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By Rebecca Postma
Special to The PREVIEW
The winds are shifting over at the high school as the nearly 40-member cast of the Pagosa Springs High School (PSHS) production of “Mary Poppins” shifts into high gear for the last two weeks of rehearsals.
Over the past three months, the student performers have been working extremely hard to bring this supercalifragilisticexpialidocious musical to life. The show is one of the larger productions the performing arts program has attempted over the past several years. With over 12 musical numbers in act one alone, this upbeat and high-energy show promises not to disappoint and to be entertaining and suitable for theater-goers of all ages.
The elementary school students will be treated to a special preview performance of the show on March 21. They will get to experience Mary’s magic and a few selected scenes from the show at the high school before heading back to class and shaking hands with the high school student performers as they load the busses.
“Our program strongly values mentoring younger students in the performing arts. We love to spread the joy of the theater and see the smiles on the kids’ faces when they get to high-five their favorite character on the way out. This is one way we hope to encourage and cultivate our next generation of performers. We also hope they are excited enough to talk mom and dad into bringing them back to see the whole show,” said director and choreographer Becca Postma.
A graduate of PSHS herself and an alumnus of the performing arts program, Postma brings a new perspective and a fresh outlook to the production. She, along with veteran musical director Dan Burch, are heading up the preparations for opening night by corralling the student performers and crew, as well as the volunteer members of the orchestra.
It’s not too late to get involved with supporting the production. The cast and crew is still looking for community and parent volunteers to assist with show duties, such as taking tickets and helping with concessions.
Additionally, the production has been campaigning since January to raise funds to rent a flying rig through a professional effects company in order to help get Mary and some of her friends “off the ground.”
“Mary just wouldn’t be her wonderful, magical self without the iconic image of her soaring through the air,” Postma said. “The department first played with flying effects in the 2007 production of ‘Peter Pan.’ It seems only fitting that we should explore this option again for such a great classic as ‘Mary Poppins.’”
The students have done exceedingly well, raising over $5,000 in contributions so far. However, the campaign is still about $2,000 short of the final amount needed.
“It’s a shame that we are so close, but just not quite there. If we don’t raise the remaining balance, the funds will be taken out of ticket sale proceeds, which means a smaller starting budget for next year’s production. The students are confident though. They are determined to get the remaining amount before ‘take off,’” Postma said.
There is still time to donate to support these student performers. Donations can be made online through the GoFundMe campaign at www.gofundme.com/pshsmp or by dropping cash or a check by the high school with “Mary Poppins” in the memo line.
The cast includes seniors Taylor Jones as Mary, Pitcher Lindner as Bert, Hayley Mitchell as Mrs. Banks, and Zoe Geraghty as Jane Banks. Sophomore Brayden Shulda is Michael Banks and junior and musical newcomer Cole Stevens completes the lead cast as Mr. Banks.
The cast also includes the talents of: Grace Thompson, Keanan Anderson, Hunter Smith, Cameron DeMarco, Ben Pargin, Anika Thomas, Alex Foster, Adrian Roque, Devin Olivares-Garcia, Marissa Medina, Sydnee Dreyer, Sydney Mitchell, Averie Lynch, Kaya Knox, Brianna Downing, Kayla Nasralla, Emma Heidelmeier, Stella Schuchart, Maddie Peart, Alyssa Lewis, Antonia Bussoli, Josue Castaneda, Elizabeth Thomas, Alyssa St. Louis, Diana Scott, Sarah Ross, Stephanie Bramble, Emma Happ, Cheyenne Todd, Cade Cowan, Anavah Mecklenburg, Ella Hemenger, Maya Nasralla, Avonlea Thomas, Kaeden Thomas, Connor Thomas, Gracelyn Kiker, Hayden Kiker, Annie O’Donnell, Keanan Montoya and Devan Montoya.
The cast and crew hopes to see you at the show. Performances will take place from March 21 through March 25 in the PSHS auditorium. The show starts every night at 7 p.m., and the doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for all ages at the door. Come out and support these phenomenal performers.