Category Archive: News


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    Dear Friends,
    As we wait for news about the COVID-19 crisis and the resulting health mandates, we are doing all we can to be proactive in the face of this daunting challenge. We are looking to the future as we plan and prepare to open our doors to all those who have been “waiting in the wings.” Although we don’t have a specific date for our programs to resume we are moving forward and hoping for the best. We would like to help families as they do the same.
    With our eyes on the light at the end of the tunnel, we are pleased to announce that all summer programs require only a $25 deposit*. In addition, if the deposit is paid by the Early Bird Tuition deadlines, ARIEL will honor the Early Bird Tuition rates as long as tuition is paid in full on the Friday before each camp session begins. We are working to ease the financial burden on families as much as possible. As the Great King Aslan taught in Narnia, working together will help us endure this “challenge that will truly test the best that’s in your hearts.” If we do all that we can and remain hopeful we will “find the courage within….to make the world right again.” We look forward to being with you all again soon.
    The ARIEL Theatrical Staff

    Disney’s The Jungle Book KIDS

    Two-Week Camp

    • June 8-19 with shows on June 19 & 20
    • $25 deposit due Friday, May 1
    • $400 Early Bird Tuition (minus prepaid deposit) due Friday, June 5


    The Hobbit

    Three-Week Camp

    • June 22-July 10 with shows on July 10, 11, 16, 17, & 18
    • $25 deposit due Friday, May 22
    • $500 Early Bird Tuition (minus prepaid deposit) due Friday, June 5


    Kids On Stage

    One-Week Camp

    • July 20-24 with evening recital on July 24
    • $25 deposit due Friday, June 19
    • $200 Early Bird Tuition (minus prepaid deposit) due Friday, July 17


    Little House on the Prairie: The Musical

    Community Show for high school teens & adults

    • Rehearsals June 8-July 30 with shows on July 31, August 1, 7, 8, 14 & 15
    • No deposit required
    • $50 tuition due June 8


    *Deposit and/or fee may be transferred to another program or refunded if restrictions from health or government officials prevent our ability to assemble safely.

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  2. COVID-19 UPDATE – We are in this together!

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    Dear Friends,

    As the situation with COVID-19 is extremely dynamic we at ARIEL are endeavoring to make decisions based on public health guidelines and our care and concern for our staff, participants and their families. Like all of you, we are navigating an unprecedented situation.  Supporting the well-being of children and their families is the purpose for which ARIEL exists and we plan to continue to do so throughout this crisis.

    In response to the “shelter-in-place” directive, all programs currently in production and those scheduled to begin before April 8 are suspended.  Our goal is to remain “at-the-ready” so that programming may resume as soon as it has been deemed safe by public health officials.  In a best-case scenario, some of these programs would be able, with adjustments in dates, to go forward.  However, we recognize that conditions are evolving and that restrictions on assembling may be extended well beyond April 8. Whatever the case, we will stay in communication with participants and their families to determine the best course of action based on the local/state/national health mandates.

    In regards to tuition payments for future programs that have already been processed we offer the following options:   1) wait for updated information to determine if the program can run as scheduled and proceed as planned, 2) roll registration fee over to a future program to be determined when health mandates are lifted, or 3) issue a refund and cancel participant registration. Please note that these options will be available as long as there are restrictions on public assembly and our scheduled programs are delayed or cancelled. We are hopeful that our efforts along with yours will expedite our return to “normal” life. It is our goal to jump back in to full activity as soon as is safely possible and we will continue to communicate updates as we prepare for our doors to reopen.

    We are most grateful for the hundreds of children who participate in ARIEL programs and for their faithful, supportive families.  We look forward to being together again.

    Sincerely yours,

    Gail Higginbotham, Founder & Artistic Director

    Heather Kirk, Executive Director



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    DOWNLOAD 2020 ARIEL THEATRICAL SEASON SPONSORSHIP PACKET – Everything that happens at ARIEL revolves around an incredible community. The young people on stage are counting on the support from our volunteers, donors and sponsors as we continue to provide musical theatre training and performance that uplifts and inspires. Becoming an ARIEL sponsor is easy! Take a look at our Sponsorship Opportunities Form to determine the level of support that works for you. Sponsors will not only be acknowledged and promoted, but will receive complimentary tickets to select shows along with other benefits. If you have questions or would like to set up a meeting to discuss details, call 831-775-0976 or send an email to with the word “SPONSOR” in the subject line. We’ve got a full season of amazing shows and your business can be part of the action for a song….and a few bucks!

