Carlin Campbell is enjoying his first year of acting.
Campbell, a 17-year-old Butler County student who is home-schooled, will be performing in the Christian Youth Theater Wichita Inc. full-stage production of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” at 7 p.m. April 27 and April 28, then at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. April 29. The school day performance will be at 10 a.m. April 28. All shows will be at the Isely Magnet School located at 5256 N. Woodlawn.
Student and senior tickets are $13, adults get in for $15 at the door.
CYT is a non-profit after-school theater arts training program for students ages 5 to 18. Drama, voice, dance, and a broad spectrum of specialty theatrical workshops are available as weekly two hour classes. Students age 8 to 18, who are enrolled in a class, are able to audition for Broadway style productions as well.
Hear about Campbell’s experience getting ready for his role as King Triton in a Q&A:
1) What has performing this role been like in practices so far? What distinctions have you given the character?
For me, performing this role has certainly been fun and challenging. I feel like I have a lot of responsibility placed on my shoulders, but that’s something I’m learning to enjoy. I’m trying to make the character of King Triton firm and powerful, and at the same time, a loving and tender father.
2) What are the biggest challenges of this role and this play in general?
In the previous roles I have had, I never played as a character who possessed a love or affection towards a loved one. In the previous shows I was in, Tarzan for example, I was the evil brutal gorilla hunter, Clayton. Thus, the biggest challenge about this role is how I transition from a “bad guy” to a “good guy,” and even learn how to act like I love and care for another character deeply, which is obviously Ariel. In short, I have to keep the power and strength from the character I was in Tarzan and yet learn to be the tender and affectionate father of Ariel. That is probably the biggest challenge about this role and the play in general.
3) What got you interested in this role in the first place? What was the audition like?
As I watched the character of King Triton on Disney’s cartoon version of The Little Mermaid, I knew right away that was the character I wanted to be. The powerful presence and the deep voice was something I was confident I could pull off, although perhaps not the rippling abs or flowing white beard! In answer to the second question, I auditioned for the part and was made to sing a one-minute song and perform a one-minute dance. The audition went great for me, although I was nervous and excited at the same time.
4) What is it like working with the rest of these cast members? Was it easy to find a groove with each other?
Whether I’m working with fellow leads or other cast members, I find them extremely fun and comfortable to be around. We like to laugh a lot and have fun, but at the same time try to excel in our acting, dancing, and singing skills. CYT is an awesome way for young people to discover their talents, refine them, and meet new friends. I am fairly new to CYT, but I can say that I am amazed at all the encouraging and friendly kids who are involved in this organization.
5) Is it easy performing your role in that costume?! Did you have to adjust to it?
No, it’s not! Because I’m a guy, learning to wear and walk in a skirt is another challenge that I’m facing in this show. I can’t say I’ve adjusted to it as I have not been able to wear my costume much because changes and additional features are still being added. But all that will get worked out during Tech week, so I’m not the least worried. Also, the costumes are all super amazing! I’m astonished and grateful for all the work and effort put into each one.