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Finding Nemo Jr. Reminds Us We Swim Together
Nemo, an orange clownfish played by Van Fiandro, ends up on the wrong side of a net.
Thursday, June 20, 2024


The Sun Valley Community School Theatre will turn into the deep blue sea today when 90 youth performing Disney’s “Finding Nemo Jr.”

The hour-long adaptation follows the storyline of the 2003 Pixar movie, adding lively dance and song by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.

The musical takes the stage at 2 p.m. today—Thursday, June 20—and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Friday, June 21. Tickets are available at

Dory, played by Georgie Payne, tries to help Marlin find his son.

Company B—St. Thomas Playhouse’s two week summer camp for kids pre-kindergarten through eighth grade—has done a nice job of infusing the stage with colorful costumes and undersea plants.

Eight-year-old Van Fiandro does a magnificent job playing Nemo, a young clownfish who wants to explore the world beyond his anemone home in the Great Barrier Reef.

His father Marlin, played by Zach Rios, is anxious and overprotective. But when his son is captured in a net, Marlin faces his fears and sets off on an epic adventure across the ocean with the help of Dory, played by Georgie Payne; a laid-back seat turtle named Crush and others.

The musical features a cast of fun sea creatures, including sharks, jelly fish with streamers hanging from their heads, sea turtles with big shells on their backs and even a sea horse.

Andrew Stanton’s initial inspiration for “Finding Nemo” came from the fish tank in this dentist’s office.

It also features plenty of inspirational kid-sized messages, such as “We swim together” and “Just keep swimming—life isn’t all that grim.”

And it features delightful interludes with a cherubic little boy who is in a war against scavenger seagulls.

The play, directed by Julia Ott, features musical direction by Joel Bejot and choreography by Megan Mahoney. Annabel Webster presided over the art and Tyler Salvoni and Carter Hickey are tending to the technical direction and lighting design.

“Finding Nemo” received four Academy Award nominations and won the award for Best Animated Feature in 2003.

Papa Marlin, played by Zach Rio, and Nemo stand in the center of a school of fish.

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