Students ready to perform ‘Mamma Mia’

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The Point Pleasant Borough High School Performing Arts Department will present its production of “Mamma Mia” May 5 to May 8. [COURTESY OF IAN KEARNS]

POINT PLEASANT — The Point Pleasant Borough High School Performing Arts Department will present its production of “Mamma Mia” May 5 to May 8.

“I knew last year that I still wanted to do ‘Mamma Mia.’ It was in my head before COVID, just because it is a fun show. Once we knew we were going to be able to do a production, we stuck with it just because we wanted the kids to do something that was fun,” director Ian Kearns told The Ocean Star.

“A lot of schools are still altering their productions or are choosing shows based on whether they are available to stream and I didn’t want to get limited to something that was going to be a dark tale or depressing because I feel like we have had enough of that this year to deal with. I wanted to make sure that we were doing something that the kids would really enjoy so we stuck with ‘Mamma Mia’ with all its fun dancing and music from ABBA. It has made rehearsals a lot more fun.”

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Set on a colorful Greek island and featuring a wealth of ABBA hits, “Mamma Mia” tells the story of a young woman, Sophie, about to be married, who discovers that any one of three men could be her father. She invites all three to her upcoming wedding without telling her mother.

“Obviously our challenge has been what do we do with COVID, so we are using the same things we practiced and worked with on our fall show where everyone is masked, keeping distance where the actors don’t really touch one another but are near one another according to safety guidelines, and it is working out,” Mr. Kearns said.

“It can be challenging because there are moments in the show where the characters are supposed to be romantic and should be touching or should be kissing and we’ve tried to find other ways to kind of show that off without the actors coming into contact. We are finding our way around that as we go.”

Performances will be Wednesday, May 5; Thursday, May 6; Friday, May 7;  and Saturday, May 8 at 7:30 p.m. Due to the current novel coronavirus pandemic and regulations, Mr. Kearns said shows will be for cast members’ immediate family, with them able to request two tickets for each performance.

“Unfortunately the show is open to the students’ families as we are following at this moment the capacity for our theater,” he said. “Each cast member will be able to bring their house two tickets per night. 

“This show, like many others, are major Broadway shows and are not able to be streamed. We were able to livestream the production in the fall but we cannot do that at this time, so it is really kind of an in-house production … but still giving the students as much of a sense of normalcy as possible, even with a small audience.

“Their immediate family gets to see it and for the kids, we are very fortunate that we were able to choose a production that gives everyone a chance to be a part of it in some format. The show lends itself to backstage voices, onstage voices, so it works with social distancing and not everyone is on stage at one time. It is great bringing students from throughout the entire high school to get involved and to participate and giving them that chance so we are very fortunate we were able to do that.”

This is an excerpt of the print article. For more on this story, read The Ocean Star—on newsstands Friday or online in our e-Edition.

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