Running Time: 75 Minutes

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Characters

Principals: 3 Men, 4 Women, 2 of either sex, 1 child,
plus Choruses of Humans and Sea Creatures, Dancers

Principals:
The Prince of Denmark
Spyglass, a sailor
Grandmother Mermaid
Dylan
, a mer-boy
Marina, the little mermaid
Naia
, the eldest mermaid sister
Toby, a baby seal
Crustacia, the sea-witch
The Eel

Chorus Roles: Humans
Princess Celeste, Princess Gelda, Princess Facilia, Princess Corpa,
Maidens,
Ship's Captain, Sailors, Slave Girl Dancers, Court Dancers

Chorus Roles: Sea Creatures
Marina's sisters:
Opal, Coral, Pearl, Periwinkle,
Dancing Clams, Starfish, Jellyfish, Crabs, Bubble Fish

The Sea Serpent
Anemones (Witch’s pets), Slugs

Dancers
Thunder, Rain, Lightning, Daughters of the Wind

Little Mermaid DVD Cover 400
Hans Christian Andersen's
The Little Mermaid
Adapted by Eric Stedman
With songs of sailors and the sea
A musical in two acts




In the drastically altered but now-familiar Disney version of the Little Mermaid story, the main character disobeys her father, trades her creative talent and ability (her voice) for what is essentially plastic surgery to a witch to gain human legs, then shows up naked on a beach with absolutely nothing to say whatsoever and GETS HER HANDSOME PRINCE ANYWAY. The message of the original story by Hans Christian Andersen has to do not with self-indulgence but instead self-sacrifice, growth, understanding, and learning the ability to “rise above” in a difficult situation -- the Mermaid in the story is rewarded for her UNselfishness and decision to consider the feelings of others as well as her own. This dramatic adaptation of the story retains the original plot elements of the story as intended and eventually places the Mermaid in the genuinely dramatic situation, as it appears in the Andersen story, of having to decide whether to kill the Prince who, counter to her fantasies, has married another so that she can break the spell on her and regain her mermaid form, or be faced with being turned into foam on the ocean. The Mermaid’s decision makes her something more than she was before, as she learns a valuable lesson and realizes that by her unselfish act she really has found a place in the world -- in the hearts of others.


The Story
Click on underlined links to hear song excerpts


Scene 1: The Deck of the "Nancy Lee"

The deck of the "Nancy Lee" bustles with activity as the sailors on board swab the deck and hoist the rigging, singing Nancy Lee.


Spyglass, an old sailor, helps the Prince aboard to rescue him from a crowd of young ladies who have been chasing him about, wanting him to notice them as they know he must marry soon to inherit the kingdom. He'd frankly rather be a sailor.

PRINCE. OF ALL THE LIVES THERE ARE TO KNOW
S
AILORS. YO HO, LADS, HO, YO HO, YO HO!
P
RINCE. NONE’S LIKE A SAILOR’S LIFE, OH NO
S
AILORS. YO HO, YO HO, YO HO!
P
RINCE. EV’RY DAY YOU RIDE ACROSS THE OPEN SEA
AND WHEN YOU DARE TO TRAVEL THERE THE WIND IS FREE
SO CAST ASIDE MUNDANE RESPONSIBILITY
P
RINCE AND SAILORS.
YO HO, LADS, HO, YO HO!
THE SAILOR’S WIFE THE SAILOR’S STAR SHALL BE
YO HO, WE GO ACROSS THE SEA
A SAILOR’S WIFE THE SAILOR’S STAR SHALL BE
A SAILOR’S LIFE’S THE LIFE FOR ME!
P
RINCE. A SAILOR’S LIFE’S THE LIFE FOR ME!

A little mermaid named Marina hops onto a rock and waves to the Prince. Spyglass fears that if you see a mermaid your ship will be doomed and sure enough, a
Storm blows up without warning, as dancers portraying Thunder, Lightning, Wind and Rain break the ship apart, leaving the Prince floating helplessly in the middle of the sea.

Scene 2: On the Beach

Marina quickly swims to his aid and brings him to the beach, where she stays all night with him, singing to him that she will still love him though she will be Far, Far Away.

(The lights change from blue to pink as dawn comes up. Seagulls appear above
the waves.)

