Category Archive: News


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    ARIEL Theatrical is thrilled to present…drumroll please….our first-ever-in-the-history-of-the-world virtual musical, Super Happy Awesome News! All rehearsals took place online through Zoom and cast members got creative with costumes, props and sets. Videos were filmed on location in or near their homes. The results are – well – super, happy and awesome!! There is no charge to watch the show and you can catch it anytime, online of course. And please, feel free to share Super Happy Awesome News with family and friends everywhere! The world could use some Super Happy Awesome News now more than ever! Here is the Youtube link:

    If you love the show, let us know! Your donation will do the cheering for you!

    Donate to ARIEL through MC Gives! by following this link:

    MC Gives! is an annual fundraising campaign made possible by the Community Foundation for Monterey County and the Monterey County Weekly newspaper. Every dollar that is donated, up to $75,000, will be eligible for matching funds and there are no fees for credit card donations. ARIEL will receive every penny and then some! Look for ARIEL under the Education & Youth category. Visit our website at for more information.




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    Have you missed ARIEL? We sure have missed you!!!

    These last eight months have been, shall we say, less than optimal. However, we are determined to not let 2020, or COVID-19, or even murder hornets, get the best of us!

    We are thrilled to be part of MC Gives!, a county-wide campaign that offers an easy and secure online donation experience, matching funds, and charges ZERO fees! This means that every penny donated to ARIEL will come straight to us, along with a bit extra in matching dollars! Look for ARIEL under the “Education & Youth” category. We are grateful to our Challenge Gift Donors who gave early and gave BIG to get us a running start:

    • ARIEL Theatrical Board of Trustees
    • Anderson Family
    • Kamani Designs & the Harty Family
    • Mindy & Rick Keppeler
    • Topher Fischer

    Your support will launch us into the future with a little extra “umph” when we need it the most. Until things are “back to normal” we will keep our online workshops fun and engaging, make some outdoor theatre classes happen, and even try our hand at streaming performances and other original content, all while reinforcing the principles of Accountability, Respect, Integrity, Excellence and Leadership. In other words, we are on a mission to deliver our mission to young people everywhere.

    Remember, it’s always darkest before the dawn. With your help, we can all watch the sun rise together.

    If you are in a position to share, we will be honored to have your support. We send our best wishes for health and happiness to all, near and far.



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    We are headed into the eighth month of the COVID-19 pandemic. What does your world look like? Hopefully you have experienced at least a few silver linings – more time with family, more time to slow down and show gratitude, more time to organize and plan, and more time to enjoy the beauty of nature. However, with the shelter-in-place orders and other restrictions that limit travel and social/recreational events, it’s inevitable that many of us are now seeing much of the world in a very two-dimensional way. With computers, tablets, phones, and TV at our fingertips, screen time is up, WAY up, for most people. Distance learning, working from home and learning to “Zoom” are realities that we are learning to live with, for now.

    Online theatre at ARIEL was not a “thing” before March 2020. Well, it has definitely become a “thing” that inspires creativity, encourages interaction, and is just plain fun! One parent wrote, “We miss you. We miss how things were. Yet, to see how you pivot, recreate and renew your program to meet the needs of your community is a beautiful thing.” It hasn’t been an easy road, but with support from our amazing community and a bit of inspiration, we’ll make it to the light at the end of the tunnel.

    While we wait for a return to normal, ARIEL will be here, and we’ll be busy!

    Stay tuned for:

    • A Christmas Carol Radio Drama – Since we can’t present the musical this year, we are going old school with a 1940’s radio show play – our holiday gift to the community! Dates for this free virtual event will be announced in the coming weeks.
    • Super Happy Awesome News – We could all use some good news, and the young performers from ARIEL Theatrical will be making news with this super, happy, awesome, online production!
    • Online Workshops and more… – If your child is interested in musical theatre games (Musical Theatre Fun with Kylee), creating and performing a one-of-a-kind online show (Zoomtastic), or even participating in an outdoor theatre day camp (The Play’s the Thing), details for our next sessions will be coming soon!

    One more piece of exciting news – ARIEL was selected to participate in MC Gives!, a unique partnership between the Community Foundation for Monterey County and the Monterey County Weekly newspaper. This annual fundraising campaign encourages giving with a matching fund, real-time donation updates, and no fees of any kind, including credit card processing or other administrative costs. Plus, every donation is tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. MC Gives! officially launches on November 12 and runs through December 31, 2020. Giving instructions and links for online donations will be live on the ARIEL website next month.

    2020 has been unforgettable to say the least. With your support, ARIEL will sail on into the future and will be ready to face 2021 with resilience, resolve and remarkable commitment.

    #SailOnWithARIEL #alltogetherforARIEL

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    THE ARIEL PANDEMIC-PROOF PERFORMANCE PREPARATION PROGRAM  (also known as ARIEL Online Workshops) is our response to COVID-19.

