"Mary Poppins" blows into Park Center High School

Everyone's favorite nanny takes the stage this weekend at Park Center High School for the spring production of "Mary Poppins."

"A lot of these kids have seen the movie but don't love it like those of us who grew up with it loved it and don't understand how iconic these characters are, and so that was hard. It was a lot of teaching how to find their character," said Park Center High School Director and Theater Instructor Kate Kallevig.

The production is a big undertaking with a cast of 52 students and requiring a crew of 22 and another 20 students in the orchestra.

Besides playing an Englishman, Brandon Goodwin had to discover his inner optimist to carry off his role as Bert.

Goodwin said the most challenging aspect for him in playing Bert was "expressing myself in a happy way, seeing the better side of things, being more optimistic instead of my real person who is a little bit more pessimistic."

"You need to find a way to say precisely what you mean," sings Mary Poppins just before breaking into the song "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."

"Mary Poppins is her own entity," said Kallevig. "And people are coming looking for a specific Mary Poppins, and if they don't see that onstage then we haven't done our job."

For Ashlee Ellefson participating in the spring production was about the bond that happens among cast members. Ellefson added her favorite part of being in the cast was "meeting new friends and getting closer to them."

Others got to play the role they’d always wanted.

Chimney Sweep Billy Ventura said, "I knew Mary Poppins because of the chimney sweeps, and I wanted to be a chimney sweep more than anything."

You’ve got two more nights to see Mary, Bert and all the rest at Park Center High School.

"Mary Poppins" runs tonight and Saturday night at 7:30 at the Park Center Auditorium.

Neil Pursley reporting

March 10, 2017


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