Interview: Arianna Cacioppo as Ariel in THE LITTLE MERMAID at Centenary Stage Company

Arianna Cacioppo as Ariel in THE LITTLE MERMAID

By: Dec. 01, 2023
Interview: Arianna Cacioppo as Ariel in THE LITTLE MERMAID at Centenary Stage Company

Centenary Stage Company’s is presenting their professional theatre series production of the Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The production will run through December 10 in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center. This show is based on the Hans Christian Andersen story and the Disney film that was produced by Howard Ashman & John Musker and written & directed by John Musker & Ron Clements.  Co-Directing and Choreographing the Centenary Stage Company production are Lea Antolini-Lid and Michael Restaino.  

Broadwayworld had the pleasure of interviewing Arianna Cacioppo who stars as Ariel in The Little Mermaid. She gave us insights into her career and the show!

Cacioppo is thrilled to be making her debut with Centenary Stage Company in The Little Mermaid! Recent credits include Too Much Light… with Muhlenberg College, The Running Show with Monica Bill Barnes & Company, and opening for The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. She has a Bachelor’s of the Arts in Dance and Theater from Muhlenberg College, and currently studies voice under Linda Benanti. She is grateful to her family and friends for their constant support and would like to thank all those involved in The Little Mermaid for making this experience incredible.

We'd love to know how you first became involved in live theater.

I've been involved in the performing arts for as long as I can remember! Ever since I was little my parents would take my brother and I to see all kinds of live shows and performances. The feeling I would get sitting in the audience was unlike anything else, and so pretty quickly I caught the bug at an early age. My parents put me into every acting class, theater camp and musical that they could, and I’ve never looked back.

Have you had any particular mentors in the performing arts?

I'm so lucky to have worked with so many fabulous teachers throughout my arts education. One of my first directors, Kimberly Marino, opened my eyes at a young age to the possibilities of a life in the arts, and helped me discover my passion for theater. I was blessed to have had two especially influential professors during my time at Muhlenberg, Dana Iannuzzi and Holly Cate; both of whom had very unique and profound impacts on my belief in myself and pursuit of a performing arts career. I also owe so very much to Dr. Robert Minor, my first voice teacher who really believed in me, as well as my current voice teacher, Linda Benanti, who inspires and encourages me so much. 

Centenary Stage Company is a wonderful theatre.  How does it feel to be making your debut on the Hackettstown stage? 

It feels fantastic! Every day that I get to wake up and do what I love feels like a dream come true, and some days I can’t believe that this is my real life! I am so grateful for the opportunity to be bringing such a fun and heartwarming show to incredible audiences and have had the best time working at CSC. 

What are some of the challenges of playing Ariel in The Little Mermaid?

The most significant challenge of playing Ariel is how iconic the role is. Almost everyone coming into the show already has their own idea of who she is and how she should look and act and sound. It is not lost on me what a huge responsibility it is to portray such a classic character, and I feel so lucky to be taking it on. Navigating bringing Ariel, the Disney princess, to the stage, while also balancing how I, as a human and an actor, fit into the role has been quite the journey.  

Tell us a little about the cast and creative team for The Little Mermaid

The cast and creative team of this production are simply incredible. Our Co-Director/ Choreographer’s Lea Antolini Lid and Michael Restaino are absolutely brilliant and make such a wonderful team. In addition to bringing their gorgeous vision to our show, they are also two of the kindest, most supportive people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. Our fantastic stage manager, Olivia Tomlin, has gone above and beyond for our show in every way possible. Our music director, Kevin Lynch, and our entire technical team have worked tirelessly to make sure that we sound and look amazing, and their talents do not go unnoticed (especially Kelly, Connor, James, and Damian who quite literally have my life in their hands every night)! In addition to being incredibly talented, the cast has been so compassionate throughout our rehearsal process. With this being my first show at CSC, I had no idea what to expect going in, but the cast has made me feel so warm and welcome since our very first rehearsal. It brings me so much joy to get to work in such a supportive, collaborative and positive artistic environment. 

What would you like audiences to know about the show?

How much hard work, dedication, and love went into putting up this massive show! It has been such a challenge and nothing has been more rewarding than seeing our hard work pay off. We have so much fun performing this show and it’s the best feeling getting to share that joy with the audience every night!

Can you share some of your future plans?

Currently I am planning to hit the ground running when audition season rolls around in January! In the meantime, I plan to continue my work as an educator teaching dance and co-directing/ choreographing shows with my creative partner, Trevor DeLello, at Harmony Dance Theater. I also plan to continue my own training, keeping up with regular voice lessons and participating in the Independent Training Program at Broadway Dance Center in 2024.

Anything else, absolutely anything you want Broadwayworld NJ readers to know.

This show has reinvigorated my love for performing in a way that I never could have imagined! I could not be more grateful to everyone involved and for this incredible opportunity. I have truly cherished every second. Come see the Little Mermaid at CSC now through December 10!

Follow Arianna Cacioppo on her website and on Instagram: @arianna_cacioppo.

Performances of Disney’s The Little Mermaid will run from through December 10th in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center. Visit or call the box office at 908-979-0900.

Photo Credit: Kyle Watkins Photography