The show must go on – even during a global pandemic.
Trying to navigate COVID-19 health and safety protocols while producing a musical production has had numerous challenges, but that has not stopped the drama and musical theatre students at South Delta Secondary from presenting Mamma Mia.
The production hits the virtual stage at the end of this month.
Producer, director and choreographer Jennifer McKee said all auditions were conducted online, production designs were done at a distance and slowly groups began coming into the theatre for rehearsals in the past few weeks.
“Everyone has been masked and you will notice in the filmed production we are masked, so there has been various challenges, but we have been so grateful to have the support from the school and the school district who have been so open-minded in helping us build this show because they could see the value in it and see how much the kids wanted to do a musical this year,” she said. “We announced Mamma Mia last year right after Rock of Ages and then we had the shut-down in March, so this is keeping that promise and we wanted to keep that promise and have the kids put on this show.
“We did this with smaller groups, smaller crew visits, our band met in smaller groups and recorded all of the music that you will hear in the video stream, so it is live. We also recorded all of the vocals in advance, so there were a lot of changes, but the kids got a different kind of experience and saw what a musical being filmed as a stage production is like.”
Maggie Stewart, who plays Sophie Sheridan in Cast Yellow says Mamma Mia has been an overall amazing experience to be a part of.
“Sophie was one of my dream roles and it was super fun to play a young, outgoing character who was trying to find herself,” said Stewart. “Being a graduating student, I was able to make more personal connections with her, which made my portrayal all that more honest. Being in a pandemic, we were definitely faced with many different challenges and obstacles, but we truly put on a fantastic show. I was able to work with so many talented individuals and form new friendships with the rest of my cast.”
Sean Marenych, who is the stage manager for Cast Blue, said the dedication by everyone has been remarkable.
“I experienced something of complete awe by the dedication by everyone during the show. I truly saw the best of everyone and was so incredibly happy in supporting them by stage managing. The best moments/feeling were when we nailed the cues,” he said.
Sierra Macdougall, who plays Donna in Cast Yellow said working on Mamma Mia has been an amazing experience despite the ongoing challenges faced during the pandemic.
“This show has shown me perseverance and determination while playing the role of Donna,” said Macdougall. “Everyone put in the work this year and we all came together as an ensemble to make it the best show possible. I’m so grateful to be a part of such an amazing team.”
The production runs May 31 to June 7 – Monday to Monday.
Access to the live stream will begin in the morning each day, but SDSS is asking that the community joins in the viewing at 7 p.m. for a more ‘community live viewing experience.’
There are three levels of ticket prices depending on how big the group is watching the stream. If you are streaming alone, the ticket price is $17 or if there are two to three watching, it is $30. The ticket prices for a recommended family viewing (four or more) is $60.
All tickets are available at: sdss-mammamia.eventbrite.ca. Once a ticket is purchased you will receive an email with the link to the online event page streamable at any time the day you purchased the ticket for.
“The stream is available for the cast of the day from 10 a.m. to midnight to accommodate viewing across the country or globally even, but we have a start time of 7 p.m. for our locals to have the communal watching feeling,” added McKee.
Still have questions? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 604-943-7532.