There’s a kind of deadline for mermaid princess Ariel and human princess Eric in “The Little Mermaid.”
Ariel has just three days to win the love of Eric and in three days, Eric has to choose a bride.
Sara Golden and Max Ross, who play Ariel and Eric in the Charleston Light Opera Guild’s production of “The Little Mermaid,” which opens Friday night at the Clay Center in Charleston, have had their own set of deadlines to worry about.
Starting on the heels of the annual FestivALL show in mid to late June, summer shows with the guild have a narrow window of time to rehearse.
Ross said, “With your normal guild show, you usually get seven or eight weeks. In the summer, you get about four.”
“It’s a lot of work in a short amount of time,” Golden acknowledged. “But it’s totally worth it.”
Though, the guild doesn’t always pick easy shows to do in the summer. Disney shows are often spectacles with complicated effects, larger-than-life sets and lots of costumes. “The Little Mermaid” is no exception.
Along with the expected song and dance, there are underwater effects, dark magic and some tough costume changes for Golden as she goes from fins to feet and then back to fins or is that from feet to fins and then back?
The actress laughed and said, “That part is a little hectic.”
She didn’t mind. Playing Ariel is a dream role.
“’The Little Mermaid’ is probably my favorite Disney princess movie,” she said. “I’ve been a mermaid since I was about 5-years-old. Every time I went to the swimming pool, every time I took a bath, I was pretending to be a mermaid.”
“It’s really exciting to actually get to be one,” Golden added.
Ross and Golden said they’ve had a good summer with the guild.
For Ross, the show was a good way to keep working on his skills. He’s a sophomore, studying theater and finance, at Harding University in Arkansas.
The show kept him home a little more than usual.
“So, we didn’t take a lot of trips, this summer,” he said. “With rehearsals five nights a week, I spent more time at the pool or at home.”
“It’s been a lot of fun and the music is deceptively complicated,” Golden said.
When the show is over, however, the two will edge toward new deadlines.
Golden, after a five-year absence to take care of her children, is going back to work. By August 15, she’ll be setting up her classroom for pre-school students.
Ross has to be on a flight to Arkansas at 7:45 p.m., the day of the guild’s last performance on August 12.
“We have a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. and should finish everything by 6,” he said. “I need to be on that flight and get back to school. I have rehearsal for my next show at 9 a.m.”
Ross will star in the university’s production of “Big Fish,” a show based on the 2001 Tim Burton film about the imaginative life of Edward Bloom as told to his son, Will.
Ross will star as Edward, which was played by Ewan McGregor in the movie.
“It’s cutting it a little close,” Ross said. “I’m going to go back with just three or four days-worth of gear, just enough to get me through the first rehearsals. My parents and my sister are coming down with the rest of my things later in the week.”
His sister, Emily, also attends Harding.