By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
Hudson – Rehearsals have been in full swing for Hudson High School’s (HHS) Spring Musical, “Mary Poppins,” which will be performed at the school Friday March 8 through Sunday, March 10.
Approximately 45 students, both on stage and behind the scenes, as well as numerous parent volunteers and local businesses, have played an important role in this production coming to life.
“We always try to select a show that is both family friendly and fits our student population. The show has never been done in this area. At the end of November, auditions were held and we have been working, tirelessly on this production ever since. Rehearsals have been four times weekly and the cast, crew and all of the parent volunteers have been amazing,” said Kathleen McKenzie, the director of theater at HHS.
Lily Usherwood plays the role of Mary, while Cam Burke plays the role of Burt. Jane and Michael Banks are performed by Lauren Schiavone (Jane) and Lauren Lattanzi. Maya Levine plays Mrs. Banks.
“A theatre performance is a chance to unite people. I feel a sense of joy when I help others and theatre is an outlet where I can achieve that,” said Levine.
“Being in a show not only allows me to create art with an amazing group of people but it also allows me to explore the world through new lenses,” said Burke.
There are approximately 128 costumes worn in this production that Deb Martin-Hardy, the mother of a HHS alum, has created. She spent three days working on one coat used for the scene where “Jolly Holiday” is performed.
“This production is written by Disney and Cameron Macintosh. The audience will be treated to the classic songs including ‘Spoonful of Sugar,’ ‘Jolly Holiday,’ ‘Chim Chim Cheree,’ ‘Let’s Go Fly A Kite’ and more. After the show, audience members will have an opportunity to have their photo taken with one of the characters just like they do at Disney. Cam’s mom, Debbie Burke, came up with that idea which we all thought was wonderful,” said McKenzie.
McKenzie gave credit to the many volunteers who have helped out. Brothers Pizza is donating pizza between the two shows so the cast and crew can have lunch. Vikki Levine, a parent of two students in the show, worked on advertising and promotion and secured some sweet treats provided by Craze. Roller Kingdom also donated to the raffle prizes. Other local businesses also contributed by purchasing an ad in the program. Parent volunteers are helping with the concession, ticket ales, props, set design and more.
McKenzie also credits the administration with supporting her theater program.
She noted that it “warms her heart” to see the interactions and friendships forming between all of the students in grades 8-12.
“These students have been working so hard and they have come together with a special bond. It doesn’t matter what role they are playing, whether it is on stage or behind the scenes. They are all an integral part of the show and they are all part of a team. To me, theater is just like sports…just climate controlled,” said McKenzie.
Mary Poppins will be performed on Friday, March 8 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, March 9, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday, March 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door and cost $10 for regular admission and $5 for seniors.