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To beat the heat over the summer,

Columbia International University alumna

Courtney Reasoner went under the sea,

hooking the lead role of Ariel in the

Disney musical “The Little Mermaid” at

Columbia’s Town Theater. It was her first

major role in a theatrical performance

since her days as a student with The CIU


“I was really nervous going into it,”

said the 2016 CIU graduate, “especially

because everybody knows the songs in

‘Little Mermaid’ and automatically have

high expectations.”

Some of Reasoner’s other performances

include “Les Miserables” and “Into

the Woods.” However, the role of Ariel

is her all-time favorite, with the June

production of “Little Mermaid” a success

with every weekend show sold out.

Reasoner’s collegiate introduction to the

stage began under CIU music professors

Dr. Rod Lewis and Alison Branham who

challenged her to grow in all her talents

and study of music.

“When I came to CIU, I just wanted

to sing,” Reasoner said. “But after

studying under my professors, I realized

that I needed to get a grasp of my

instrument, I needed to work hard, to

practice and stretch. They pushed me to

become someone who always strives for

excellence, even when it’s difficult.”

Reasoner looks back on her time at

CIU as a place where she established

what it means to be an entertainer

and a Christian. When deciding what

theatre production to pursue, she looks

for Christian truth in the script, thinks

critically about the message of the show,

and considers the character she may

perform. She also wants her family proud

to see her name among the cast.

Singing “Under the Sea”

CIU Alumna Plays Little Mermaid

“I feel like being a Christian and being

an entertainer actually go hand in hand,”

Reasoner said. “The performances I’m in

typically have a message that is true to

Christianity. For example, the message of

friendship is consistent with the Christian

worldview and a performance like ‘The

Little Mermaid’ makes it relatable to


“I wouldn’t pick a show that I would

be ashamed to be in,” Reasoner

continued, “I think that doing music and

performances is all about communication

and relationship with the audience and

the people you’re performing with. I want

to make sure that I’m communicating

truth to them. It’ll look different in every

show but it’ll still be there.”

As for the future, Reasoner continues

to develop her musical abilities as she

considers a future in performance or as a

music teacher. She is open to either path.

“I like acting the most when it’s

combined with music, so musicals have

the biggest draw for me,” Reasoner said.

“I really love to act, but music is my first


So either way, by pursuing music,

Reasoner is confident she is fulfilling

God’s call on her life and using the gifts

He gave her.



Courtney Reasoner (‘16) played Ariel and her brother Jeremy Reasoner

(‘15), played Sabastian in “The Little Mermaid.” (Photo: Town Theatre)

The CIU Players Present

“The Matchmaker”

“The Matchmaker,” a classic Broadway

comedy written by Thornton Wilder

was performed over two weekends in

November, including Homecoming


“Being in this play has been such a

joy,” said freshman Ireland Kost, who

had a leading role as the character

Ermengarde. “It’s been great to use gifts

God has given me to perform for other


“I’m not striving for excellence because

I want to, I’m striving because I have to.

This is what I’ve been made to do by



CIU Today

Spring 2017