High School Musical: Mamma Mia

High School Musical: Mamma Mia (Summer 2022)
Posted on 05/01/2022
The Cast of Mamma Mia! Returns

June 22, 2022


YORK, Pa. — It was Friday, March the 13, 2020, only a couple of weeks away from opening night, when the cast and crew of Dallastown Area High School’s Mamma Mia! was sent home for two weeks to flatten the curve. Those two weeks stretched into the end of the 2020 school year, and no chance of performing the highly anticipated production.

Fast forward two years, Dallastown’s Musical Theater and Vocal Directors decided to offer an opportunity for closure for some, and a new opportunity for others: a reprise of the Mamma Mia!  production, a heartwarming musical about a woman who does not know which of three men is the father of her bride-to-be daughter.

Musical Theater Director, Amy Anderson, explains, “It just seemed like the thing to do… to invite back the alumni who never got to perform what they had worked so hard for two years ago.” Current and former students in the original cast were offered their original roles and some agreed to be recast to fill roles of performers unable to return.

“It feels like I’m stepping back into old shoes,” says Riley Sharp, a 2021 graduate who now studies Musical Theatre at UNC Greensboro and continues in her role of Donna Sheridan. The show’s Production Stage Manager, Rachel Raine describes it as nostalgic.  “To be able to be back in this little family just one more time after stepping away for a while, it’s a really good feeling.” Rachel entered the work field after graduating from Dallastown in 2021.

Parker Walsh-Gurklis, a rising Dallastown senior, describes it as “surreal” and Finn Asobayire who graduated earlier this month and will study screen writing at Washington College, says it feels odd to be rehearsing for Mamma Mia! again. “The first time we put in all the work, and it never happened.”  He laughs, “Are we actually doing it this time?!” Finn, who was cast as a Pit Singer in 2020 now plays the role of Pepper, and Parker, originally cast in the Ensemble now plays Ali.

Rising senior, Corey Strayer who plays the part of Harry Bright (again) was a freshman the first time around. “[In 2020] I was new to Dallastown musical theatre. I looked up to the older kids to take me under their wing.” He smirks, “Now I’m the experienced one.”

Corey isn’t the only one who feels he’s grown and developed.  Bry Harris, a rising Dallastown senior plays Skye. He laughs remembering himself as a freshman. “We’ve all matured. Friendships have grown.”

In addition to the eleven returning performers, some new talent will also be joining the cast this time around. Nigel Joseph, a 2022 graduate and accomplished tenor, who represented Dallastown in District Choir, the Pennsylvania State Choir and the National Choir, has put on his dancing shoes and performs as Sam Carmichael. “I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to spend a few more weeks with my music teachers and friends while doing something I love.”

Student Director and 2022 grad, Caroline Loughlin Says she notices the different vibe this production has. “Because it’s a summer production and not an after-school activity, the audience will see the love and dedication of the cast and crew come through on stage.”

Anyone familiar with Dallastown’s level of musical theater will not be disappointed, Riley promises. She compares the level of Dallastown’s high school production to what she’s experienced at the college level.

Josh Trout, a 2020 grad who studies Mechanical Engineering at Lehigh University, points out that besides offering closure to the original cast and crew, “Mamma Mia! is the perfect summer distraction. It’s a heartwarming story full of fun dance and popular music by ABBA.” Mamma Mia! is based on the songs of the Swedish group, one of the most popular international pop groups of all time. Josh plays the part of Bill Austin.

“The best part of the production this second time around is having a live audience,” Rachel sums it up. “There’s something about that sound of applause and laughter from a live audience. Nothing can match that feeling.”

Strap on your dancing shoes and hustle on over to Dallastown Area High School’s production of Mamma Mia! Thursday, July 7 through Saturday, July 9 at 7pm, and Saturday, July 9 and Sunday, July 10 at 2pm. Tickets can be reserved at https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/62994.

Mamma Mia is coming to Dallastown Area High School soon! Tickets can be purchased at: https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/62994
July 7-10, 2022!

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