M
ARINA. SAFE WITH THE NIGHT BEHIND US
REST AND A TOUCH WILL BIND US
SLEEP NOW AND NONE WILL FIND US. FAR, FAR AWAY
THOUGH LAND AND SEA MAY SEVER
KNOW I WILL LEAVE YOU NEVER
TELL ME YOU’LL LOVE FOREVER, FAR, FAR AWAY

P
RINCE. Where am I?
M
ARINA. You are safe. (She kisses his forehead)

Celeste's Dance
is heard as Celeste and other girls from a nearby school collect seashells, then take the Prince to shelter. Marina emerges from her hiding place and finds Toby, a lost baby seal, where the Prince had been. They two compare stories and realize they both need someone to depend on, and decide to team up and be friends, singing I Got You and You Got Me.


TOBY AND MARINA.
WE’RE BEST FRIENDS FOREVER,
NOTHIN’ BETTER THAN US TOGETHER
ALWAYS ‘WE’ ‘CAUSE I’VE GOT YOU AND YOU’VE GOT ME


Scene 3: The Undersea Kingdom

Deep below the surface of the ocean, in an Underwater Wonderland,


Mermaids and other creatures of the sea frolic and play. Marina asks her sisters what the surface world is like, and they tell her she is too young to be allowed to visit it and see its wonders. Marina tells them she already has, and what's more she's fallen in love with a handsome Prince she saw on the deck of a ship where people danced at night. Her sisters don't believe her.

OPAL. There’s no such thing as a handsome prince.
M
ARINA. There must be.
C
ORAL. If there were, why would he want to pay any attention to you?
P
EARL. You’re not much to look at.
M
ARINA. I’m almost fifteen.
P
ERIWINKLE. You’re just a guppy.
O
PAL. And afraid of the air.
C
ORAL. And the wind.
N
AIA. And the sunlight.

M
ERMAIDS. (except Marina)
WHEN YOU’RE GROWN UP LIKE US YOU WILL UNDERSTAND
YOU MUST STAY IN OUR GARDEN UNDERWATER WONDERLAND


Marina asks advice from her Grandmother, who suggests
How to Make a Dream come true, with the help of a few Dancing Clams. She notices the affection a merman named Dylan has for her blond and beautiful sister Naia, and asks Naia how to make herself attractive. Naia, with a backup group of swing singers, recommends that to get a man you've got to Swing Your Tail.


Marina decides she'll find a way to meet the Prince of her dreams and sings
A Place for Me


then swims up to the surface.

MARINA. (Swimming to her golden statue, she embraces and kisses it—and her
sisters, who have been watching, make kissy-faces too and laugh at her)
Ohh,
why do you all have to be so mean!
(Swims away from them) I’ll show them!
I’m not afraid of the sunlight! I’m going to swim up to the surface world. Where
I belong!

I’M TINY ON THE OUTSIDE,
BUT I CAN HANDLE WHAT’S IN STORE
FORGET NOW WHAT I ONCE WAS,
NOW I CAN BE MUCH MORE
I FEEL I’M GETTING WISER, NOW EVERY DAY I SEE
SOMETHING WONDERFUL IS COMING,
SOMEWHERE THERE’S A PLACE FOR ME


Scene 4: The Witch's Cave, Beyond the Whirlpool

Deciding she'll need legs to appeal to the human Prince, Marina decides to swim beyond the forbidden whirlpool and visit the cave of the sea-witch Crustacia, who she believes may be able to remove her fishtail with a magic spell. The Undersea Gourmet,


a hungry Eel in Crustacia's employ, shows her the way. Crustacia agrees to give Marina a
Magic Potion from the Sea and change her into a human being in return for her voice, which Crustacia takes for her own use, placing it inside a seashell. Crustacia tells Marina that a condition of the spell is that she must marry the Prince as she intends; if he marries another, the following dawn she will turn to foam on the ocean.

CRUSTACIA. I know what you want, little mermaid.
M
ARINA. How--how could you know me? I’ve never seen you before.
C
RUSTACIA. My friend the Eel swims swiftly and hears much.
E
EL. I always announce specially tender guests in advance.
C
RUSTACIA. Quiet, slimy. (Hits him with her claw) You will have your wish, but it
shall give you misery, little princess.
M
ARINA. How do you know—
C
RUSTACIA. You want a potion to get rid of your fishtail, and leave you with two
stumps to walk on as human beings have, so that the young man will fall in love
with you.
M
ARINA. Oh, yes. Please. I’ll do anything—
C
RUSTACIA. Not so fast, little princess. If you want all this, you must be willing to
suffer for it.
M
ARINA. I don’t care what happens.
C
RUSTACIA. When your new legs form, it will hurt--and if the man marries another,
your heart will break and at sunrise the next day you will dissolve into foam on
the ocean.
M
ARINA. I –
C
RUSTACIA. And you will have to pay me, too. And it is no small fee. I want the
most precious thing you have to pay for my potion.
M
ARINA. What’s that?
C
RUSTACIA. My voice is old and crackles. What I would do to sound young
again!
M
ARINA. You want to take--my voice?
C
RUSTACIA. I shall keep it in this seashell.
(She takes the golden shell from Marina’s neck)
MARINA. You mustn’t--I mean . . .
C
RUSTACIA. What is it, child? Having doubts?
M
ARINA. But if you take my voice, how will I speak to the one I love?
C
RUSTACIA. With your beautiful body, your graceful walk and your lovely eyes.
Perhaps you’ve changed your mind?
M
ARINA. No. Let it happen.
C
RUSTACIA. Very well, then.

