Washington High School’s production of “Mamma Mia!” this past weekend saw a contribution from approximately 50 businesses and attracted 900 community members.
In addition to those businesses and community members, “there were plenty of other local restaurants, organizations and community volunteers (including parents) who contributed food, materials and hours of time to help feed the cast and crew, prepare the beautiful set, and ensure that everyone was ready for opening night,” explained director Jared Joseph.
Joseph said the musical was the “epitome of collaborative effort.”
“We value every community member and business who helped make this possible,” he wrote in an email. “What the community experiences on stage at the performance is the culmination of months of behind the scenes preparation from a dedicated, good-hearted cast, crew and 9- person production staff all with the same ultimate goal in mind — to tell a meaningful story to others while enjoying the process.”
There were 10 seniors in the show and according to Joseph they were “fantastic leaders.”
“This is one of the closest groups of students I’ve witnessed in my seven years here, and it was due to the seniors serving as outstanding role models. On behalf of everyone involved, we thank you for continuing to support the arts at Washington High School, Washington Court House City Schools, and the Washington Court House community,” he explained. “We look forward to seeing you at future music events.”
Comments from several of those seniors were collected and submitted to the R-H:
Senior Brooklynn Stanley, who played Donna Sheridan, explained, “I will admit that at first it seemed really difficult to get into this show, but in the end this process was one of the best I have ever experienced. I got so close with the entire cast, and I like to consider all of them my second family.”
Senior Kalila Wilson, who played Sky, explained that “being part of “Mamma Mia!” has been an amazing experience.”
Aside from this year, Wilson took part in musicals all three years of middle school and her sophomore year.
“You get to build confidence, come out of your shell, meet new people, grow closer with those you already know, have fun yourself and give others a night of entertainment,” said Wilson. “It is a long process and at times can be stressful, but it is so worth it in the end.”
Ali Reeves played Lisa and explained that the final show on Sunday was bittersweet.
“I wouldn’t of wanted to end my career on that stage any other way,” Reeves explained. “The audience members truly made the Sunday performance really special. When the audience members were on their feet on Sunday at the end of the show, I knew we did a fantastic job.”
According to Reeves, before the show began each night, they would have “Circle Time” that would require them to climb three flights of stairs to get to a classroom called “The Little Theatre.” They would share their comments and suggestions for the following performance during that time.
“On Sunday, seniors got a chance to speak in this circle time. Everyone was talking and crying before the show even started,” Reeves explained. “Hugs were being given by everyone. It was funny because our eyes were red and wet at the start of the show and the end of the show. I wouldn’t of wanted to end my career on that stage any other way than sharing those bittersweet moments with my fellow cast members.”
According to Emilee Anschutz, Ensemble, “Mamma Mia!” was her first musical. Although she regrets not having done musicals sooner, she has made many memories that she will “cherish and keep forever.”
“I want to say thank you to our director, Mr. Joseph, and our co-director, Trish, for welcoming me into the program with open arms,” explained Anschutz. “I would also like to thank the community for coming out to the show to support the whole cast. We worked really hard to achieve the end result of our show. Thank you once again to everyone involved!”
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.