Young performers bringing Mary Poppins to Genesis Theatre

Opening night is just around the corner for Delta Youth Theatre.

The second show of the 2018/19 season is Mary Poppins, Jr., which will be on stage at Genesis Theatre in Ladner from May 8 to 12.

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Featuring four casts of young people, the 80-minute musical is based on the classic P.L. Travers stories and the 1964 Walt Disney film. It includes an irresistible score and the magical adventures that ensue when a curious new nanny comes to stay with the Banks family.

The four casts feature more than 80 students from Delta, Surrey, Richmond and Langley. The company is led by co-artistic directors Tony Barton and Tracy Neff, and is accompanied by a talented student creative and production team.

“We are excited to bring this classic, family favourite to Delta on the heels of the new movie, Mary Poppins Returns,” said Barton. “It’s a feel-good show, with familiar, joyous tunes.”

Barton said Delta Youth Theatre’s choreographic team is really excited for this one and has set the bar high.

“I’m continually impressed with the students’ dedication and their ability to rise to a professional performance standard,” he said. “It’s clear from one rehearsal to the next these young actors are working hard and are invested in the production.”

Mary Poppins 1
Claire Bidulka as Mary Poppins and Bryce Malenstyn as Bert in cast three. - Submitted

Neff said it also has poignantly relevant content about working class families and the importance of finding the fun in life.

Adapted especially for young performers, the show includes favourite Sherman brothers’ songs such as A Spoonful of Sugar, Feed the Birds and Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, as well as new songs by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe.

Building pre-professional skills in the performing arts is the big focus of what Delta Youth Theatre offers to young people, but directors Barton and Neff also acknowledge there’s another kind of skill learning that goes on as their student casts work together.

“In a time where social media and screens are such a big part of our students’ lives, we are proud to watch our actors work and create together,” said Neff. “They are focused on the task at hand, they are motivated and they bring their ‘A’ game. The result of their collaboration is a feeling of family and the sense of mutual pride that results from accomplishing something great.”

Tickets for Mary Poppins, Jr. are $25. They’re available online at or by calling 604-417-7748. Cast and performance times are also available on the website.

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