From now until opening night on Nov. 9, the Livingston Post will be profiling cast members of the Community Theatre of Howell’s production of “The Little Mermaid.”
Regan Miller is only in seventh grade, but he’s already a seasoned theater veteran. And while “The Little Mermaid” isn’t his first show, it IS his first show playing a fish.
And he’s loving every second of it.
Regan plays Flounder, the tropical fish who is Ariel’s best friend in Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” With opening night coming up on Friday, Regan has been loving life under the sea.
“I love this role because Flounder is an energetic and curious fish,” said Regan, a homeschooler who lives in Howell. “I love his funny and awkward personality, too. Anytime I have been cast in a show, I have always been cast as a serious part. With Flounder, I have the chance to open up and be a funny, not-so-serious character.”
“The Little Mermaid” tells the tale of a rebellious 16-year-old mermaid named Ariel who is fascinated with life on land. On one of her visits to the surface, which are forbidden by her controlling father, King Triton, she falls for a human prince. Determined to be with her new love, Ariel makes a dangerous deal with the sea witch Ursula to become human for three days. But when plans go awry for the star-crossed lovers, King Triton is forced to make the ultimate decision. Along the way, they encounter a variety of colorful and crazy sea creatures.
Regan said that audiences familiar with the film version of “The Little Mermaid” might find a few familiar things and a few new things in this production.
“I like that we can compare this show with the real movie,” he said. “We see the movie and we can see how we can change the production to make it better. I also love all of the singing, dancing, and blocking. One more thing I like about this show is all of the props and sets. All of the people that work backstage or in the tech booth have an important job, too. It’s not all about the cast. Everybody has a very important part with this play.”
In addition to his theater hobby, Regan is a pretty busy kid.
“What I like to do when I’m not on the stage is train and compete in various ninja competitions,” he said. “I also go wake boarding and sometimes water skiing in the summer. I like to read and play basketball. I am also enjoying taking my first year of tap dance and hip hop classes.
“My family is the most important thing to me besides my faith in God,” he added. “My mom works herself so hard to hustle my brother and I to the various activities that we have. My dad also works hard by working so we can be in the activities that we are in.
“Without my loving parents I couldn’t be in CTH, so I am very grateful for them! My brother, Calen, is one of the most adventurous people I have ever met. You can usually see him playing with things he has in his room. In CTH you can find him backstage helping with sets and props. Hopefully soon he will be able to be on the stage with the cast. Not to leave them out, I have a dog, Zaia, who I love to play with. I also have 13 chickens that my brother takes care of every day.”
Regan got involved with CTH when he joined the cast of “James and the Giant Peach Jr.” He’s also been involved with several shows at the Prelude Theatre in Hartland, including “The Lion King Jr.”
“I can’t decide what my favorite theater experience is,” he said. “Each one of the shows have had an impact on me from my very first show to this one. When it comes to choosing what my favorite role is, that’s also a tough decision. If I had to pick it would either be Flounder in this show or Simba in ‘The Lion King,’” he said.
“What I love most about CTH is that I am always exited to go to rehearsals,” Regan said. “Everyone is so nice, too. The minute I walk into the room, I always get a, ‘Hi, Regan!’ Everyone is always so happy to be there and everyone works hard to make the show a success. Every one at CTH has an important role, and they always get the job done.”
And with the months of rehearsal finally coming to an end, Regan can’t wait for opening night.
“My favorite part of this show is that it is different from a lot of shows,” he said. “This show is underwater, so the props and sets are super awesome. The tech people try their best to make it look like we are actually underwater. When these two work together, the stage truly looks like it is an adventure under the sea. All of the producers and directors take time to be at the theater and work with us also, so I am very grateful for them.”
The Community Theatre of Howell is presenting “The Little Mermaid” at the Howell High School Freshman Campus, 1400 W. Grand River Ave., Howell. Shows are Nov. 9-11 and 16-18, with showtimes at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday each weekend.
Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, available at Finding Roots in Howell, Maria’s School of Dance in Fowlerville, Big Acre in Brighton, and Ed Bock Feed and Seed in Pinckney. Tickets are also available by calling 517-545-1290, or online at cththeatre.org. You can buy tickets by clicking here.