Under the Sea at APU

by Katelyn Noll '07

On May 18-20 and 25-27, the APU Department of Theatre, Film, and Television presented The Little Mermaid, an adaptation of the Hans Christian Anderson story. The performance was a fun production that reminded the audience of family values and celebrated friendships that stretched across cultures, ages, and circumstances.

The show was part of the Azusa Renaissance, a special project of APU's Theatre Arts Program that was initiated six years ago. According to Associate Professor Monica Ganas, Ph.D., "the Azusa Renaissance seeks to serve God by developing young Azusans in the performing arts, nurturing the expression of human creativity, and cultivating civic unity and goodwill."

Last year, the Azusa Renaissance was given a Lilly grant, which was used to fund an after-school acting workshop program at Sierra High School in Glendora. The group produced Cinderella, and included local youth in the cast. This year, the department did not get the grant, so it relied upon the youth in a different way: they were not part of the cast, but instead promoted it throughout the community.

In order to encourage children to attend the performance, admission was free for those 17 and under. Many of the audience members were children. The sound of children laughing could be heard throughout the play; parents and other adults enjoyed the playful show just as much as the younger people.

Next year's Azusa Renaissance production will be Peter Pan, and the APU Theatre Department hopes to have funding for another after-school acting clinic, enabling them to once again include youth from the local community in the cast.