Theatre In The Park Opens 49th Summer Season With Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID

By: May. 21, 2018
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Theatre In The Park Opens 49th Summer Season With Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID A dancing lobster, an evil octopus, a strict father and a delightful array of singing sea creatures. All that and more makes Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID an audience favorite - and it will open the 2018 summer outdoor season for Theatre in the Park (TTIP). Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID, a premiere at TTIP, will have seven performances at the outdoor amphitheater Friday through Sunday, June 8-10 and the following Wednesday through Saturday June 13-16. Showtime for all productions is 8:30 p.m. with gates opening at 7 p.m.

Rated G, Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID features music by eight-time Academy Award winner Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater and book by Doug Wright, based upon one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved stories and the classic animated film. Ariel, King Triton's youngest daughter, wishes to pursue the human Prince Eric in the world above, bargaining with the evil sea witch, Ursula, to trade her tail for legs. But the bargain is not what it seems, and Ariel needs the help of her colorful friends, Flounder the fish, Scuttle the seagull and Sebastian the crab to restore order under the sea.

This hauntingly beautiful love story features such irresistible songs as "Under the Sea," "Kiss the Girl" and "Part of Your World."

TTIP veteran director Mark Swezey, along with his production team of Musical Director Jeff Martin and Choreographer Ann McCroskey, has assembled a talented group of local performers to bring this undersea adventure to life on the TTIP stage. (Cast list follows below.)

"This is a story of Ariel, a young woman, struggling to come in to her own life," Swezey said. " She is willing to give up her own identity and her life in the sea to follow her dreams and gain a human soul. She finds out that in order to enter the other world, she has to pay the price and endure changes.... Every step is difficult. However, she risks everything to pursue her dreams."

TTIP's outdoor venue at Shawnee Mission Park will feature four additional musical productions, all with seven evening performances. Additional productions include the Rogers & Hammerstein classic SOUTH PACIFIC, Stephen Sondheim's magical INTO THE WOODS, the comedic and quirky THE ADDAMS FAMILY* and Disney's fun loving HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 1 & 2* (One Act Version). Season sponsors are Shawnee Mission Health, First National Bank and the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.

(*Denotes TTIP premier production.)

Performance dates for the other TTIP 2018 OUTDOOR shows are:

  • SOUTH PACIFIC (June 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29 & 30; directed by Julie Ewing; rated PG)

This musical features such memorable songs as "Nothing Like A Dame," "Some Enchanted Evening," "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out of My Hair" and "Bali Ha'i".

  • INTO THE WOODS (July 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13 & 14; directed by Chris McCoy; rated PG)

This musically sophisticated show features such songs as "Children Will Listen, "Agony, "It Takes Two" and "No One is Alone".

  • THE ADDAMS FAMILY (July 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27 & 28; directed by Zach Faust; rated PG)

Filled with dark humor, this musical features "Just Around the Corner," "Where Did We Go Wrong" and "Live Before We Die".

  • Disney's HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 1 & 2-ONE ACT Versions (Aug. 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10 & 11; directed by Guy Gardner; rated G)

These one-act versions of the musical include such fan-favorite songs as "Get'cha Head in the Game" and "All For One".

Full details are on the TTIP web site,

The TTIP box office opens at 6:30 p.m. and the gates to the seating bowl open at 7 p.m. TTIP OUTDOOR ticket prices are $8 for adults, $6 for youth and children three and under may attend for free (but require a ticket for entrance). Reserve seats and parking are also available. Tickets may be purchased online at beginning early 2018 or at the theatre box office the nights of performance.

MOVIES IN THE PARK are back and they are just one buck! The five movies will all be shown on every other Tuesday with gates opening at 7:30 p.m.; films start at 8:30-8:45 p.m., depending on sunset. This season's movies include:

  • Tuesday, June 12: Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST SING-ALONG (rated PG)

  • Tuesday, June 26: WONDER WOMAN (Rated PG-13)

  • Tuesday, July 10: DESPICABLE ME 3 (Rated PG)

  • Tuesday, July 24: THE LAND BEFORE TIME (Rated G)

  • Tuesday, August 7: Disney's COCO (Rated PG)


The TTIP Academy program continues this summer, including two KIDS style shows, and one JUNIOR style show. The Summer Academy is split into three sessions. The TTIP Academy focuses on developing children's talents in the performing arts using local as well as national teaching artists in this hands-on program. June Academy sessions are geared for children in third through eighth grades; the July session is for children in fifth through 12th grades. Enrollment is now under way; details are available at The TTIP Winter Academy production, held during the school break, is geared to older teens.

