(Abigail Weihe)

Abigail Weihe

Spring Musical “Mary Poppins”

Fine arts department prepares for spring musical

March 13, 2020

This story was written prior to the COVID-19 outbreak and was intended to be released in our March print issue; the spring musical has since been cancelled entirely.

 

A practically perfect nanny blows in on the east wind to put a pair of bratty children in check with magic. “Mary Poppins” is the first full-scale musical to be performed in the new Edward Love Auditorium. Filled with unique illusions and special effects, this year’s spring musical is unlike any production ever performed at Bryant High School.

“The new auditorium has made it possible for us to do a show like ‘Mary Poppins,’” senior Brennon Humphry said, who plays one of the lead characters, Bert. “Because there are so many magic tricks, we needed a space that would allow us to do this. This weekend, a few other cast members and I have flight training to learn how to fly.”

Hours of practice have gone into the show, with rehearsals from 5-9 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

“Sometimes, it can be really difficult to balance school and theater,” Humphry said. “Rehearsals end at 9, and I get home pretty late. I usually listen to the score in my car driving, and I practice lines and choreography in my head if I am not working in class. If I have homework, I usually have time to finish it before we start rehearsal.”

Balancing the piles of homework and extracurricular activities that the third quarter of the school year brings has taught students how to manage their time. Sophomore Madeleine Amox, who doubles on the English horn and the oboe for the “Mary Poppins” pit orchestra, created an [Instagram] practice account to keep track of her rehearsal material.

“It’s a log to help me keep up,” Amox said. “I also try to go through and make a schedule and say what is coming up soon. I have orchestra, band, solo and ensemble and auditions for the summer, so I always prioritize my practice sessions.”  

The multitude of opportunities offered by the fine arts department helps student musicians improve the skills they need for future careers. Senior Carlos Zamora, who plays the lead trumpet part for the “Mary Poppins” pit orchestra, discovered his love for music because of  the Bryant band. 

“Bryant has inspired me to try to make my passion into a career,” Zamora said. “I have learned how to cooperate with others, push myself and others to be better, work hard, and most importantly, it taught me to respect what other people do, because I have come to learn that whatever it is, it’s probably harder than it seems.”

Gaining new perspectives is another advantage of performing in the arts. Senior Annslee Clay, who plays Mary Poppins, has gained insight and valuable lessons from portraying her quintessential character. 

“Mary is the definition of a strong female,” Clay said. “She is kind and empathetic, two things that we need more of in this world. She is a constant example that you are capable of doing anything you put your mind to.”

Performances of “Mary Poppins” are scheduled at 7 p.m.  March 12, 13 and 14, along with a matinee March 14 at 2 p.m.. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults. Performances will take place in the new Edward Love Auditorium, which includes new facility upgrades that will allow for new special effects. 

“We get to fly,” Clay said. “In the old facility, we couldn’t even dream of flying or walking upside down. Now, we can live in the illusion of Walt Disney’s magic.”

 

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