Mary Poppins likes to say that she is “practically perfect in every way,” but the members of the cast and crew of Mary Poppins Jr. lived up to that description and more during their performances on Thursday, May 9 and Friday, May 10. This was the inaugural performance of the spring musical in the new Performing Arts Center, and the cast and crew took full advantage of their new, state-of-the-art location.
The play was directed by Meredith Akins, Abby Shuppy, and Brendan Stackhouse. Ms. Akins and Mr. Stackhouse choreographed the production numbers, Ms. Shuppy acted as music director, and Andrea Patti as the stage manager. Ms. Patti said, “I am so proud of the amazing cast and crew of Mary Poppins Jr. I couldn’t dream of a better way to celebrate the opening of the Performing Arts Center here at Gaynor!”
In addition to rehearsing in a new space, the directors also worked with a record number of students, with a total of 50 students in the cast and crew, several dozen more than had been in the 2018 musical. Mr. Stackhouse said, “The students persevered through the challenges of our beautiful new theatre space to create a truly memorable musical this year. I’m so proud of all of the hard work of our cast and crew!”
Ms. Akins said, “I am so proud to see how supportive cast members were of each other during the performances. They completely understood what it meant to be an ensemble!” Ms. Shuppy seconded that thought, expressing her thanks “to the cast and crew for their hard work during the entire process. They proved that anything can happen if you let it!”