(She grabs all kinds of things to add to her cauldron. The Evil Sea Creatures
assist her, creeping about to deliver the ingredients and startling her.)

EYE OF EEL AND SEA-FROG’S FEET,
MAKE ME NOW A POTION SWEET
SPIDER’S TEETH AND SLIME OF SNAIL
CLEAVE IN TWO THE MERMAID’S TAIL
SHIPWORM’S BILE AND TRITON’S HAIR,
BOIL SO SHE MAY BREATHE THE AIR
STINGRAY’S BONES AND WHITE WHALE’S MILK,
MAKE HER SKIN AS SOFT AS SILK
MAGIC POTION FROM THE SEA,
TAKE THE POWER NOW FROM ME
MAKE HER AS SHE WANTS TO BE,
MAKE HER AS SHE WANTS TO BE

(Crustacia comes toward Marina and, opening Marina’s mouth, takes out a
glowing ball of light which is her voice, and puts it into the seashell.)

LET HER BEAUTY NEVER PART,
MAKE HER EYES BEWITCH HIS HEART
POWDERED BONE FROM SAILOR DROWNED,
MAKE HER SHAPE BE SLIM AND ROUND
BUT IF THIS MAN SHE LOVES AS LIFE
MARRIES TO ANOTHER WIFE
SHE SHALL CHANGE TO BUBBLING FOAM,
NEVER MORE TO SEE HER HOME
MAGIC POTION FROM THE SEA,
TAKE THE POWER NOW FROM ME
MAKE HER AS SHE WANTS TO BE,
MAKE HER AS SHE WANTS TO BE

C
RUSTACIA. Drink! Drink!

(Marina drinks the potion and swims back up through the whirlpool to shore.)

Scene 5: On the Beach

The next thing Marina knows she is back on the beach again, this time, however, she can walk on it, and even dance. Slave Girls' Dance Marina dances with slave girls who are on the beach also and the Prince witnesses this. Where Did You Come From?, he asks her, but without a voice, she cannot answer him. The Prince laments his having to marry so soon to his new silent friend, and wishes he could make their moment together last forever, and sings Save Me Some Sunshine as he rests his head on Marina's breast.

Scene 6: The Witch's Cave

In the Witch's cave, Crustacia is delighted with her new voice and says to the Eel "I Can Sing." The Eel tells her that Marina has gone to the surface and that the man she wanted and has attracted was no ordinary man but the Prince and heir to the surface kingdom. The greedy Crustacia decides now she will have him as well.

EEL. And he’s going to choose his queen from the girls that attend a special ball
at the castle.
C
RUSTACIA. His queen! That’s it! I could be a queen!
E
EL. And give up your current status as number one underwater wench?
C
RUSTACIA. Think of all the years I’ve spent alone--think of the power I could
gain! What have I got to lose?
E
EL. Well, ya got me, dontcha?
C
RUSTACIA. Like I said. What have I got to lose? Eel, go find me that prince and his
castle. I’ll show him and his little mermaid a party they’ll never forget!
THE POOR LITTLE MERMAID WHO’D DIE OUT OF LOYALTY
AND PAID TO DISPOSE OF HER FISHTAIL AND START ANEW
SHE SAID HE WAS HANDSOME BUT NEVER THAT HE WAS ROYALTY
SHE’LL PAY FOR HER SECRETS BY LOSING HIM TOO!
(Spoken)
CRUSTACIA. I’ve taken her voice, and I’ve got nothing since, so I’ll make myself
human and I’ll have her Prince!
(Sung)
I’LL . . . BE . . . RICH! I’LL BE SEEN!
BE THE BEAUTIFUL POWERFUL QUEEN!
I’LL CONQUER THE WORLD, AND THAT GIRL
IS THE ONLY ONE STANDING BETWEEN!


