It’ll be a jolly holiday this March when students at Hayes High School perform “Mary Poppins” March 14-16.
Students auditioned for parts last week and began rehearsing Monday after school.
Meredith Keller, a sophomore, will be playing the practically-perfect-in-every-way nanny in the spring production, and she’s excited for the experience.
“I’m still new to (theater),” Keller said. “Last year I was basically just in the chorus, and it’s a big transition to go from the chorus to the main role. I’m just excited to learn new things and make new friends. We had our first rehearsal yesterday, and I was really nervous, but I think I’m better now. I listened to the music when I got home, and I was like, ‘Oh, this is not too bad.’ Everyone has a natural tendency to be nervous.”
Madeline Thompson, a senior, will be playing the role of Jane Banks, and she’s excited to play a character who gets to be in so many fun scenes.
“I’m really excited, because I’ve never had any solos before,” Thompson said. “That’s pretty exciting and a little intimidating. She gets to be with lots of the different characters and gets to sing lots of the fun songs.”
Thompson said she’s excited to work with Elijah Belcher, the sixth-grader who will play Michael Banks.
“I’ve never had a brother before!” Thompson said.
Belcher said he was honestly a little surprised to be such a big part of the musical since he only had small parts in the musicals at Dempsey.
“I tried out not thinking I would make it,” Belcher said.
Senior student Austin Hassel will play Thompson and Belcher’s father, George Banks. He’s excited to work with his co-stars.
“It’s my senior year show, so I’m really excited to meet all the new underclassman,” Hassel said. “I’m excited to get to become a family with them, even though it’s my last year.”
Likewise, senior Joseph Malisiak said the social aspect is one of his favorite parts of the process, and he’s excited to be in a production of “Mary Poppins.”
“I grew up watching ‘Mary Poppins,’ so it’s really surreal to be in the show,” Malisiak said. “My favorite part of doing the musical in general is the community aspect. Everyone is so fun to be around, and we always get in these tight-knit families.”
Bella Bosco, a senior, will be playing the role of Winifred Banks. She added the show is “bittersweet” for her.
“I grew up watching ‘Mary Poppins,’ and I’m on my fourth copy of the DVD,” Bosco said. “I’ve always had a love of the show, and it’s just really cool that it’s the musical she chose for my senior year. It’s really cool to be a part of that.”
Bosco said the character of Winifred is under-developed in the film version, and she’s excited to do more with the character on stage.
“She isn’t seen much in the movie,” Bosco said. “She has a bigger part in the musical. It’s really cool to look at things from a different aspect and delve into things from an acting side.”
Thompson added she hopes people take away some inspiration from the production.
“It’s an inspiration to live life and not take it too seriously,” she said. “(I hope the audience can) try and find excitement and beauty in everything.”
Tickets for the production go on sale Feb. 6. The performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on the evenings of March 14, 15 and 16.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.