TTIP Academy productions include:

  • WILLIE WONKA KIDS (June 16 & 30; rated G)

The delicious adventures experienced by Charlie Bucket on his visit to Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory light up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Roald Dahl's fantastical tale. Featuring the enchanting songs from the 1971 film starring Gene Wilder in addition to a host of fun new songs, Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka JR. is a scrumdidilyumptious musical guaranteed to delight everyone's sweet tooth.

  • LION KING KIDS (June 16 & 30; rated G)

Disney's The Lion King has captivated the imagination of audiences around the world and now, for the first time ever, we have the opportunity to produce this one-of-a-kind musical in our Community Theatre. The African savannah comes to life on our stage with Simba, Rafiki and an unforgettable cast of characters as they journey from Pride Rock to the jungle... and back again, in this inspiring, coming-of-age tale.

  • JAMES & THE GIANT PEACH JR (July 27 & 28; rated G)

Based on one of Roald Dahl's most poignantly quirky stories, Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach JR. is a brand new take on this "master peach" of a tale. Featuring a wickedly tuneful score and a witty and charming book, this adventurous musical about courage and self-discovery is destined to be a classic.
When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that grows a tremendous peach, rolls into the ocean and launches a journey of enormous proportions. James befriends a collection of singing insects that ride the giant piece of fruit across the ocean, facing hunger, sharks and plenty of disagreements along the way.

TTIP OUTDOOR is located in Shawnee Mission Park at 7710 Renner Road, in Shawnee, KS. TTIP INDOOR performances take place at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf, in Overland Park, KS.

Theatre in the Park is a program of the Johnson County Park & Recreation District. TTIP is the largest outdoor community theater in the country, and has been providing quality theatre entertainment in the community for more than four decades.

For more information about 2018 TTIP productions, please visit

2018 TTIP Season sponsors for TTIP are Shawnee Mission Health and First National Bank.


(Character, performer and city of residence)

Ariel: Alexa Morgan, Lenexa
Eric: Zak Smith, Stilwell
King Triton: Matthew Walberg, Olathe
Grimsby: Rod Chapin, Overland Park
Scuttle: Brennon Lumpkin, Overland Park
Flounder: Mia Cabrera, Overland Park
Sebastion: David Thompson
Ursula: Kristi Mitchell, Overland Park
Flotsum: Franci Talamantez-Witte; Kansas City MO
Jetsam: Evan Nugent, Olathe
Chef Louie: Jay Coombes,

Darcie Hingula, Kansas City, MO
McKenna Harvey, Shawnee
McKenna Neef, Leawood
Seneca Sims, Overland Park
Ramsey Self, Mission

Megan Berning, Overland Park

Katie Venteicher, Olathe
Willa Walberg, Olathe
Devyn Trodson, Lenexa
Paul Kincaid, Overland Park
Alex Cross, Overland Park
Jefferson Harwood, Leawood
Drew Bellamy, Olathe
Paul Nobrega, Overland Park
Sam Aubuchon, Blue Springs, MO
Patrick Strum, Overland Park
Kendel Nobrega, Overland Park
Sabrina Stewart

Ginger Vaugh-Pullin, Olathe

Talia Epps, Overland Park

Mikaela Schmitt, Overland Park

Mia McManamy, Kansas City, MO

Ellie Vaughn, Overland Park

Emerson Pereira, Prairie Village

Josh Arellano, Kansas City, MO

Alexandra Werth, Overland Park

Colette Worthington, Fairway

Millie Bell, Olathe

Nicole McCroskey, Overland Park

Alyssa DeLeon, Olathe

McKenna Lewis, Leawood

Autumn Quarles, Lenexa

Georgia Trent, Overland Park