The Little Mermaid Director's Notes
Written by Director Amber Mak
I remember sitting in the movie theatre when I was 9, being captivated and enthralled with this mysterious and beautiful underwater world that Disney created. I listened to The Little Mermaid on repeat, belting my face off in my room with a visceral connection to Part of Your World. I loved Ariel, this mermaid that didn’t always feel understood by her family and dreamed of experiencing some place beyond her home.
When Jim asked me to bring this show to life on stage at the Paramount, I immediately had reservations. How do you create an underwater world on stage? How do you bring to life sea animals and mystical characters? How do you make a beloved animated film into a live, theatrical experience? And now, when re-examining the story as an adult, and a future mother for the first time, what is the heart of the story that I really want to tell to new audiences?
I went back and re-read the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale. It begins “Far out in the sea, in a time long ago…” Fairytales have been told for hundreds of years, and with those words your imagination can take you on an exciting adventure.
This is where I began my journey with this show: with the superpower that is the imagination. Tonight, I ask that you allow your imagination to lead you through this story about a father who is blinded by his love for his daughter, and a daughter that has the determination to go after her dreams. No matter how much we love someone, we can’t always protect them. Sometimes we have to let them go, so that they can live. I hope tonight, you get swept away to another world in another time and go on this journey with us under the sea.