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    Did you hear the news? SNOW IS COMING TO OLDTOWN SALINAS!!! Even if the sun is out, with your help, SNOW WILL FALL in the lobby at ARIEL Theatrical this holiday season! Make a $50 donation to ARIEL before January 31, 2020 and a snowflake, customized with a name of your choice*, will be displayed in the windows of our Main Street entrance. Thanks to a generous grant from the Rudi Schulte Foundation, every donation, up to $10,000, will be matched!

    Personalize a snowflake for a family member, a friend, or in remembrance of a loved one. If one snowflake won’t do the trick, buy two or four, or 10! SNOWFLAKES will not only support the many wonderful programs at ARIEL but can make a great gift for ARIEL fans of all ages. Sponsor two or more SNOWFLAKES and receive a voucher good for one ticket to any show in the 2020 Season. Stop by our lobby to “Sponsor a SNOWFLAKE” on the spot. Or download the SNOWFLAKE Sponsorship Form HERE or send an email to with the word SNOWFLAKE in the subject line. Include the following information in your email:


    Mailing Address:


    Email Address:

    Number of SNOWFLAKES you wish to sponsor:

    Name(s) on SNOWFLAKE(S) (30 characters or fewer for each please):

    Total amount paid: $_________

    Method of payment (check, cash, credit card, DONATE button on ARIEL website):


    Cash, check or credit card donations can be made at our box office, you can pay with a credit card by calling our box office at 831-775-0976, or you can do it all online through our secure donation button. Checks may also be mailed to ARIEL at PO Box 1268, Salinas, CA 93902. SNOWFLAKES will be displayed when full payment is received.

    You can bring a blizzard to ARIEL this winter and support musical theatre programs that help young people learn the importance of making principle-centered choices while providing wholesome family entertainment for the entire community. “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”

    *up to 30 characters


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    Get ready for unforgettable adventures on stage at ARIEL Theatrical! Brand new shows, classic favorites, and opportunities for young people to participate in an award-winning after-school program are right around the corner! The 2020 programs include:

    • Narnia – Rehearsals begin in December, day-time shows in February at Sherwood Hall
    • Go Fish – NEW – Rehearsals begin in January, shows in February
    • Schoolhouse Rock Live Too! – NEW – Rehearsals begin in March, shows in April & May
    • Yee-Haw! – NEW – Rehearsals begin in April, shows in May
    • Disney’s The Jungle Book KIDS – Two-week summer camp, shows in June
    • The Hobbit – Three-week summer camp, shows in July
    • Little House on the Prairie – Community Summer Program, rehearsals begin in June, shows in July & August
    • Berenstain Bears On Stage – Rehearsals begin in August, shows in September & October
    • Little Red Riding Hood – Rehearsals begin in September, shows in October
    • A Christmas Carol, The Musical – Rehearsals begin in October, shows in December

    In addition to the performance programs, ARIEL will offer a one-week theater camp (Kids On Stage) and three sessions of our day-time class (The Play’s the Thing) for home schooled children, grades K-12. ARIEL will also continue the REACH Theatre program, a partnership with Special Kids Connect, and several off-site theatre programs throughout Monterey County.

    Registration forms are available in the lobby at ARIEL and online. Many programs offer early-bird discounts so it pays to plan ahead. For more program information and a detailed description of each show visit the ARIEL website at, call 831-775-0976, or stop by the Karen Wilson Children’s Theatre at 320 Main Street, Salinas.

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    Inspired by the Disney Channel smash hit movie, High School Musical is now playing at ARIEL, Fridays and Saturdays, through October 19. When two unsuspecting students discover each other and the talents they have been hiding they rely on their classmates to help them step out of their cliques and step up to new challenges. Join our teen cast as they sing their way from the East High cafeteria to the basketball court and everywhere in between. Whether they are shooting baskets, crunching numbers or standing in the spotlight, the Wildcats learn that they’re “all in this together.” Teens from local schools including Everett Alvarez, Marina, North Monterey County, Ocean Grove, Rancho San Juan, Salinas, Santa Catalina, Soledad and York join forces for this family friendly show.


    Sharpay (Alexis Williams) and Ryan (Alton Reese) warn Troy (Andrew Slorance) and Gabriella (Nancy Rodriguez) to “stick to the status quo” in ARIEL Theatrical’s production of Disney’s High School Musical on October 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 and 19 at The Karen Wilson Children’s Theatre, 320 Main Street, Oldtown, Salinas. Photo by Stephen Massott.



























