This spring catch ABBA at Glenwood Springs High School!

Morgan Reed, Reporter

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The Glenwood Springs High School Theatre Program is already well underway in the preparations for the annual musical production, this year being Mama Mia!

The GSHS Theatre Program in the past has produced hits such as The Addams Family, Legally Blond, Grease, and last year’s hit Crazy For You, most of which have been produced as major motion pictures and all of which are highly esteemed Broadway musicals. However, this 2018-19 school year the program is taking on a substantially more prominent role, so to speak, with Mamma Mia, an extremely successful Broadway musical and movie that recently released a sequel July of 2018.

Mamma Mia is centered around young Sophie and her mother, Donna. Throughout the musical Sophie is searching for who, out of three men, is her possible father. The GSHS Theatre Program fully intends to stay true to the original work, with the musical set to songs by the 70’s Era Pop band ABBA.

In order to audition for the play, students had to prepare both a song, preferably from the 70’s Era, and a monologue of their choice, the only condition was that neither the song nor the monologue could be from the Mamma Mia Musical, this forced the students to venture out and truly find the audition material to fit the respective role they were striving for. After students audition before the directors, Mrs. McRaith and Mrs. Hartert, the auditions are looked over, and students are then chosen for callbacks,  an opportunity for the Director to analyze a student’s acting ability and/or style specific to a character.

“We have so many talented kids, we also had kids who were upperclassmen that we had never seen before, and we also had an insanely talented group of freshman and all of our kids who’ve grown up in the program and who’ve grown so much,” said Hartert. “It was kind of difficult, because we’re always casting kids as adults in our shows, and that’s always a challenge because the freshman and sophomores look so youthful, and then this year with Mamma Mia, all of the leads are supposed to be middle-aged, and then the younger set has to look somewhat like the older group. Or else it wouldn’t make sense.”

Hartert has worked with the GSHS Theatre Program for the seven years she’s been a staff member at the school, and because of her background in student theatre, she has remained a prominent face in the Drama Department at GSHS and even has her own Drama 1 class.

“I was so impressed with their skill level compared to anyone else I’d ever seen,” said Hartert.

GSHS very own Macy Dehm, a sophomore honor student, was called back for three different lead roles, including Rosie, Sophie, and Lisa and Ali. Unfortunately, none of which she landed, however, she did land the understudy role of Donna, one of the most prominent leads in Mamma Mia. This means that during the understudy show she will be on stage, performing as Donna. During the main shows, Dehm will be a member of the ensemble, a group of people specifically selected for their dance skills and ability to work in a group, because they will essentially play as dancers or townspeople and assist in the overall progression of the story.

“I am really looking forward to being Donna in general,” said Dehm, “I’m also looking forward to being able to work with all the talented actors that also got leads and being able to get a feel for what it’s like to be working and rehearsing in a harder level than that of ensemble.”

Other Lucky GSHS student to land a lead include: Jolie DeRosa as Donna, Maizy Post as Sophie, Molly Hancock as Rosie, Sophie Carnoali as Tonya, Blake Novy as Sam, Jake Chaney as Bill, Bryce Risner as Harry, Tabor Pirzadeh as Sky, Johnathan Webster as Pepper, Sarah Wagner and Keanan Bell as Lisa and Ali, and Will Grosscup as Eddie. Understudies include Macy Dehm as Donna’s understudy, Jenny Henry as Sophie’s understudy, Cadie Harrison as Rosie’s understudy, Francesca Roberts as Tanya’s understudy, Jonathan Webster as Sam’s understudy, Rockett Perrin as Bill’s understudy, Colt Dickens as Harry’s understudy, Will Grosscup as Sky’s understudy, Taber Uyehara as Pepper’s understudy, and Ayden Arbor as Eddie’s understudy.

Students will work rigorously, after class and throughout the school year to memorize dance steps and perfect songs, all leading up to the premiere at the end of February.