Edward Milne community school’s musical theatre class students, with the help of special guests from Journey middle school, are set to present a production of Mamma Mia!
“The students are really connecting with the music, and with the two movies that are based on the original musical out now, the choice of this production is really perfect,” said theatre teacher Lisa McLellan.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the music in the show is based on the hits of pop group ABBA.
“I’ll confess that back when I was in Grade 7 I was a member of the ABBA Fan Club. I loved that music … I still do,” said McLellan.
“And it’s not just me. Young people today have very eclectic musical tastes and they know these songs.”
Mamma Mia! is the hilarious story of a soon-to-be-married young woman, raised on a lush Greek island by her single mother, searching for her birth father with hopes he’ll walk her down the aisle.
In the EMCS production, the role of Sophie is played by Makayla Craig and Taya Stephens (in alternating shows) and her fiancé, Sky, is played by Ciaran Sterling.
Donna is played by Becca Underwood and Kyanna Sulzen.
“There are actually a total of 84 students in this production with 29 of those coming from Journey Middle School as our special guests,” McLellan said.
“They are cast members, of course, as well as an art department that creates the props, a tech team that runs the sound, lights, and special effects, and a film group whose original films are featured on side screens during the scene changes.”
McLellan said that the cast and stage staff are helped by a group of alumni, including the leads from past productions, that have been on hand since last fall to help out the players in preparing for their roles.
“It’s pretty cool. They (alumni) come back after graduation and help out behind the scenes, and you can tell they just love the theatre and the feeling you get being part of great productions,” McLellan said.
The students from Journey Middle School, on the other hand, see their participation in the production as a lead-in to their future at EMCS.
“We’ve been doing this for 16 years and it’s a great experience for them,” said Jill Faderr, a teacher at Journey.
“It gives them a chance to experience the high school in advance of going there and by the time they arrive there, it’s a familiar place. They’ll even know some of the students to say hi to in the hallways as soon as they arrive.”
The curtain goes up on Mamma Mia! on June 5, with evening performances on June 5, 6 and 7 and a matinee on June 8.
Tickets are $12 and are available at Shoppers Drug Mart, the EMCS office, and at Journey middle school.