TOWNSHEND – Leland and Gray Players’ first show of its 22nd season is Mary Poppins by Julian Fellows, Richard Sherman and Robert Sherman. According to director Jessa Rowan, this is “a musical that shows us how to discover the good in ourselves, how to find the magic in our everyday lives and how to treat others with the utmost kindness. Mary Poppins teaches us all lessons: how to turn our hearts to kindness and to love. She teaches us how to spin a gloomy day of chores to a game of cheer. We learn to look past appearances and to give away what we have to those in need. In this day and age, these lessons are so very essential which, I believe, makes this musical quite timeless.” Among the show’s many cherished tunes are: “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,” “ Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” “ Chim Chim Cher-ee,” “ Jolly Holiday,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” and “Feed the Birds.”
Mary Poppins features juniors Fairen Stark in the title role and Sarah Anderson as Bert; senior Kenny Cashman and sophomore Caroline Mehner as Mr. and Mrs. Banks and freshman Abbie Hazelton and Abby Coyne (grade 5) as their children. Senior Becca Williams is Mrs. Brill and freshman Luke Parker-Jennings is Robertson Ay. The ensemble is rounded out by Annika Crego and Emma Kelly (grade 7), Evelyn Swim, Hope Thibault, Allison Teitelbaum, Spencer Butynski and Sylvia Stark (grade 8); freshmen Alice Coyne, Dakota Gervais, Kirsten Munson, Christian Cannella; sophomore Veronica Stevens, junior Emily Frost and senior and Adam Culver.
Senior Anna Cate Harrison is crew captain assisted by senior Caleb Dagg and juniors Jillian Carona and Hunter Leavitt. Senior Josh Garland is lighting captain and senior Sage Hall is sound captain. Players’ alumna Abby Wicker is costumier assisted by freshman Pia Burke, and exchange students Beatrice Popusoi and Kelsey Oh. Players’ technical director is Paul Madalinski assisted by Hunter Leavitt and student set builders Peter Broussard, Jake Porter, Ty Squiers-Restino and Chris Privee. Penny Tuerk, and other Players’ parents are volunteering behind the scenes.
L&G Players’ director Jessa Rowan leads, assisted by Caroline Mehner; stage management is by Dakota Gervais; music direction is shared by Dan Dewalt and James Pecsok and the pit band features award-winning alumna, Karlie Kauffeld; high school music teacher Rene Bernard; Dewalt; Pecsok, junior Max Spicer on percussion. Choreography is by Sarah Grasso, Ben Ashley and Sarah Forfa assisted by student Veronica Stevens. Set is designed by Jessa Rowan and junior Anna Cate Harrison. Annie Landenberger is production consultant.
Mary Poppins runs Thursday, November 9 at 7pm; Friday, November 10 at 7:30 pm; Saturday, November 11 at 3pm and 7:30; and Sunday, November 12 at 3pm, in Leland and Gray’s historic Dutton Gymnasium. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for students and 62+. All refreshments and delicacies are by donation. For more information and to reserve in advance, contact Annie Landenberger at email@example.com.