By Emma Beckman
NCSS 8th grade
Co-stage manager Mary Poppins
What is something that humans have found interesting for thousands of years? Theatre! What have humans participated in for thousands of years? Theatre! Theatre has been a staple in our history of entertainment. Before there was radio and television, there was theatre. The allure of theatre, of watching people perform before you as a different person, of being transfixed by the world in which the actors and actresses are painting for you…it’s magical. It is especially magical when a favorite tale from one’s childhood makes its debut on their hometown stage.
Last year, that magnificent tale was Beauty and The Beast. This year? The one and only Mary Poppins. The cast and crew for this year’s musical are very excited to put on this production for the public. We’ve all been working on it since early September, trying to work out all the kinks so the production is as perfect as we can get it. One of the biggest parts of this production is the actors themselves. Mary Poppins, who is being played by Faith Bartelt, is going to bring life to the nearly 52-year old movie (and nearly nine year old Broadway production). Bert, who is played by Jordan Keso, is Mary’s trusted friend, who brings the two children, Michael and Jane, some humble common sense throughout the production. Michael and Jane are played by Tucker Frederickson and Samantha Siefert. There is also an array of different characters, actors and actresses. There are the multiple chimney sweeps, an old woman who is centuries old who owns a talking shop and many, many more.
Everyone is excited to perform, but are slightly nervous. This production has a number of extremely complicated dances. Since I am co-stage manager, I’m not part of the cast. Everyone in the production has worked their tails off getting ready for this performance, and to show that this Drama Department in a small town in Northern Wisconsin is capable of wondrous, amazing and beautiful things; our little legacy has become a part of the RHS/NCSS Drama Department experience. We all want to help that legacy grow larger and larger with each production.
We’ve had our hardships with the department, like having to change the production ten days before it was set to open last spring because of a horrid event in the city, and having to raise enough money to make the magic of our theater possible with each production.
But… the one thing that stays the same through each production is the magic that is sent out to the community, to show them the joyousness of the theater, of how it is magical to behold ordinary people becoming someone else, creating a story on the stage. Everyone who is a part of each production enjoys the thrill of saying the lines that have been practiced for months, of dancing the numbers painstakingly learned, of singing your heart out to the beat of the pit band and acting in a production that you’re more than proud of. We all love it, and we’d love if you would all share the joy and magic of theatre with us next week with our production of Mary Poppins. We’ve worked very hard to make it happen, and would love to see you there. Opening night is November 19; show time is 7 p.m. the 19th, 20th and 21st. A matinee at closes the show Sunday, November 22 at 1 p.m. Hope to see you all there!