The Riviera Ridge School invites the Santa Barbara community to Center Stage Theater for this year’s Middle School musical “The Little Mermaid, Jr.,” directed and produced by Miriam Dance, director of the school’s visual and performing arts.

Opening night is 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2. The show also runs at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3; and 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4.

Dance, a professional actor, singer and director, has been with Riviera Ridge for eight years, directing plays, and teaching extension classes and electives. She oversaw the school’s productions of “Grease” and “Wonka, the Musical.”

“We are incredibly fortunate to have someone as talented and passionate as Ms. Dance guiding our students and nurturing their inner artist,” said Head of School Chris Broderick. “Her productions are always incredible, and the students are just bubbling with excitement for this next one.”

In all Riviera Ridge musical productions, students are given the opportunity to take on an array of roles essential to the production, such as stage managing, creating the sets, or manning the sound and lighting. 

“The empowering and uplifting experience of being part of something bigger than oneself should be available to all students, whether or not they want to be in the limelight,” Dance said. “Offering a variety of roles for kids to take part in speaks to the individualized attention we provide each day at RRS.

“Our students shine brightly in jobs that speak to their interests, and I love that they all get to feel part of one big family.”

This year’s production features ocean-themed sets, musical numbers orchestrated by performing arts teacher Dauri Kennedy, and choreography created by local choreographer Kateri Ransom.

For more about Riviera Ridge School, email, or call 805-569-1811 ext. 131.