Colo-NESCO High School students are preparing to bring Disney’s “Little Mermaid” to the stage as this year’s spring musical. The production can be attended on one of two evenings: Friday, March 29, or Saturday, March 30. The shows start both evenings at 7 p.m. in the high school cafetorium.

“This year’s musical is very different in music, characters, set design and costuming than last year’s production,” said high school musical director Bryan Ward.

Ward said he chose “Little Mermaid” as something that would be fun for the kids, fit the strengths of the cast and really be that contrast to last year’s production of “The Music Man.”

“Being a musical based on a Disney movie, this is a musical that many people know and [it] will appeal to all ages,” Warde said. “This will be a great musical to bring your young child too, as well as create nostalgia for someone who remembers seeing the movie the first time many years ago.”

Ward, who teaches K-12 vocal music at Colo-NESCO schools, said approximately 40 students are involved in this year’s spring production.

Leads in the production have gone to the following upperclassmen: Senior Haley Becvar will play Ariel, senior Zachary McWherter will play the prince; senior Kassie Duran will play Ursula; junior Benjamin Danielson will play Sebastian; senior Cassidy Clair will play Flounder; junior Jackson Shaw will play King Triton and senior Autumn Cerka will play Scuttle.

As for what the students are enjoying about this year’s musical, Ward said, “I think students always enjoy being able to play someone else. Whether this is playing a Disney princess, or speaking with an accent, or portraying a villain, students enjoy stepping out of their own shoes and playing a character.”

He adds, “The show also has a great camaraderie that brings everyone together.”

Work on this show began right after the winter break in early January. “Once the cast was revealed, I began working with students immediately in private lessons. Full rehearsals followed shortly,” Ward said. The biggest hurdle has been all the rehearsal time lost because of snow days. “That has definitely created a challenge this year,” he noted.

Ward said he’s grateful to a few parents who have helped with some costuming, props and feeding the kids during a Saturday practice. “My wife has also helped out with some of the choreography of a few of the songs,” he said.

Admission to the show is $5. Much like attending a high school sports event, Ward said, people can pay at the door. Colo-NESCO activity passes are not accepted. It’s all general seating.

Concessions will be open during the performances, thanks to the Booster Club.