‘Mary Poppins’ to take flight at Hayes


By Glenn Battishill - gbattishill@aimmediamidwest.com



Meredith Keller (Mary Poppins) rehearses with Elijah Belcher (Michael Banks) and Madeline Thompson (Jane Banks) Wednesday after school in the auditorium at Hayes High School. Scenes were being blocked this week, meaning the cast practiced their lines while learning where they should stand and move during the scene.

Meredith Keller (Mary Poppins) rehearses with Elijah Belcher (Michael Banks) and Madeline Thompson (Jane Banks) Wednesday after school in the auditorium at Hayes High School. Scenes were being blocked this week, meaning the cast practiced their lines while learning where they should stand and move during the scene.


Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

Director Dara Gillis (left) gives direction to a group of cast members Wednesday afternoon. Gillis said the musical has a few differences from the film, but she said fans will recognize their favorite elements.


Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

Winnifred Banks, played by senior Bella Bosco, asks Mary Poppins, played by sophomore Meredith Keller, a question about her children, Jane and Michael Banks, played by senior Madeline Thompson and sixth-grade student Elijah Belcher.


Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

Tickets are on sale and going fast for the Hayes High School Thespian production of “Mary Poppins.”

With the March 14 opening date fast approaching, students taking part in the production stay at Hayes for three hours after each school day in order to practice scenes, learn dances, and refine musical numbers. Elsewhere, the orchestra practices songs, students try on costumes, and set designers construct the inside of the Banks family.

Director Dara Gillis said people familiar with the Disney film adaptation of “Mary Poppins” know the essential plot of the broadway version, but she added there will be a few differences.

“The big difference is there’s no penguins (in the musical),” Gillis joked, adding the musical follows the same plot but can’t pull off some of the more fantastical elements, like the animated penguins.

“Audiences will still recognize a majority of the film,” she said.

Joseph Malisiak, a senior who plays the role of Bert, said practices for the musical are going well.

“It’s going pretty good!” he said. “We’re getting a lot of stuff done. It’s a lot of hard work, but a lot of fun.”

Malisiak added the show is all about finding your younger self again and having fun.

“It’s an opportunity to really connect with your inner kid and find enjoyment in everything,” he said. “Just relax and be a kid again.”

Junior student Hailey Wright, who plays Mrs. Corry in the show and serves as the understudy for Bella Bosco, who plays Winnifred Banks, said practicing two roles has been a cool experience.

“It’s really fun but pretty hard,” Wright said.

Wright added she’s stood in for Bosco for two previous shows, and they have a great relationship and communicate about the part really well.

“It’s pretty cool for me but really challenging,” she said. “It’s a lot, but it’s a really awesome experience.”

Wright said one of her favorite things about the performance is getting to interact with her castmates.

“The cast is a beautiful cast,” Wright said. “The freshman are really pumped, and we’re all raring to go put on an awesome show.”

The Hayes cast will perform four showings of Mary Poppins — three evening shows (7:30 p.m. on March 14-16) and one matinee (2 p.m. on March 16).

Tickets can be purchased online at delawarecityschools.seatyourself.biz.

“Get your tickets fast!” Gillis said.

Meredith Keller (Mary Poppins) rehearses with Elijah Belcher (Michael Banks) and Madeline Thompson (Jane Banks) Wednesday after school in the auditorium at Hayes High School. Scenes were being blocked this week, meaning the cast practiced their lines while learning where they should stand and move during the scene.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2019/02/web1_DSC_0425.jpgMeredith Keller (Mary Poppins) rehearses with Elijah Belcher (Michael Banks) and Madeline Thompson (Jane Banks) Wednesday after school in the auditorium at Hayes High School. Scenes were being blocked this week, meaning the cast practiced their lines while learning where they should stand and move during the scene. Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

Director Dara Gillis (left) gives direction to a group of cast members Wednesday afternoon. Gillis said the musical has a few differences from the film, but she said fans will recognize their favorite elements.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2019/02/web1_DSC_0421.jpgDirector Dara Gillis (left) gives direction to a group of cast members Wednesday afternoon. Gillis said the musical has a few differences from the film, but she said fans will recognize their favorite elements. Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

Winnifred Banks, played by senior Bella Bosco, asks Mary Poppins, played by sophomore Meredith Keller, a question about her children, Jane and Michael Banks, played by senior Madeline Thompson and sixth-grade student Elijah Belcher.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2019/02/web1_DSC_0435.jpgWinnifred Banks, played by senior Bella Bosco, asks Mary Poppins, played by sophomore Meredith Keller, a question about her children, Jane and Michael Banks, played by senior Madeline Thompson and sixth-grade student Elijah Belcher. Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

By Glenn Battishill

gbattishill@aimmediamidwest.com

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.