“We could potentially sell our fifth consecutive musical.”
These words from Mineral Area Fine Arts Academy (MAFAA) Theater Director Jason Carr speak volumes about the popularity of their latest and previous shows.
With only about 10 tickets remaining for four shows, “Mary Poppins” looks guaranteed to be yet another hugely successful MAFAA performance.
“We’ve sold out all the musicals we’ve put on,” Carr said, “and this one is still selling a little faster than any of them.”
“Mary Poppins” opens Thursday on the stage of the Fine Arts Theater at Mineral Area College with about 60 actors.
Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.
Music lovers will want to see the incredible cast and crew as they take audiences on a magical journey. Everyone’s beloved characters will be there, from flying a kite and walking through the park to feeding birds and sweeping chimneys. The characters will remind the audience why Cherry Tree Lane is one of the best places to be.
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This musical brings together artists of all ages.
Carr said he was particularly amazed at how many people in the cast have so much talent.
“Not only do they sing and play and dance, but there are people who build props, do paintings, build sets, sew costumes, teach dances, etc.,” he said. “I’m always impressed with how artistic people can be.”
As with previous productions of this size, it has been a challenge to keep everyone healthy. There were numerous cases of colds, flu, and strep throat for the cast. Carr often reminded the cast to rest, stay hydrated, and take vitamins. Even taking precautions, the actors missed many rehearsals.
“And any time you do a production that involves flying and magic, you’re going to be faced with challenges,” Carr said.
Beyond all the challenges, he said, this show is a timeless classic.
“People tend to appreciate the things they know and they like to see characters recreated,” Carr said. “This show is full of songs that everyone will know, and the music definitely gets stuck in your head.”
The set will make audiences feel right at home with the Banks family. But its construction was certainly a difficult task because there are so many parts that have to be moved to change the scene. There is also limited backstage space.
“I think things are going to be very beautiful, but orchestrating where everything goes and where to turn it on and off has been a challenge,” he said. “A big advantage to doing super-wide shows like this is that we have a built-in camera crew.”
And the cast and crew are the best part of the show.
“The best part of the show is the people, the families,” Carr said. “There are so many families making incredible contributions, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”
He said the parents even set up a hospitality room to entertain the young performers during the show. While they’re not on stage, they tend to things like coloring and playing games.
“It’s an incredibly important part of these superstar shows and it makes them more enjoyable for everyone involved,” Carr said.
The “Mary Poppins” cast includes Regan Means as Bert; Michael Cantrell as George Banks; Sarah Stacy as Winifred Banks; Claire Francis and Eloise Burd as Jane; Sawyer Kay as Michael; Alison Burd as Katie Nanna; Ashton Dane as a policeman; Sarah Politte as Miss Lark; Brian Womble as President of Admiral Boom/Bank; Liz Konzelmann as Mrs. Brill; Jackson Follis and Zabien Gusman as Robertson Ay; Rachel St. Pierre as Mary Poppins; Sondra Kekec as Miss Andrew; Andrew Russell as the park warden; Josh Obenhaus as Neleus; Destiny Matysik as Queen Victoria; Ellie Womble and Rebecka Jakoubek as Miss Smythe; Alyssa Sample as Annie; Ryley Heady as Fannie; Jackson Follis and Zabien Gusman as Von Hussler; Joseph Browers as John Northbrook; Lyn Ruess as Bird Woman; London Miscisin as Mrs. Corry; Sam Konzelmann as Poseidon; Rose Churchill, Kama Wolk, Hannah Politte, Kian Garrity, Payton Miller, Anderson Burd, Trenton Kelley, Jersey Hagerty, Viviani Welker, Jennifer Stokes, Destiny Matysik and Andrew Russell as chimney sweeps; and Khloe Davis, Selah Martin, Mia Ridlon, Abby Reid, Olivia Merseal, Emma Jean Stacy, Toly McFarland, Rebecka Jakoubek. Tobias Lee, Henry Konzelman. Sam Konzelmann, Alex Eaton, Faith Willis, Kenzie Barnett, Micah Crane, Aliza Reid, Charity Lee, Reese Stokes, Kingston Jones, Everly Burd, Zane Konsermann, Kate Johnson, Asa Martin, Lilly Jakoubek, Taya Watts, Sawyer Jones, Cadence Elders , Nekoda Miscisin, Ella Kekec, Caylee Parshall, Penelope Cureton, Zola Konsermann, Zaydee Konzermann, and Jaylen Forney as toys, park goers, and ensemble.
Crew members include Jason Carr, director; Ashlyn Webb and Annette Gratton, stage managers; Sherry Francis, vocal director; Janna Hagerty, Macey Vandiver, London Miscisin and Jody Miscisin, choreographers; Josh Politte, soundboard operator; Jason Carr and Josh Politte, lighting design; Annette Gratton, light control; MaKinna Wilkinson, tracking spot operator; Jason Carr and Rachel St. Pierre, set design; Jason Carr, master carpenter; Jason Carr, Darrell Cureton, Ben Reid, Pat Kahn, Zabien Gusman, Ashlyn Webb, Josh Obenhaus, Michael Cantrell, Ellie Womble, Landon Kieckbusch and Brandon Wolk, set construction; behind-the-scenes crew, “Mary Poppins” cast; Lyn Reuss, Rachel St. Pierre, Reagan Means, Josh Obenhaus, Annette Gratton, Rebecka Jakoubek, Debra Browers-Wadlow, April Reid and Regan Means, sets and artwork; Jennifer Stokes, costume designer; Angela Garrity, Kylie Womble, Jody Miscisin, Regan Means, Ellie Womble, Cassondra Smothers, Josh Oberhaus, Beth Francis, Rachel St. Pierre, costumes; Angela Garrity, children’s coordinator/wrangler; Aliza Reid, Caylee Parshall, child wrestler assistants; and Pat Kahn, flight system design.
Pam Clifton is a contributing writer whose work is often seen in Missouri Life magazine.
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