Westerville City Schools residents will have the chance to get on stage and groove to ABBA's ”Dancing Queen” during a finale rendition of the song, when Westerville North High School presents “Mamma Mia!”
Because of incorrect information a source provided, Sarah Pluviose was incorrectly identified in the cutline that appeared with the Feb. 20 print and earlier online versions of this story.
Westerville City Schools residents will have the chance to get on stage and groove to ABBA’s ”Dancing Queen” during a finale rendition of the song, when Westerville North High School presents “Mamma Mia!”
Performances of the show, featuring about 75 student cast and crew members, will be held at 7 p.m. March 5-7 and 2 p.m. March 8 at the school, 950 County Line Road.
Mary Lee DeWitt, the show’s director and choreographer, said ABBA fans may appear onstage during the finale with contributions of $10 or more that will support WNHS Theatre.
“When ordering tickets, please be sure to reserve an aisle seat,” she said.
To reserve a spot on stage go to bit.ly/39xoV6e.
Sophomore Paige Welsheimer, who plays the lead character of Donna on March 6 and 8, said this is her first big lead role.
The show is double cast, with senior Kaitlynn Gleich playing Donna on March 5 and 7.
“Kaitlynn and I have gotten close,” Welsheimer said. “We learn from each other. It’s completely different shows. Audiences have the opportunity to see two different shows.”
She said “Mamma Mia!” is a pretty popular musical.
“It’s about a daughter who doesn’t truly know who her father is,” Welsheimer said. “I play Donna, so I’m her mom. It involves a lot of ABBA music and a lot of dancing and upbeat energy.
“In the end, the dads eventually come and see Donna for her daughter’s wedding. Everything falls apart. And it’s really funny. It’s a fun show.”
Junior Sawyer Swick, who plays Harry, one of the possible dads, said audiences should expect a lot of really popular songs from ABBA like “Dancing Queen” and “Lay all Your Love on Me.”
“It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser,” he said. “Expect high energy, lots of dancing and very talented actors on stage.”
Welsheimer said the vocals will be super strong as well, because of the double casting.
“The acting is also very, very strong,” she said. “We’re going really in depth with the character and finding out who we are, how to put ourselves in the character but also keep it traditional to the script.”
DeWitt said the double-cast system, with a number of lead roles split between two performers, is a huge challenge for performers as they are asked to tackle two separate roles, dance spots, harmonies, costumes and other components.
“All those double cast have learned a second role as an ensemble member when they are not performing their lead role,” she said. “I have found that using my particular double-cast system is not only ultimately rewarding for the students but also a great treat for families to see their loved one perform two different roles within 24 hours.”
In choosing her first musical production for Westerville North, DeWitt said, she wanted to fill the stage with as many singers, actors and dancers as possible and supplement them with a bright set, colorful costumes and a score filled with musical dance numbers.
“I have always choreographed every show I directed, which is a huge passion,” she said. “At the start of the year, I wanted to be sure to allow student-thespian board members the chance to share their first choice for a musical, with the stipulation I would take it under strong consideration, along with others I had in mind.”
DeWitt said they all shared with great enthusiasm their first-choice wish for “Mamma Mia!”
“Realizing the overall popularity of this show is spread across a wide variety of age groups, especially the iconic song ‘Dancing Queen,’ I knew that choosing ‘Mamma Mia!’ would be the best decision possible, and also allow for brainstorming about creating interactive audience participation, and allowing for literally jumping out of your seats,” she said.
Main roles are as follows: Sophie, Allyn Simon and Evelyn Strayer; Donna, Gleich and Welsheimer; Tanya, Autumn Nelson and Lauren McCann; Rosie, Brittany Abston; Ali, Aliyah Yacelga and Elise McGann; Lisa, Kadija Conteh and Caitlyn Kohut; Bill, Daniel Hager and John Brown; Harry, Swick; Sam, Alexi Sarakinakis; Sky, Nathan Gillenwater; Pepper, Marcus Evans; and Eddie, Jeffery Evans.
Tickets cost $10 and can be reserved online at westerville-north-theater-department.ticketleap.com/.