard of Oz and after the cast had already been set for The Little Mermaid, Timmons passed away after a brief illness.

“We’re dedicating this show to Joe,” said LCCT Board Member Kay Addison. “It took us awhile to get started back after Covid, and Joe was the spark we needed to get it going back again.”

Timmons and the LCCT board had set up a full slate of plays and musicals for this theater season and Timmons had directed the Wizard of Oz.

“He oversaw the CHS construction classes to build the witch’s tower for Oz, and we were able to redesign it for Ursula’s lair,” Addison said. “He did so much and was calm and patient and got things done. His death was a shock to all of us, but as (Board Member) Jim Barton said, because of Joe, this truly became a community theater effort. It took this entire team to replace Joe.”

A cast of adults, teens and children have come together to produce the show based on Hans Christian Andersen’s story and the Disney musical film.

Dani Trent plays Ariel in only her second play while Prince Eric is played by Boyad “Holly” Hollingshead, who moved to Clinton last year just in time to volunteer with Oz, Addison said.

Ursula is played by Tricia Nolan and her henchmen eels Flotsam and Jetsam are played by Bennet Nolan and Charlie Thompson, respectively. Ariel’s friends, Flounder and Scuttle, are played by Ben Thompson and Harper Nelson, respectively, while Michael Post is King Triton and Mary Babb Davis is his right-hand crab, Sebastian.

The shows this weekend are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday night, Jan. 26 and 27, and Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m.

The following week the shows are set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Feb. 1 and Feb. 2, with the final show at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3.

Tickets are available at the door, online at LCCT.net, or by calling 864-833-5228.

This story originally ran on Pages 1 and 3 in the Wednesday, Jan. 24 issue of The Laurens County Advertiser.

3 Comments

  1. Tricia Nolan on January 29, 2024 at 9:48 pm

    Feeling left out of the mentions, and Ursula gets dangerous when she’s left out! That is a picture of me with my son Bennet as Flotsam. We’ve been doing plays together with LCCT for years. He played Charlie and Willy Wonka Junior.

    • Judith Brown on January 30, 2024 at 9:57 am

      Oh my goodness I am so sorry. I had a brief list of characters when I had written the story and then the playbill draft didn’t come in until deadline when I was on to other stories. I can’t believe that I wasn’t thinking about it when I was writing it bc I was bragging about you when I came into the office Tuesday! I found the playbill in my email and have updated it. Please accept my apologies! I sent Dawn several pics of you, btw. (Judith Brown)

      • Tricia Nolan on January 30, 2024 at 11:08 am

        Thanks for updating it! My fragile actor’s ego has been modified! Thanks also for sending the extra pics to my email. We are having so much fun!

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