A Disney musical classic is set to take the stage at the Drayton Festival Theatre – and ready to bring the audience under the sea.

The entire cast for Disney's The Little Mermaid Jr. is composed of youths, some of whom were able to find their own voice through the musical process.

For 18-year-old Jade Rogers from Formosa, playing Ariel is the role of her dreams.

“Everybody wants to be a Disney princess,” Rogers said. “It’s so exciting. I love it.”

The production is put on by Studio 410 Productions Inc. It officially opens on Friday and runs until April 2.

The studio is a not-for-profit musical theatre company for youth performers, and this show is made up of 21 youths, some as young as 10 years old.

“It's really important for youth to have somewhere to go every week. It's consistent, like you know when my Thursday comes around, I’m going to be with people who love to be around me and love to do what I love to do,” said Rogers.

Studio 410’s co-director Paige Ballagh said auditions started in the fall, and now after 21 weeks, they get to transport the audience under the sea.

“A lot of these performers – some of them [have] done musicals before – and some of them, it's their first time even auditioning for anything, and seeing their growth through the season, and seeing them in spotlights in front of a full house. It’s remarkable,” Ballagh said.

Playing Sebastian is 13-year-old Ashley Ready, who said she has really stepped into this role.

“All things aside, like all the hard things [about] being a teen, it’s so much fun just being with all these people,” said Ready. “It just gives me so much joy. I just love it.”

As for Rogers, she is ready to find her voice, just like Ariel.

“It's really special, and we all have gotten to know each other so well," Rogers said.

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