    Don’t let a pandemic keep your child from sharpening their stage skills! All workshops will utilize the Zoom Online Meeting platform and will keep young people connected to ARIEL and each other. Enrollment is limited so early registration is recommended. See you on Zoom!



    FALL 2020 ONLINE WORKSHOPS – Session 1


    AGES 5-7

    Musical Theatre Fun with Kylee – $79

    Mondays & Wednesdays, August 31-September 23, 3:30-4:15 pm, PST (no workshop on Labor Day, September 7)

    Sing, dance and play with friends and ARIEL’s Beginning Show director, Kylee Sullivan!


    Dance Time with Diane! – $89

    Tuesdays & Thursdays, September 1-24, 3:30-4:15 pm, PST

    Join ARIEL’s resident choreographer and beloved dance teacher, Diane Chatwin, for a workshop that will get kids moving from head to toe! Get up and get moving with Diane!




    AGES 8-12

    Zoomtastic 2: The ARIEL Online Theatre Extravaganza – $99

    Mondays & Wednesdays, August 31-September 23, 5:45-6:45 pm, PST (no workshop on Labor Day, September 7)

    Zoomtastic is back! Participants will join forces to create a one-of-kind story and bring it to life on screen. Beginning Show Director Kylee Sullivan will lead the way on this virtual adventure. Will Zoomtastic 2 be as awesome as the original? Join us and find out!


    AGES 13-18

    ACTING: From the Ground Up – $99

    Mondays & Wednesdays, August 31-September 23, 7:00-8:00 pm, PST (no workshop on Labor Day, September 7)

    Discover how to “portray a convincing life” on stage in a way that profoundly affects the telling of a story and audience experience. Workshop will be led by ARIEL Theatrical Founder and Artistic Director, Gail Higginbotham.

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    Get on board with giving through AmazonSmile. If you shop on Amazon you have the power to give .5% of every qualifying purchase back to ARIEL Theatrical with no strings attached! No fees, no surcharges, no kidding! If you already have an Amazon account, in only a couple of minutes the giving begins! It’s as easy as one, two, three!

    One – visit;

    Two – sign on with your Amazon login;

    Three – indicate ARIEL Theatrical as your charity of choice and start shopping!

    Really, it’s that easy! For details and easy instructions visit the AmazonSmile home page.

    And for more information, check out the Amazon blog article How to Sign Up for AmazonSmile.

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    From its beginning, ARIEL Theatrical has been about more than musical theatre – much more. Gail Higginbotham, Founder and Artistic Director, has dedicated her life to the idea that “every child is intrinsically and inherently valuable” and that all individuals have the power to make choices that will impact others and the world around them. All that is taught and modeled by the staff at ARIEL is inspired by this philosophy. Ultimately, it is our hope that lessons learned will transcend the stage and affect the way young people conduct themselves at all times. We encourage participants of all ages to recognize the opportunities and resources they enjoy with a sense of gratitude and that they are therefore responsible for their part in making the world a better place.

    Over the years ARIEL has presented hundreds of productions. As each story unfolds, belief is suspended for a time and audiences are swept away. They travel to distant lands, make-believe places, or even back in time, without leaving their seats. The young people in our casts are part of the magic as they transform themselves with costumes and makeup and use their blossoming acting skills to create compelling characters that walk, talk and look differently than they do. Imagination may fuel these on stage adventures but respect for others is paramount as we consider each journey.

    The world is currently in a precarious state. With a global pandemic, financial uncertainty, racial tension and civil unrest, we truly stand at a turning point in time. While the ARIEL nonprofit bylaws require our neutrality in regards to political movements, campaigns, candidates and legislation, and we do not make official public statements regarding political or social issues, we firmly stand by the principles that have guided our organization from the beginning.

    We are grateful to have been an influence for good in so many lives. As we continue to stand for Accountability, Respect, Integrity, Excellence and Leadership it is our goal to inspire others to adopt and embrace these principles in their own lives. We hope that the world can begin to heal and that ARIEL will continue its role in that process, one day at a time, and one young person at a time.

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    We are excited for you to be part of our first-ever-in-the-history-of-the-world online summer workshops!

    Please review workshop information below and then complete a Google Form to register. Keep in mind, space is limited so jump online and get your reservation in today! And invite family and friends from other cities, states or even countries to register too! Whether you have a cousin in another state or a friend who moved away, you can do the workshop together! ARIEL can be ANYWHERE now that we are online! We look forward to hearing from you soon!


    AGES 5-7

    Musical Theatre Fun with Kylee – $34 (Monday-Thursday, June 15-18 at 9-10 am PST) Sing, dance and play with friends and ARIEL’s Beginning Show director, Kylee Sullivan!

    ABC Level 1: Acting Basics for Children – $34 (Tuesdays & Thursdays June 23- July 2 @ 9-10 am PST) Learning to act is as easy as 1-2-3! Or, in this class, A-B-C! Instructor Kylee Sullivan will lead the way!

