Newsome Theater performed the hit musical “Mamma Mia!”


Photo Credit: Maggie Metz

Margaret Metz, Reporter

Newsome Wolfpack Theatre performed the hit musical “Mamma Mia!” from April 13-15 and from April 20-22 in the auditorium. The production took audience members on a musical getaway to Greece and indulged them in a fun storyline; the actors lit up the stage with hit songs by ABBA celebrated through beautiful set visuals and jazzy choreography.

   Auditions occurred back in January, when potential castmates had to audition over a three-day period that featured dancing, acting, and singing. Senior cast member Elizabeth Popola says, “My favorite part was doing improv on the dance day and just getting to jam out with whatever moves I so pleased.” After a meticulous casting process, Newsome Theatre determined that it needed a double cast to showcase the talents of multiple individuals! 

   For the first time in Newsome’s theatre history, a production was performed over two weeks to accommodate the two casts: Carolina Blue and Navy. The change has brought rehearsals to a new level of intensity; senior castmate Ashlyn Jade Lopez says, “since we have two casts, it is double the rehearsal time.” Opening the show to two casts allows more students to be leads and it allows more time for Newsome students to see the performance. 

   The cast and crew members rehearse daily after school until about 7-8, and on a week of a show, it can run as late as 9-10 p.m.

   What is impressive about this production is that it is completely student-run. They build the sets and props, and determine costumes, hair, makeup, sound, lighting, and management— they do it all! After the departure of Dr. Cornwell, the program relies on the student theater’s leadership team to plan events, host club days, run social media, and market the show.

   The program has its choreography done by Lucca Prado with the help of Quincy Reath and Liz Campbell and hired tech Kaylee Corrato. The staging/blocking was completed by Dr. Cornwell, Associate Director Brielle Pulli, and the staging manager. 

   Newsome students become familiar with the faces they see on stage, but many talents go unrecognized in the set and tech crew. They are the ones responsible for the logistics and setting of the show. Many of the members walked into the program with no construction or tech experience, so they picked up construction tools and learned how to build sets and props. They get their supply from Lowes and Home Depot to create the numerous scenes of Mamma Mia! 

   Based on the posts seen on the Newsome Wolfpack Theatre’s multiple social media platforms, the cast has a blast performing and rehearsing the show. Viral Tiktoks portray the cast belting extreme notes and jamming out to ABBA. Check out the show’s Instagram: @mammamia.nhs and Tiktok: @mammamianhs.

   The show was spectacular. Both Donnas, Megan Lisko-Snelling and Hannah Wiles, showed off their vocal talents with challenging runs and breathtaking emotions. The ensemble nailed their dance routines and the tech crew executed the sounds and the lighting well. The song “Lay All Your Love On Me” was a hit with the audience as boys with flippers and short shorts took to the stage to perform the iconic love song between the characters Sophie and Sky.

   Mamma Mia! attracted a wide range of audience members and opened the program to tons of new people. The show bonded the music departments of Newsome, for example, many chorus members auditioned for roles within the theater program to expand their singing talent. Chorus and theater member Joshua Burgess says, “Mamma Mia! Has led Newsome theatre to new heights and unlocked new talents.”