SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A downtown Sioux Falls theater group will open its season Under the Sea.

The Premiere Playhouse has six productions planned for its new season.

“Season 21 is a bevy of titles that are theatrical landmarks in history, so we’re giving you a little bit of everything in terms of the first rock musical, a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic, and Disney’s second stage adaptation,” Managing Artistic Director Oliver Mayes said.

Oliver Mayes is Managing Artistic Director, and says a cast of almost 40 actors has spent two months preparing for the Disney classic, The Little Mermaid.

“The Little Mermaid is not a show to miss. It’s our most family friendly production this season. We’re really trying to honor the Disney take while infusing it with a little bit of Premiere Playhouse pizzazz,” Mayes said.

“This show has something for absolutely everybody. It’s funny, it’s heartfelt, and it’s adorable. It’s just going to be a blast,” actor Jessica Johannsen said.

Jessica Johannsen is back with The Premiere Playhouse for the first time since 2021, and is playing the role of Ursula.

“Ursula is my favorite Disney character of all-time, so it’s truly been one of the coolest experiences of my life,” Johannsen said.

Every production has its challenges, especially when bringing Disney to the stage.

“All of the amazing graphics and color and detail that you see in an animated film via Disney is hard to translate on stage, so there’s things you have to sacrifice, things that you have to get creative about, and I think there’s a lot of challenges in the stage adaptation of The Little Mermaid that we’ve found creative ways to solve and we’re excited for folks to see it,” Mayes said.

And there’s nothing quite like opening night.

“The first show of the season is pretty huge for us because it’s where we like to make a big splash in the community and show people what we’re doing,” Mayes said.

The Little Mermaid opens Thursday night at 7:00 at the Orpheum Theater. The production — featuring a total of eight shows — will end its run with a 2:00 matinee on Sunday, October 8th.