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    What if you could live forever? Is immortality a blessing or a burden? Come to ARIEL Theatrical’s production of Tuck Everlasting and decide for yourself.

    Hiding in the shadows of Treegap Wood is a secret that will forever change the lives of two families. As The Man in the Yellow Suit relentlessly pursues the mystery, the danger grows for the Tucks and the Fosters. Is immortality the answer or is it better to take a ride on “The Wheel” and discover a deeper meaning of life? Based on best-selling classic by Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting features a soaring score that will resonate with audiences of all ages. Community performers from throughout Monterey County come together on the ARIEL stage for this exciting musical adventure.


    Photo: Jesse Tuck (Christian Loreno) shows Winnie Foster (Vanessa Engler) the view from “The Top of the World” in ARIEL Theatrical’s production of Tuck Everlasting on August 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 & 17 at The Karen Wilson Children’s Theatre, home of ARIEL Theatrical, 320 Main Street in Oldtown, Salinas.

    The Community Show is generously supported by the Sally Hughes Church Foundation.






    A big “THANK YOU” to our 2019 Summer Sponsors – A&R Fresh, Hastie Financial Group, and Little Bristles and to our 2019 Season Sponsors – Aladin Properties, Cardinale Moving & Storage, Central Coast Cleaning, Silva Farms and Valley Exxon.

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    Disney’s 101 Dalmatians KIDS was FUR-TASTIC fun for everyone – both on stage and in the audience. Although we are sad to see the puppies go, we are comforted by the sweet smell of chocolate wafting through the ARIEL lobby. Dozens of summer campers, ages 7-18, are gearing up to present Willy Wonka on July 12, 13, 18, 19 & 20. This scrumptious musical adventure will follow Charlie Bucket and the other Golden Ticket holders through the magical Chocolate Factory as they meet a colorful cast of characters while learning lessons that only the “Candy Man” can teach. Summer camp performances are like summer movie blockbusters – EVERYONE wants to be part of the excitement! Expect sell-outs and get your tickets early!

    And mark your calendar because just around the corner is our Community Show, Tuck Everlasting, August 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 & 17.

    A big “THANK YOU” to our Summer Sponsors – A&R Fresh, Hastie Financial Group, Little Bristles.

    And a giant “THANK YOU” to our Season Sponsors – Aladin Properties, Cardinale Moving & Storage, Central Coast Cleaning, Silva Farms & Valley Exxon.

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    Adapted from Norton Juster’s beloved children’s book, this riveting musical will take the cast and the audience on an unforgettable adventure. Young people, ages 6-18, will tell the story of Milo, Tock, Princesses Rhyme and Reason and an array of interesting characters from the distant Land of Wisdom.  Working together to bring peace to feuding kings, they discover that in the quest for knowledge everything has a purpose.

    Performances: April 5, 6, 12 & 13, Fridays at 7 pm and Saturdays at 2 pm and 7 pm

    Location: The Karen Wilson Children’s Theatre – 320 Main Street, Salinas

    Tickets: Adults – $13, Students/Seniors/Military – $11, Children ages 3-12 – $9, Under 3 – FREE

    Tickets may be purchased online, by phone (831-775-0976), or at the ARIEL box office.

    A big “THANK YOU” to our 2019 Season Sponsors – Aladin Properties, Cardinale Moving & Storage, Central Coast Cleaning, Silva Farms and Valley Exxon.

    For more information, visit ARIEL in the Karen Wilson Children’s Theatre, 320 Main Street, online at or call 831-775-0976.

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    We are thrilled to announce that our wonderful donors and sponsors have helped us match the $35,000 grant from the Harden Foundation! If you were one of the many who joined in this effort, THANK YOU!!! Individuals and businesses contributed from $5 to $5,000 and every dollar was generously matched by the Harden Foundation. We are so grateful for this incredible support that helps us provide engaging programs for the community while encouraging young people to develop personal character while creating a character on stage.

    Another fun way to support ARIEL is just around the corner! The first ever ARIEL Sing-a-Thon will happen on Friday, March 29 from 5-8 pm at The Karen Wilson Children’s Theatre. With karaoke performances, group sing-a-longs, food, door prizes and more, this will be a fun family event for all ages. Tickets are just $5 and will be on sale at ARIEL beginning March 18. Karaoke songs are available to perform for a $300 donation (collecting pledges is encouraged) and business sponsors (donations of $150+) will be acknowledged in the event program and on custom ARIEL Sing-a-Thon t-shirts. Click on the links below for more information. We hope to see you there!





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