Scene 7: The Prince's Shipboard Ball

The Prince tells Spyglass he's not looking forward to meeting possible future brides as many line up aboard a ship to attend a royal ball. Spyglass reminds him he must marry before he is eighteen to inherit his kingdom. Princesses Gelda, Facilia, and Corpa Carpa, all from foreign lands, and overdressed and overacting, attempt to attract his eye and fail. Only when Celeste dances with the Prince does he realize she is the girl who he believes rescued him on the beach and saved his life. The Prince declares he has found the girl he had been searching for for so long and immediately kneels to propose to Celeste. Marina is speechless and runs away from the revelers. She stands near the ship's rail, looking out hopelessly at the stars.

Spyglass, who also survived the shipwreck, recognizes Marina as the former mermaid he saw on the rock, and, realizing she must have gone through a great deal to be with the Prince, consoles her, singing of his own lost love and how he regained hope in The Sailor's Lament.


I PACKED MY TRUNK TO GO TO SEA
I FOUND THE SEA WAS GOOD TO ME
THEN I RETURNED TO SEEK MY BRIDE
I FOUND ANOTHER BY HER SIDE
I ASKED THE SUN, “WHAT WILL YOU DO?”
HE SAID “I’LL SHINE – I’LL SHINE FOR YOU”
I ASKED THE STARS, “WHAT WILL YOU DO?”
“WE’LL GUIDE YOU HOME AND SEE YOU THROUGH”


Suddenly, Naia appears to Marina from the waves, and offers her a solution to her dilemma. Naia has traded her beautiful golden hair to the Witch in exchange for a dagger-like comb which, if stained with the Prince's blood, will bring back Marina's fishtail and make her a mermaid again. Crustacia appears and encourages Marina to kill the Prince, as she intends to take Celeste's place as queen and rule the surface world.

CRUSTACIA. Well, little princess. Your time is up. Soon you will be nothing but
foam on the sea.
N
AIA. Leave her alone, you old witch!
M
ARINA. [Naia, what happened to your hair?]
N
AIA. My hair? I sold it to her--for a spell that will change you back into a
mermaid.
C
RUSTACIA. (Pulls jeweled comb from Naia’s hair and gives it to Marina. Its long
spike looks very deadly)
This magic comb is sharp as a knife--sharp enough to
pierce the Prince’s heart. Destroy him now and his blood will bring back your
fishtail.
N
AIA. Do what she says, Marina, or you’ll change to foam on the ocean!
M
ARINA. [Kill him? No, I couldn’t.]
C
RUSTACIA. To be with him, you gave up the most beautiful voice in the world.
Now look what he’s done. Either he dies or you do.
M
ARINA. [I can’t hurt him.]
N
AIA. Why do you care what she does to the Prince?
C
RUSTACIA. Don’t you see? Once he is dead, I will have power over the kingdom.
N
AIA. How?
C
RUSTACIA. The surface people are no match for my army of sea predators.
Ha ha ha ha ha. Once they are in my power, I’ll crown myself queen!
N
AIA. That’s silly. You’re green and mean, yeah, but you’re no queen.
C
RUSTACIA. Silence! (Putting the comb to Naia’s throat) Or I’ll cut more than your
pretty hair. Go on, little princess. What are you waiting for? Bring me his blood
and live to love again!


Marina raises the knife high above the breast of her now-sleeping former love, but when he places his arm around Celeste and whispers her name, she cannot bring herself to hurt him. She drops the knife and Crustacia becomes furious with her. Spyglass sees Crustacia, recognizes her as a threat, and pushes her back into the water. She returns with a vengeance, ordering an army of
Evil Sea Creatures to attack the ship. She brings forth a huge sea serpent which pursues Marina, and, just in time, as its mouth opens wide, Dylan and the other Mermaid Sisters appear to take on the evil sea creatures, and Toby emerges from the sea riding on the back of the Eel. Toby pushes the Witch into the Sea Serpent's mouth as Spyglass grabs the "voice" seashell and harpoons the monster and, though the Prince seems quite confused at all that has gone on, Spyglass returns Marina's "voice" to her and all then seems well.

Unfortunately for Marina, though the sea-witch is now dead, her spell is still in effect, and when the dawn comes up, because the Prince has married another, Marina will still turn to foam. Now that she can talk, Marina explains her secret to the Prince and, as the sun rises, wishes him and his new bride well, puts the seashell around his neck and says a hasty goodbye to her friends, then stands at the edge of the deck and appears to evaporate into a mist. Toby cries and asks if Marina is gone forever.

