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Home Arts & Culture A Sense of Bittersweet: Life After Mary Poppins

photo by Kimberly Sleeper

by Britnee Fear 


“In every job that is complete, there is a sense of bittersweet.” 

-Mary Poppins, by Walt Disney & Cameron Mackintosh  


The cast of Mary Poppins put down their chimney sweeps and spoons full of sugar for the last time after their 2:00 p.m. performance on Sunday, November 12.

Senior Cadence Klemp (Mary Poppins), and sophomores Eric James (Bert) and Bethany Schilling (Winifred Banks) are just a few among the numerous cast members that reflected on the production of Mary Poppins as an experience beyond experiences. 


“All these months of prep and work only to be torn down in four hours makes everything bittersweet,” James said. 


“Out of all the activities that I have participated in at Concordia, this was by far the most amazing experience,” Klemp said. “I have never seen a group of people work so hard and be as positive as our cast. Mary Poppins is over, but our friendships aren’t.”  


The cast members began practicing in September for five days a week, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. each day. Time management was a key to their academic and musical success. 


In addition to playing the role of Mary Poppins, Klemp was also balancing her music therapy major. 

Mary Poppins (Cadence Klemp) performs ‘Jolly Holiday.’ Photo by Kimberly Sleeper


“This semester has been beyond the hardest and busiest semester of my college career, but I never felt as though anything was too much. It must have been God helping me out, because I can’t think of any other plausible reason to why everything worked out the way it did.” 


Now that the musical is over, the cast is faced with free time. 


“I’m going to use my free time to catch up on homework and with friends,” Schilling said. 


“I get more free time now that it’s over, but then again, I’m never going to have the same experience again,” James said. “Although, I am looking forward to more time for homework, Netflix and playing guitar.” 


Eric James, a theater major, had the chance to live out his dream of playing the role of Bert, having always loved the musical.  


“Dick Van Dyke is one of my heroes and it was a huge honor to play his part in our Concordia production. Even though it was such a small production, it meant the world to me,” James said. 

James, Klemp and Schilling all felt that opening night was their best performance because both the cast and the audience were full of energy and anticipation. 


Though the ending of the show was bittersweet for these actors, they will never forget the experience and the moments they shared together. 


“I’ll carry the musical with me forever,” Schilling said. 




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