Who are you? What year are you? What are your interests?
Yo! I’m Ethan Schlesinger and I am Junior at Homestead. I play Winward and a sailor in this production. I am a photographer, a self-proclaimed comedian, and I play the drums. I also like chocolate. A lot. Maybe too much.
I’m so glad you decided to tell people about yourself and the current Homestead production. What exactly do you do for The Little Mermaid?
I play the role of one of Prince Eric’s sailors on his ship. I also am Winward, one of King Triton’s heralds. Winward is a trumpet fish and has a sick costume–Thanks, Lisa!
What brought you to join the cast, crew, pit for The Little Mermaid?
I have always had a secret love for theater. I started doing shows for the rec department muy eighth-grade year immediately latched on to it. And now, theatre is just a normal activity for me. There is no such feeling as the adrenaline you get as you perform. Working for months on something so amazing and seeing it come together is a vigorous, but beautiful process. The reason I decided to do this show specifically, because of my love for Disney, my love for Figg(yes, you <3), and my overall love for theater.
Do you have any stories from rehearsals, practices or crew sessions?
Every day at rehearsal is like an episode of a television show–except none of it is scripted or planned, crazy stuff happens and then even more crazy things happen. It is very frequent when you working with a room full of actors. Though it is hard to choose one specific memory, my favorite is when Ariel(Bella Gabor), is supposed to break Ursula’s(Maisie Allen) shell, she has to throw it offstage. The very first day we used the shell instead of pantomiming it, Ariel(Bella Gabor) throws the shell directly into the orchestra pit and right at our lovely music director, Ms. Houge’s, face, It was a very enjoyable moment as it was a surprise to us all.
All art comments on something, aligns itself with current issues. How does The Little Mermaid comment on current social or political issues and has it influenced you this winter?
While The Little Mermaid is meant for children, it has a deeper lesson and theme for all. I think The Little Mermaid is about letting go from what is expected from you. The pressure of doing things to please others can shy away from what you truly want. Like Ariel’s voice, you shouldn’t have to give up things, like your happiness, to get where you want to be. Another lesson it portrays is that being “under the sea” is not for everyone. Some people feel like they need to live up to specific standards compared to everyone else. Everyone is different and not everyone will follow the same path in life. We are human. Personally, I think every show has a deeper meaning behind it and we can all relate to the characters sometimes. I think everyone has felt like Ariel and every parent has felt King Tritons pain of trying to protect his child, but also trying to make her happy.
What do you hope the audience will be thinking about in the car as they drive home after this show?
All of it. I think every scene individually is stunning, from the set pieces to the lights, and of course the actors. If I had to choose one, it would have to be Positoovity! It has always been my favorite and I love the costumes and the dance. Definitely a non-forgetting one. Keep rockin’ gulls!
What’s one thing that is different in this play or rehearsal process than anything else we’ve done in the Homestead Theatre Department?
I really enjoyed the character developing and the team bonding aspect of this year musical. Before we even started rehearsing for the show, we did some character developing and team bonding exercises. I personally thought was very helpful. Not everyone knew each other and there were a lot of unfamiliar faces, so it was good everyone got a chance to get comfortable and feel safe in this environment. The character developing ones really helped me understand how to make the show your own, no matter what role or part you play. I really hope we continue this process for the shows to come.