NAIA. Oh no--the spell! Quick--hide her! She’ll turn into foam!
P
RINCE. What?
N
AIA. She’s under a spell! As soon as the sun comes up–
M
ARINA. (Hastily, to Toby.) You must be brave now, Toby. (To Prince) I will
always be with you. As long as the sun is shining and the wind blows free.
P
RINCE. Stop! What are you doing?
T
OBY. No, Marina--don’t go!
M
ARINA. I’l never forget you. Any of you.

(Marina kisses the Prince one last time. Then she climbs up to the prow of the
ship, upstage.)

TOBY. No! Nooooo!
M
ARINA.
THOUGH LAND AND SEA MAY SEVER,
KNOW I WILL LEAVE YOU NEVER
TELL ME YOU’LL LOVE FOREVER
FAR, FAR . . .

T
OBY. Marina!

(Marina can’t finish the song. As the bright rays of the sun splash across the
deck of the ship, she turns and opens her arms and is enveloped in mist.)


The Prince puts the seashell to his ear and hears Marina's voice. She is singing
Far Far Away, just as she had many months before. She isn't dead, but what has become of her? Looking up in the clouds, the Prince, Toby, Spyglass and the others see Marina, now all in white, flying beside other Daughters of the Wind, who lift the sails of ships and make the cool ocean breezes. Marina flies down to stand beside the Prince and Celeste and sings to him A Place for Me (Reprise), saying though now once again she has transformed -- "risen above," so to speak, she still loves him, and always will. They sing together, promising to always keep each other in their hearts, Marina kisses Celeste and the Prince, then flies away toward her Grandmother, who is now also a Daughter of the Wind.

PRINCE. (Now hears the voice in the seashell) That song--I can hear her voice—
T
OBY. Marina!

(The Daughters of the Wind appear and Marina, now one of them, floats down
from the sky onto the ship)

PRINCE. Marina, what happened to you?
M
ARINA. Once I was a little mermaid, a creature of the sea. Then I became human
and walked on land. Now, what Grandmother said has come true--I’ve become
a daughter of the wind!
P
RINCE. But how did this happen?
T
OBY. I think I know.
S
PYGLASS. Her love for all of us was stronger than any spell could ever be.
T
OBY. You won’t forget us, now, Marina, will you?
M
ARINA. I could never forget you, Toby. Like I said, I will always be with you--all
of you--as long as the sun is shining, and the wind blows free.
P
RINCE. I love you, Marina. Very much.
M
ARINA. Thank you, and I love you too, Prince . . . I mean . . . your majesty.

(Marina holds the Prince’s hands and they sing together)

NOW I’M DIFFERENT ON THE OUTSIDE,
BUT BETTER THAN BEFORE
I REMEMBER WHAT I ONCE WAS
AND NOW I’M SO MUCH MORE
WE’LL NEVER BE APART NOW
CAUSE THERE’S SOMETHING NEW I KNOW
THAT LOVE IS EVER-CHANGING,
AND TO LIVE WE ALL MUST GROW
REMEMBER WHAT WE SHARED,
REMEMBER WHAT WE KNEW
MEMORIES CAN NEVER DIE
AND MINE ARE ALL OF YOU
CLOSE YOUR EYES AND SEE ME,
STAND BY THE OCEAN BLUE
JUST CALL OUT MY NAME, LOVE,
AND I WILL ANSWER YOU

PRINCE.
THOUGH WE’LL WALK DIFFERENT PATHWAYS
ALONE I’LL NEVER BE
I KNOW THAT IN YOUR HEART NOW
THAT THERE’S A PLACE

M
ARINA. FOREVER BE A PLACE
M
ARINA & PRINCE. SOMEWHERE THERE’S A PLACE FOR ME

W
IND SPIRITS. FLY AWAY, FLY AWAY,
TO WHEREVER DREAMS MAY BE
FLY AWAY, FLY AWAY, AT LAST YOUR HEART IS FREE
FLY AWAY, FLY AWAY, FAR ACROSS THE SEA

M
ARINA. I KNOW DEEP IN YOUR HEART NOW
SOMEWHERE THERE’S A PLACE

P
RINCE. A BEAUTIFUL PLACE
M
ARINA & PRINCE. SOMEWHERE THERE’S A PLACE FOR ME

(Marina kisses the Prince lovingly on the cheek. Grandmother Mermaid appears
upstage, in white; she too is also now a Daughter of the Wind. Marina flies to
her and embraces her. Naia puts her arm around Dylan and Spyglass holds Toby
as all the Daughters of the Wind rise up off of the ground into the air and fly
away. Toby and the Prince and all wave to Marina, and Marina blows another
kiss, as the wind blows, strong and wonderful.)

The End


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“Far Far Away”
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