Hans Christian Andersen Classics THE GROCER'S GOBLIN and THE LITTLE MERMAID Set for the Rose, 1/31-2/16

"Every time this story is done with humans, it just isn't very magical," says Jacobson. "The human body is defined by gravity. It just can't express the joyousness of being a mermaid. With the shadow puppets, we can convey that feeling of buoyancy that is so essential to telling the mermaid story."

To help the actors understand the dynamics of an underwater world, the entire cast went on an interactive field trip to the Scott Aquarium at the Henry Doorly Zoo. "Our trip to the aquarium gave us so many ideas about how our underwater characters might move," says actor Kelsey Celek. "Each sea creature had its own quirks and its own personality - some of which are mirrored in the play. And since we're using puppets, we have the luxury of being able to move just like the fish we watched, doing things we could never do as humans!"

Actor Katie Otten adds, "Taking a trip to the aquarium was such a wonderful and valuable experience for us. It was a great way to help the cast feel more connected, and being immersed in an underwater world gave us tons of ideas for how to use lighting and puppet movement to create our own world."

The shadow puppets used in The Grocer's Goblin & The Little Mermaid go far beyond simple outlines. Intricate details have been carefully cut into each of the puppets, and many feature fully-articulated joints to enhance their overall movement. Several puppets are accented with color to enhance the characters and draw the audience's attention. Full color projections create realistic environments for the shadow characters, and puppetry is combined with human silhouettes to further enhance the show's imagery.

"Both of these stories are charming on their own. By putting these two stories together, we get an empowering message about making choices, following your heart and taking a leap of faith," says Jacobson.

Gutshick further explains that this show was selected because its underlying theme of selflessness is rarely heard in a culture that sometimes has a "what's in it for me" mentality. "These two stories share a message we don't hear often in today's world - that true love is about putting another's needs above your own at times," says Gutschick. "Both the goblin and the little mermaid put aside their own wants in order to help those they love most, and in so doing, they are rewarded in ways they never imagined. It is a beautiful message."

"This is a one-of-a-kind show unlike anything that has ever really been seen in Omaha," says Rose Managing Director Julie Walker. "You will want to see this show just because it is so different and so unique, and I don't know when families will have the opportunity to see anything like this again. It is truly special."

Due to periods of extremely low lighting and overall show themes, The Grocer's Goblin & The Little Mermaid is recommended for children over age seven. The run time is 60 minutes without an intermission.

The Little Mermaid & The Grocer's Goblin runs January 31 - February 16, 2014, with performances on Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 and 5 p.m., and on Sundays at 2 pm. The 2 p.m. show on Saturday, February 8 will be interpreted for the hearing impaired. Tickets are $18 per person. Discount ticket vouchers are available at all area Hy-Vee stores for $14 each. Members of The Rose receive four free tickets to the production. For more information or to make reservations, call the Box Office at (402) 345-4849 or online at www.rosetheater.org.

The Grocer's Goblin & The Little Mermaid is sponsored by Children's Hospital & Medical Center, Nebraska Furniture Mart, Baird Holm LLP, Q98-Five, the Nebraska Arts Council, and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment.

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