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The Little Mermaid

Involving elaborate costumes filled with beautiful colors, (and requiring a fairly large cast) this show has been popular with schools for years.

As with all Disney-inspired musicals, many directors wish to bring as much of the "magic" to life on the stage. While most of the dynamics are accomplished with standard theatrical lighting, several moments of the show can be enhanced with quality special effects. Below you will find a few ideas for your production.

Under The Sea

"Take it from me," your show will be greatly enhanced with quality lighting effects. One of the easiest and most affordable ways to create the illusion of being "under the sea" is to bath your entire performing area with water ripple lighting. This is accomplished by using a water FX light: The Abyss USB.

Abyss-USB-5.jpgThe Abyss™ USB simulates a pleasing multicolored water effect that shines through any environment with or without fog using upgraded, high power LEDs. It can be controlled wirelessly via master/slave or DMX thanks to its D-Fi™ USB compatibility. A dichroic color wheel and two glass effect wheels are independently controllable to expand design options. Non-DMX control is possible in stand-alone mode from the digital display or optional IRC-6 remote control (sold separately). Most productions find that 2 units are required to properly fill their stage. Productions in smaller venues can certainly get away with one. (...and one is always better than NONE!)

King Triton

King Triton's trident (now there's a tongue-twister) is filled with magic! Several moments during the show, this magic is wielded in full force. First, let's talk about the trident itself:

The animated movie (as well as the script) requires the trident to glow with magic. This can be accomplished by outfitting your prop with EL-Wire. EL Wire (or "Glow Wire") is a bright flexible light wire that simulates neon. It's battery-powered, enabling it to be easily incorporated into costumes or moving props. Our Glow Wire is made from the brightest, longest lasting electroluminescent cable available - it will not crack or "burn out". Our control boxes emit super high frequency output, providing the brightest effect possible with no sacrifice to wire life. The Glow Wire is available in 3.2mm (1/8 inch) or 5mm (3/16 inch) diameters, is flexible enough to be loosely knotted, and can be viewed from all sides (entire surface area is lit). It's cold to the touch and water-resistant. More information on this product can be found HERE.

The effect achieved from the above information can be quite nice on its own. However, many directors wish to add an extra level of WOW to their production. With the below items, Triton can shoot "magic sparks" from his trident:

MG35 Ignition System
MG33 Wide Angle Flash Ejector
FP11 Flash Cotton
FC22 Sparkle Additive

Our UFK product line is specifically manufactured to be custom-built into props and set pieces. All products have mounting holes and flanges and come with complete instructions, making installation a breeze.  This product can easily be mounted to the trident AND other setups can be added to various set pieces, showing where the magic "hit!" This especially works well for when Triton destroys Ariel's collection of "human things."

A small piece of DRY FP11 Flash Cotton (Flash Cotton is shipped wet for safety - be sure to read the directions and dry the product for 24 hours!) is loaded into the MG33 Wide Angle Flash Ejector. Another piece of DRY Flash Cotton (about the size of 1/2 a cotton ball) is fluffed up and treated with a small amount of Sparkle Additive (simply put the piece of cotton in a Ziploc bag, add some Sparkle Additive, and shake it up! This piece of treated flash cotton is then added to the Wide Angle Flash Ejector. When initiated with the Ignition System, an Electrical Explosion will result!

BUBBLES!bubbles.jpg

What production of Little Mermaid isn't complete without thousands and thousands of bubbles?!?! This simple effect is not only great for use on stage, but can also be a wonderful "audience immersion" for the show. Simply mount several Bubble Machines above your audience or at the apron of your stage. Can be used during several musical numbers, at the end of the show, during curtain-call, or all of the above. Just like Jell-O, you can never have too many bubbles! ;)

Final Thoughts

The last major request we receive on a regular basis is flying (or "floating") actors around the stage. We at Theatre Effects do many things... but FLYING isn't one of them! You certainly don't have to fly your actors around the stage to create good theatre. The "suspension of disbelief" is the cornerstone of all that is theatre. However, if you absolutely have to fly an actor, we highly recommend hiring a professional fly team to do so. ZFX in Louisville KY is an excellent resource (and great people to work with). There are also several other professional teams across the country.

We hope this article helps you create a memorable experiences for your audience. Feel welcome to contact us with any questions.

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