Behind the scenes of ‘Mary Poppins’
“Almost like Broadway!”
That is what many said after watching the spring musical Mary Poppins. The play, which ran April 23-26, was about 2½ hours long, and I was a part of it.
In the humble beginnings of the play, the tryouts, a lot of talented kids tried out. The tryouts consisted of three parts: dancing, acting, and singing.
I tried out and when the roles for the play got announced, I found myself having the part of “Mr. Von Hussler.” He is a German banker whose plans are denied by George Banks, a main character. Thinking that it was quite funny and actually suiting me — because I am from Germany — I gladly accepted the role.
It didn’t take much time until the rehearsals for the play began, and I started to experience evening sessions of singing songs from Mary Poppins. I learned my few lines, and practiced my solo and all the other songs in which I sang for the ensemble. I was very surprised of how much effort and money goes in a play like this.
Joel Hamilton, one of the directors, estimated the play cost $60,000. Because this is a big amount of money, the cast was encouraged to get people to donate money or place an advertisement in the Play Pamphlet. The school was able to earn so much money that it made up for the production costs.
In addition to practicing singing and lines at rehearsal, students who were in the play had to learn their dances, which was mostly very entertaining. I have the feeling that the performance of “Step in Time” amazed the crowd. It had high-level tapping, and a high energy level. It also had special effects to hook the audience in with Mary Poppins, Bert, and Mrs. Andrew flying over the stage.
It was awesome to see everyone working together in harmony, and how well everything worked out. It took a lot of effort and time, but it was definitely worth it.
When show week came around, everyone in the play was excited. Participating students were encouraged to dress up or wear Mary Poppins apparel throughout the week to promote the play. When the first performance came on Thursday night, everyone was very happy to finally perform the play in front of a big audience.
Astonishingly, everything went well and mostly as planned! I had the impression that everyone who participated had a lot of fun, and the audience loved the play.
At times, it was very stressful, especially during show week. But the most important part of the show was to have fun, and it definitely was. Personally, I can’t believe how many friends and new experiences I made by being part of the show. Everyone considering to do theater, I strongly advise to just go for it.
My story is an insight into the workings of how a play is build up, managed, and performed while making friends.
I want to thank everyone who came to see the show and everyone who was participating in it. It was an awesome time!