Mermaid Out of Water Story Takes Grace Academy Actors to St. Mark’s

Little actors from Grace Academy brought a big show to the Decherd Hall stage at St. Mark’s School of Texas this spring.

With direction from music and drama teacher Vickie Smolek, choreography by Jamie Leneau, and music direction by Jaime Kackley, 37 Grace Academy elementary and middle school students took audiences to a magic kingdom under the sea.

Haylee Jorgensen as Flounder sings with the Mersisters, the princesses of the ocean.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. is based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories — one that inspired both the classic animated film, a hit Broadway production, and a live-action remake movie.

“At the heart of Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. is a tale about finding confidence in your own voice and the sacrifices we all make for love and acceptance,” said Sarah Jayroe, Grace Academy director of communications.

Student performers showed off their voices, bringing audiences to their feet with such musical favorites as “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl,” and “Part of Your World.”

Grace Academy performed the show through a special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI) and support from the community. Parents designed exquisite costumes, curated props, and created sets. St. Mark’s faculty and students ran the tech crew and enhanced the production with lighting, audio, and visual direction.

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William Taylor

William Taylor, editor of Park Cities People and Preston Hollow People, shares a name and a birthday with his dad and a love for community journalism with his colleagues at People Newspapers. He joined the staff in 2016 after more than 25 years working for daily newspapers in such places as Alexandria, Louisiana; Baton Rouge; McKinney; San Angelo; and Sherman, though not in anywhere near that order. A city manager once told him that “city government is the best government” because of its potential to improve the lives of its residents. William still enjoys covering municipal government and many other topics. Follow him on Twitter @Seminarydropout. He apologizes in advance to the Joneses for any angry Tweets that might slip out about the Dallas Cowboys during the NFL season. You also can reach him at For the latest news, click here to sign up for our newsletter.

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