Tyler White, Becca Daugherty and Austin Sheets practice dress rehearsal for Crestview performance of, “Little Mermaid.” (DHI Media/Jim Langham)
Tyler White, Becca Daugherty and Austin Sheets practice dress rehearsal for Crestview performance of, “Little Mermaid.” (DHI Media/Jim Langham)

VAN WERT – When Crestview music director Danielle Hancock starts making plans for a school musical, she first of all enlists those who are interested in becoming a cast. Then she studies the blend of talent available and decides what musical would fit the mixture most effectively.

This year, Hancock decided she had a talented cast that would work well together as, “The Little Mermaid.”

“I selected it because we had a great cast we knew could pull this off,” said Hancock. “We had the strong leads, chorus members and talent to pull this off.

“I always make sure that we will have students who will be able to fill the roles,” said Hancock. “This year we had a surprise student. We have a foreign student from the Philippians who is doing a lead role.”

Becca Daugherty, a senior, is in her fourth year of being involved in the school musical. As Ariel, it is the second time that she has played out a lead role. Other musicals performed by Daugherty include Shrek, Beauty and the Beast and Mary Poppins.

Various musical involvements in school have inspired Daugherty to consider becoming a musical therapist as a career path. She would like to attend IPFW and major in music therapy and minor in Spanish.

“I want to go into a career that benefits other people,” said Daugherty. “Music has always been a way of life for me.”

Although Tyler White (Prince Eric) has played a piano since his childhood, sports have been his path of interest in high school where he has been involved in cross country and track.

“I’ve always been more of an athletic kid. I’ve spent more time in sports,” said White, who is participating in his first musical. “Last year when I was watching a performance of, ‘Night Vision,’ I decided I might like to dance on the stage my senior year, so here I am.”

White said that when he has not been involved in sports, he has always enjoyed writing music, spending time with his friends and looking for inspiration.

White aspires to attend Hope College and major in psychology and audio engineering.

Junior Austin Sheets, a junior, is playing out two roles in, “Mermaid.” He is playing the part of King Triton and Chef Louis.

“I’m going to be the father of about everybody in the musical,” said Sheets. “I enjoy being the most serious and the funniest character in the play.”

Sheets said if there is anything he has learned from, “Mermaid,” it is the old adage, “don’t judge a book by its cover.”

“I would eventually like to become a vet tech,” said Sheets. “I have chosen that because I show cows at the fair. I have loved animals since I was a kid.”

“Little Mermaid” will be featured on Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 3 p.m. at Crestview. Tickets may be purchased at the door.