Photos by Kim Sleeper
by Taylor Roby
A multitude of students all across campus have been hard at work memorizing lines, building sets, learning musical numbers and more, all in preparation for the performance of Mary Poppins. On Nov. 3, all this hard work will come together in Weller Auditorium as the theatre department will put on their rendition of this iconic show starting at 7 p.m.
“The most notable difference between this and other shows I have been in at Concordia is the musical aspect,” senior Cadence Klemp, who is playing Mary Poppins, said. “Also, it is just a lot bigger: the show is longer and more involved, the set is enormous, and there are a multitude of cast and crew members. It’s a lot to pull together. Everyone has put in a lot of work, and it is amazing to see it start to take form.”
Approximately 75 students will be involved in some capacity, including 40 on-stage actors. This is more than are typically involved, making it one of the larger performances that the theatre department has done in director Bryan Moore’s last 10 years at Concordia.
“The major observation I have made in the process is that the students have (been) taking on more responsibility and ownership throughout this process,” Moore said. “Together and individually it has required more time, and it’s great to see that the students are stepping up.”
One thing audience members may not be aware of is that the performance of Mary Poppins may be more similar to the book than the Disney movie, and there are very distinct differences. The cast is working to fulfill many of the expectations that people may have about Mary Poppins while also providing new ways of exploring the story.
The show digs into the heart of the Banks family, revealing the heartbreaking distance between Mr. Banks and the rest of his family. The audience will get to see the character development of Mr. Banks in a greater depth than the movie. The actual character of Mary Poppins may be a little different from Julie Andrew’s portrayal, but she still provides the same inspiring messages.
“Mary Poppins is a lively, magical and fun show, but it is more than that. I think there will be a lot of audience members who see all of the magic and fun, but miss the importance of what’s really going on in the show,” Klemp said. “The show might be called Mary Poppins, but it’s not really about her. It’s about family, and what, in our lives, is truly important.”
Tickets to the performance will be sold in the campus bookstore and at the door before each show. The price of general admission will be $10, but it will be discounted to $5 for children under 10 and students and affiliates of Concordia.
Showtimes will be at 7 p.m. on Nov. 3, 4, 10 and 11, and 2 p.m. on Nov. 12.
“The process has been challenging but I give credit to the students for working hard both in and out of rehearsals,” Moore said. “It shows their dedication to wanting this production to go well and it has been important to support each other throughout this process both on and off stage. That support is necessary to keep the entire process running smoothly.”