Moana Jr. comes ashore this weekend

By Scott Pearson Associate Editor
Posted 3/7/22

A stirring tale of old Polynesia comes to the Dixie Theatre this weekend as the Marshall County Community Theatre’s version of Moana Jr. opens Saturday.

Based on the 2016 Disney animated film …

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Moana Jr. comes ashore this weekend


A stirring tale of old Polynesia comes to the Dixie Theatre this weekend as the Marshall County Community Theatre’s version of Moana Jr. opens Saturday.

Based on the 2016 Disney animated film “Moana”, the musical follows the story of Moana, a Polynesian girl who is chosen by the ocean itself to right a past wrong and free her island from a blight that keeps them from sailing the open sea.

Moana, played by Alex Whiteside, must defy her parents Chief Tui, played by Will Beasley, and Sina, played by Ginny Newton, and tries to set sail with her rooster Hei Hei, played by Grayson Tidwell, and pig Pua, played by Abigail Grant, before a storm wrecks her canoe.

Trying again with the support of her grandmother Tala, played by Hannah Grant, and ancestors, played by Reagan Harris, Kyleigh Neill, and Caroline Perryman, Moana sails to find the demigod Maui, played by Anthony Smith, to assist her in her quest.

The pair battle monsters, played by Will Beasley, Julian Adams, and Ben Beasley, face off with the crab Tamatoa, played by Brax Hunter, and struggle with their own fears before the final confrontation with the volcano demon Te Ka, hoping to restore the nature goddess Te Fiti, both played by Karlie Lohr, to health.

Along the way, they encounter a tiny insect, played by Adie Rae Miller, and various fishers, played by Julian Adams, Olympia Cathey, and AnnElise George, and villagers, played by Eleanor Buckley, Caroline Jackson, and Anna Perryman.

The ensembles in the show play particularly important roles, with the Ocean, fitting for a story set in the vast Pacific, spending most of the musical on stage and acting as a character in the plot.

Ocean Ensemble members are Jerni Armstrong, Charlegh Bailey, Anna Kate Bass, Carrie Bollinger, Kensley Demastus, Brooke Dyer, Kennedy McKay, Maggy Phillips, Alexis Price, and Emma Grace Walker.

Treasure hungry Tamatoa’s Shiny Ensemble earns their title as well, played by Eleanor Buckley, Olympia Cathey, Mattie Cockerill, Kylie Demastus, Ginny Newton, Karlie Lohr, Landry Smith, and Ava Wakham.

The Maui ensemble consists of Julian Adams, Ben Beasley, Cadence Dale, Lena Deuermeyer, Caroline Jackson, Parker McElhaney, Anna Perryman, Lily Stoltz, and Ava Tidwell.

Allison Mulliniks serves as the producer and director for the youth production, with most of the cast aged 14 years of age and under.

Assistant direction is provided by Nick Phillips and Rebecca McKay.

Anna Beth Grant directs the music, assisted by Naphtali Rothrock.

Angie Bass serves as stage manager.

Of note for this colorful and dynamic production are the costuming, done by Christy Robinson and Shannon Zuniga, and the set design form Kenneth and Jennifer Demastus, Jessica Miller, and Gabe and Sarah Cross.

Lighting design is by Carly Crocker and sound design by Randy Saddler.

The schedule for this production differs from the norm for Dixie productions as well.

Opening night is Saturday, March 5, at 7 p.m. with a matinee scheduled for Sunday, March 6, at 2 p.m.

After that, the production takes a week off, closing the following weekend with shows on Friday, March 18, at 7 p.m., two shows on Saturday, March 19 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., before closing on Sunday, March 20, with a 2 p.m. matinee.

Tickets for the show are $15 and are available online through or at the theatre box office 30 minutes prior to showtimes.

As usual, ticket demand for the production will be high. The opening Sunday show is already listed as sold out on the Dixie website.