CAST MEMBERS perform "Under the Sea." Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum

IMAGINATION THEATER is presenting "The Little Mermaid Jr." The play runs Friday, April 5 to Sunday, April 28 at the playhouse on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum


The choice is surf or turf

By From page B1 | April 05, 2013

What: “The Little Mermaid Jr.”

Who: Imagination Theater

Where: 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville, El Dorado County Fairgrounds

When: Friday, April 5 at 7 p.m. and every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Sunday, April 28. For dates and times visit

Tickets: $12 for all ages

Information: Imagination Theater at 530-642-0404, e-mail [email protected] or

Two actresses starring in Imagination Theater’s production of “The Little Mermaid Jr.” know each other very well. They are sisters.

In the play they are not related and they are at odds.

Tori Kientz is playing Ursala, the evil sea witch, and Alicia Kientz is playing Ariel, a young mermaid who longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above.

To walk on land she has to defy her father King Triton, make a deal with the evil sea witch Ursala and convince Prince Eric that she is the girl with the enchanting voice.

Alicia admitted that her character can be “stubborn.”

“She knows what she wants,” said Alicia, 16. “She doesn’t like the ocean; she is sick of living under the sea. She wants to do all the human stuff. She wants to be on the land.”

An evil witch

Tori, 19, a full-time student at Folsom Lake College who works for a Placerville restaurant, has embraced her role of playing an evil witch.

“She’s an octopus,” said Tori. “She’s larger than life. She’s just evil. This is very challenging for me. It’s totally opposite of my personality.”

Tori has been performing at Imagination Theater since 2008 when she was in the chorus for “The Wizard of Oz.” This is her third leading role and fifth play at Imagination Theater.

The Kientz sisters know the original story of “The Little Mermaid” and the adaptations.

“We’ve watched the movies, we have the book and we have the book on tape,” said Tori.

“I just love that movie. Before the audition, I was watching it. After I got the script, I watched it again, and I watched the Broadway videos on YouTube,” added Alicia.

A plus for the production is that the sisters can rehearse at home.


Working together

The duo enjoys working together.

“She is just super encouraging,” said Tori. “She picks me right up. She is feisty sometimes. I’m really happy to be doing the play with her.”

They have also enjoyed working with the cast. The ensemble is mostly elementary and middle school students.

“It’s been really fun,” Tori said. “Everyone has been encouraging. There are a lot of new kids coming in, so it’s fun to be teaching them what I already know. I helped the mermaids with their song.”

To play the evil sea witch Tori has a ritual she follows before stepping on stage.

“It’s real intense,” Tori said.

“I listen to some darker kind of music just to get into my character’s mood,” Tori said.

Alicia, 16, said she “will be really nervous.”

A strong supporting cast will make Alicia feel quite comfortable.

“A lot of my family and friends are coming,” Alicia said. “They’re going to hear me sing a lot. It should be fun.”

Alicia said Tori convinced her to give acting a chance a year ago.

“She’s always been more into it than me,” said Alicia. “Then I’d see her in a show and I’d be like ‘oh, I want to do that.’”

The sisters and cast are scheduled to perform songs from the original movie that include “Part of Your World,” “She’s in Love” and the Oscar-winning “Under the Sea.”



The cast

The main cast members are: Sebastian (Nick Highberger), Flounder (Grace Salvestrin), Prince Eric (Chris Colestin), King Triton (Chris Sota), Grimsby (Noah Gray), Scuttle (Meg Dockter), Chef Louis (Tieran Salstrand), Carolotta (Aimee Van Dyk), Flotsam (Kol Chaiken), Jetsam (Hanna Bush) and Max (Charlize Garaygay).

The rest of the cast: Mersisters are Samantha Garaygay, Jenna Love, Jordan Love, Julia Gregory, Jesse Rego, Emili Bonham and Samantha Edens and ; Seagulls are Katherine Carlson, Claire Baco and Brooke Reinhart.

The Sea Chorus includes: Baylee Goodwalt, Michelle Gregory, Sophie Stevenson, Gabby Stevenson, Rylee Dolph, Jack Harrison, Erina Briden, Bella Briden, Sofia Garaygay and Kendall Murphy.

Peter Wolfe is the director of the play and Lanny Langston is the producer.

The play opens at Imagination Theater, located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Drive in Placerville, on Friday, April 5 and runs to Sunday, April 28.

Tickets for the play are $12 for all ages. The tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the theater at 530-642-0404 or visiting

For more information on dates and times of the play call the theater, e-mail [email protected] or visit

Mike Bush

Mike Bush has been a Staff Writer at the Mountain Democrat since August 2011. Follow him on Twitter @MBushMtDemo
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