The cast of "The Rainbow Fish Musical" in rehearsal. (Courtesy/Enlightened Theatrics)

An enthusiastic cast of local elementary and middle school performers will be featured this weekend in “The Rainbow Fish Musical,” a new production presented by Enlightened Theatrics in collaboration with Salem’s Historic Grand Theatre.  

Based on an award-winning story by Marcus Pfister, the tale begins when a shiny, multi-colored Rainbow Fish – the most beautiful fish in the entire world – refuses to share its gorgeous scales with others. When the whole ocean seems to turn against the vain creature, the Rainbow Fish begins to learn the value of friendship and the joy of sharing.

 “The cast does a great job balancing fun with hard work during rehearsal. It’s amazing to see them have the opportunity to interact with each other,” said director Laura Killip.

The show includes local students from third to eighth grade. Rehearsals began in mid-April.

The youngster’s different ages and experiences add dimension to the process, Killip said. “The older students are great models for the younger ones, and are always ready to include them in their jokes.”

“The Rainbow Fish Musical” is part of Enlightened Theatrics’ innovative educational theater program, The Opportunity Series 2022. The program provides diverse and inclusive experiences for young performers in an environment which is both safe and enriching, while providing the community with entertainment they will see nowhere else in the city.

Other shows in the works for 2022 include “All Shook Up,” a musical fantasy loosely based on Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” featuring the songs of Elvis Presley hitting the stage in July; and Suessical the Musical, performing in December.

“The Rainbow Fish Musical is a perfect example of the Enlightened Theatrics’ mission in action,” says Michael Bentea, communications coordinator for the theater. It’s a “bright, energetic and heartwarming experience for all participants – audiences and student performers alike.” 

With the story’s themes of inclusivity, self-reflection and understanding,” Bentea said, “this musical becomes a perfect classroom for encouraging our performers to be the best humans they can be.” 

But it’s also a good time for all. The performers “have fun while we work,” Killip said. “Each and every one of them loves to sing, dance and act and you can see them light up with joy when they’re onstage together.” 

The community is invited to share the joy this weekend.

If you go

“The Rainbow Fish Musical”

Presented by Enlightened Theatrics in collaboration with Salem’s Historic Grand Theatre

187 High St. N.E.

May 13 – May 15

Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m.

Ticket $15 for adults, $10 for kids 12 and under

Tickets available at EnlightenedTheatrics.org, 503-585-3427 or at the box office.

Writer Helen Caswell can be reached at [email protected]

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