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FPAC’s The Little Mermaid to be Directed by Broadway Star

The Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) will open their 2023-24 Season with Disney’s The Little Mermaid. FPAC is known for bringing Broadway talent to their casts and creative teams and the Disney hit is no exception. Broadway’s Christopher Rice-Thomson will direct and choreograph the show running October 13-22 at THE BLACK BOX.

Rice-Thomson, who recently finished a stint touring North America with Hamilton, has appeared on Broadway in The Book of Mormon and Pretty Woman. He is also the creator of the viral dance series “#Tappy.” His impressive performance credits also include a five year history with FPAC. Rice-Thomson first came to Franklin in 2018 when he starred in their production of Newsies. Since then he has appeared in shows like last season’s Something Rotten!, many galas and concerts, and choreographed The Sound of Music. He even premiered Christopher Rice’s The Tappy Christmas Special: LIVE with FPAC in 2019. “I never thought I’d say that I have a home-away-from-home in Franklin, Massachusetts, but I am so thrilled I get to say that now,” says Rice-Thomson. “So many things about the beautiful town and supportive community stuck with me. I am honored to be back with my Franklin family for this exciting new production of The Little Mermaid!

Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney’s The Little Mermaid is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner, Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, and a compelling book by Doug Wright, this fishy fable will capture the heart with its irresistible songs, including “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl,” and “Part of Your World.” On staging this iconic story at THE BLACK BOX, Rice-Thomson comments, “THE BLACK BOX is so unique and truly allows us to tell the story a million different ways. We have chosen new and inventive ways to bring the worlds above and under the sea to life. You’ll have to come see it to experience it for yourself!”

Featuring a cast of New York and New England talent, the show is led by NYC’s Malia Monk as Ariel, Mike Cefalo (Broadway’s New York, New York) as Eric, Oscar Whitney Jr. as Sebastian, Katie Gray as Ursula, and Daniel Barrett as Scuttle. Rice-Thomson notes, “Our new staging– with the audience on both sides of the theater and the actors at the heart of it all, creates an immersive experience that will make you feel like you’re part of Ariel’s world.”

Disney’s The Little Mermaid runs October 13-22 at THE BLACK BOX. For tickets and more information, visit or call the box office at (508) 528-3370.