LAND AND SEA: Siren Song Program
A Thesis written and directed by Caroline Slater
At the age of three, I fell in love with The Little Mermaid. The famous Disney adaptation led me to collect all things mermaid-related – books, clothing and costumes, dolls, and television shows. I joined the Little Goldfish swim team because I wanted to become a mermaid, that’s how deep my love was. This love led me to Hans Christian Andersen’s original tale in which I discovered that the mermaid’s life did not lead to happily ever after, but ended in sacrifice and tragedy. The sanitizing of Anderson’s famously grim ending for G-rated audiences in turn became a fascination that would follow me to the present.
What strikes me as interesting is not that we wish to shield our children from sadness or violence in the stories we tell them. Rather, it is that the adjusted narrative which we tell our children becomes the narrative that we tell ourselves. My aunts and uncles were more than a little disturbed when I answered their offer to read to me by handing them a book in which the main character kills herself in the end. They’d cast a wary eye at my mother, asking, “Is this alright?” I was simply surprised they didn’t already know how a famous fairy tale really ends.
The place that this dark ending, popularly overshadowed by a shimmering green tail and buoyant red hair, occupied in my brain led me to look for the underbelly of other tales told to children. What do the shiny, brightly packaged classics – the fairy tales about love, friendship, and kindness – have to say if we dig deeper into their histories? What makes the original stories so uncomfortable for us? And, are we missing anything now by attempting to cover up the dirt that other versions kicked up in the past?
Throughout my senior year as a Theater & Performance Studies major at Georgetown, I have had the privilege of indulging in this lifelong fascination. Working with my fellow classmates and Georgetown’s renowned faculty, I developed my senior thesis; the script that you will hear read and sung tonight, Siren Song. Thank you for coming and I sincerely hope you enjoy it.
Cameren Evans– NYRA . Cameren is a junior in the College studying and is incredibly excited of this journey in and out of the sea. She is a big fan of all things princesses and has been obsessed with the little mermaid for forever, so she is so so honored to be able to bring Nyra to life. So happy and proud of everyone on this process, yay theater!
Sabrina Perez- THE WITCH. Sabrina is thrilled to be playing the Witch and returning to her theater roots, re-claiming her breakout role as Ursula in her legendary 7th-grade production of The Little Mermaid. Though she will no longer be serving in a purple tracksuit and pool noodle tentacles, she hopes to give the Witch in this production just as much justice 🙂 She is so proud of everyone who has worked on this production and thanks you for supporting student-led work!!!
Caitlin Frazier- THE MOTHER/THE BRIDE. Caitlin is a Senior gracing the stage for her last musical performance at Georgetown (but the first of her sea-related shows this semester). She is excited to take her final form as a mommy and is over the moon that her honey bear let her come along for the ride. <3
Daniel Tomas- THE PRINCE/FISHERMAN 1. Daniel is a first-year student from Panama in the SFS. Even though he always wanted to be Ursula from The Little Mermaid, he is thrilled to be participating in Siren Song as the Prince. He is so excited to be part of this process!
Eddie Ramirez- STAGE DIRECTIONS/FISHERMAN 2. Eddie is a senior majoring in Marketing and minoring in Disability Studies. Eddie is from Houston, Texas. Dance has been a long life passion of his since the age of 7. Growing up, he competed in national competitions across the US opening his eyes to his love for dance. Eddie’s passion for contemporary and modern dance inspires much of the choreography work he does within Black Movements Dance Theatre. As one of the Student Directors of BMDT, he has had the pleasure to continue his passion for dance alongside a group of people who have become family. He also serves as Choreographer for Georgetown’s Ritmo y Sabor.
Sophia George- SPIO. Sophia is a senior in the SFS majoring in International Politics with a concentration in Security Studies and a certificate in European Studies hoping to pursue a master’s in Russian/Eastern European Studies abroad next year. She also LOVES to pursue her creative side as an actress and singer and songwriter and is SO excited for this project! Thanks so much to CC for her wonderful talent and amazing energy always!
Grace Tourtelotte- CIRCLE. Grace is a sophomore in the College majoring in American Studies and minoring in Creative Writing. She is so excited to be playing Circe in this amazing new show. Since her H20 Just Add Water binging days, she has always wanted to be a mermaid. She is thrilled to support CC and all of her innovative and amazing work!
Seoyun Yoo- Sound Board Operator. Seoyun is a junior in the College studying Sociology and Psychology. Her interest in theater began to increase back when she was in Korea. The excitement she had felt from watching the performances as a member of the audience naturally led her to grow curious about what happens backstage. She now wishes to deliver the fascinating emotions she once had felt to the audience as a member of the crew.
Esmanur Sensoy- Deck Crew. Esmanur is ready for action as the run crew! She is excited to be a part of such a creative environment and can’t wait to assist in making some magic happen behind the scenes.
Shruti S.- Wardrobe Assistant. Shruti is a first-year MBA student at McDonough-class of 2024, and grew up in India. She is excited to be a part of the run crew to help with wardrobe support. She has a passion for art, music and dance forms and looks forward to supporting the crew members and getting to know more about performing arts in the process.
Miranda Fair- Wardrobe Supervisor. Miranda is a sophomore in the College studying political economy and the Wardrobe Supervisor for Siren Song. She has thoroughly enjoyed working with the cast and crew on this unique project and seeing the final vision come to life!
Sofia Ortiz-Penzol- Lighting Designer/Light Board Operator. Sofia is a junior in the College studying English Literature. She is very excited for her first shows at Georgetown and is so glad they are two productions this wonderful and fun. Very happy and thankful to be a part of this production!
Dorothy Barnes-Driggers – Costume Shop Manager. Dorothy Barnes-Driggers is a costume designer, technician, and educator. Currently the costume shop manager at Georgetown University, Dorothy teaches classes on sustainability and costume practicum. Her past design credits include Dog Act for Georgetown University, Snow day for Arts on the Horizon, Mary Poppins at Central Piedmont Summer Theatre and Madeline’s War at the Volks Theatre in Vienna, Austria. Dorothy has been featured by vogue.com for her bespoke wedding dress design and creation. Beyond her work in design and education, Dorothy has worked as a costume technician at The Washington National Opera, Folger Theatre, The University of Maryland, and The Santa Fe Opera.
THE MOTHER/ THE BRIDE
THE PRINCE/ FISHERMAN 1
STAGE DIRECTIONS/ FISHERMAN 2
Jaron Berman, Piano
SCENE SHOP STAFF
COSTUME SHOP MANAGER
COSTUME SHOP STAFF
Avery Van Natta
Natalie Price- Fudge
SOUND BOARD OPERATOR
DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION
Natsu Onoda Power
Maya E. Roth
THEATER AND PERFORMANCE STUDIES PROGRAM DIRECTOR
Special thanks to:
All of the incredible professors who have taken the time to read various versions of Siren Song and gave generous, invaluable feedback: Christine Evans, Maya Roth and Derek Goldman.
My thesis advisor, Professor Natsu Onoda Power, who has supported me and lent me her expertise throughout every step of this process.
The cast of this production, who were collaborators as well as performers, whose incredible talent, input and interpretation made this process that of joyful discovery.
Jaron Berman, for his uncanny ability to transform my voice memos and chord progressions into real songs.
Ann Corigliano, for swooping in and saving me from a When2Meet hell of my own creation.
My mother, for being my very first editor on this project and in life, for countless hours on the phone, and for her infinite love and support.