    Puppet Planet! – $34 (Mondays & Wednesdays, June 22-July 1 @ 9-10 am PST) Guest instructor Scott Savage will guide participants as they create their own inhabitants of Puppet Planet. Before you know it, these colorful characters will be talking, dancing and maybe even singing some silly songs! Join ARIEL as we blast-off to Puppet Planet!

    Dance Time with Diane! – $34 (Tuesdays & Thursdays, July 7-16 @ 9-10 am) Join ARIEL’s resident choreographer and beloved dance teacher, Diane Chatwin, for a workshop that will get kids moving from head to toe! Get up and get moving with Diane!

    Lift Up Your Voice and Sing! – $34 (Monday-Thursday, July 20- 23 @ 9-10 am PST) Guest instructor Natalie Savage will get things moving with fun songs and games for little singers. Make music your wake-up call!


    AGES 8-12

    Singing 101: Vocal Basics for Beginners – $54 (Tuesdays & Thursdays, June 16-July 2 @ 11am-12 pm PST) You’re never too young to learn to sing like a pro and ARIEL’s long-time music director and master choral director, Diana Rosett, will help your voice shine!

    ABC Level 2: Acting Basics for Children – $36 (Mondays & Wednesdays, June 22-July 1 @ 1-2 pm PST) Kylee Sullivan will help participants build skills for the stage while creating their very own colorful characters, all from the comfort of their living rooms!

    Zoomtastic: The ARIEL Online Theatre Extravaganza – $54 (Mondays & Wednesdays, July 6-22 @ 11am-12pm PST) It’s not like anything we’ve ever done before but we know it’s going to be a blast! Participants will join forces to create a unique story and bring it to life on screen. Your child will be a pioneer as we go where no ARIEL performer has gone before…..into cyberspace! Stephen Massott and Kylee Sullivan will lead the way on this summer adventure!

    Take It From the Top: Basic Dance – $36 (Tuesdays & Thursdays, July 14-23 @ 11am-12pm PST) Get up and get moving with guest instructor Natalie Savage. Try out different dance styles and choose your favorite!


    AGES 13-18 – TEENS

    Singing On Stage (SOS) – $54   (Mondays & Wednesdays, June 15-July 1 @ 11am-12pm PST) Tips and techniques from ARIEL’s long-time music director and master choral director, Diana Rosett, that will expand your range, fine tune your pitch and take your vocal performance to new levels. Let your voice take center stage!

    Ace Your Audition – $54 (Monday-Thursday, June 15-18 @1-2:30 pm PST) Auditions are intimidating for everyone. Guest instructor Scott Savage will teach tips and tricks on how to put your best foot forward when it’s your time to shine. And learn how to “want the part you get” when you don’t “get the part you want.”

    The Art of Funny: Comedic Acting for Teens – $54 (Tuesdays & Thursdays, June 23-July 2 @ 1-2:30 pm PST) Learn how timing, phrasing and delivery can bring audiences to tears – with laughter! Special guest instructor Scott Savage will help participants find their inner comedian.

    From the Inside Out: Comprehensive Script Analysis – $36 (Monday-Thursday, July 6-9 @ 1-2 pm PST) Discover how to read a script from “inside” the words and bring them to life in a way that profoundly affects you, your character and your audience. Workshop will be led by ARIEL Theatrical Founder and Artistic Director, Gail Higginbotham.

    Stage Dance: Movement for Musical Theatre – $36 ( Monday-Thursday, July 6-9 @ 2:30-4 pm PST) Guest instructor Natalie Savage will share her extensive knowledge and performance experience with teen participants as they learn skills and techniques that will get them ready to dance like EVERYONE is watching!

    Virtually Shakespeare – $99 (Monday-Thursdays, July 13-23 @ 1-2:30 pm) Back by popular demand….with a twist! Shakespeare is going ONLINE! ARIEL Theatrical’s resident Shakespeare expert, Stephen Massott, will take students on a journey back in time as they learn about one of the world’s most famous playwrights. This class would not be complete without a readers’ theatre with sound effects, homemade costumes, and props from your junk drawer! If you love Shakespeare or just want to expand your knowledge, don’t miss this one!

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  8. At ARIEL, you’re never “Alone”

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    These past few weeks we’ve all felt a little bit isolated. With rehearsals cancelled and programs on hold, it’s been a bit quiet at ARIEL. However, being “alone” for a while has given us time to think of all of the people who have helped to create so many wonderful memories at ARIEL. We can’t wait to create thousands more!

    Today is #GivingTuesday. Our gift to you is this beautiful, at-home performance of “Alone” from one of our favorite shows, A Year with Frog and Toad. We’d like to thank Zach Bridges for sharing his talent with ARIEL and the world.

    If thinking of ARIEL makes you happy, let us know. Email us (, send a photo, share a video, and/or make a donation. Like so many of you, things have been tough for ARIEL, but knowing that we’ll be together again definitely makes us happy. Hang in there and we will see you soon!


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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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  10. 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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