Northville to present ‘Mary Poppins’

PHOTOGRAPHER:
The Northville Central School drama club will present “Mary Poppins” today, Saturday and Sunday. Members of the cast are shown. (Photo submitted)

NORTHVILLE — The Northville Central School drama club will present “Mary Poppins,” led by senior Kaelan Blowers in the title role, at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, April 7 and 8, and Sunday at 2 p.m., according to a news release.

Co-directors Jayme Bevington and Brooke Shumaker chose “Mary Poppins” in large part because of its recognizability and family-friendly appeal, but knew full well they and their students would be tackling some very difficult challenges.

“The music in this show was particularly tricky, but what made it fun was the kids’ determination to learn the pieces and the choreography,” Bevington said.

“The set was also initially problematic, but Brooke is amazingly creative and persistent; she had the idea (for a folding backdrop with stairs that serves as two settings) and was able to make it happen with the help of several volunteer community members.”

Blowers found this year’s production formidable as well, for many reasons. “The choreography in ‘Mary Poppins’ is definitely a lot more challenging,” she said.

Another hurdle Blowers mentioned was not being able to have Bevington, who gave birth to twin boys in early March, available at rehearsals every day. “Mrs. Shumaker has been doing an amazing job,” Blowers said “but it’s hard with her split in so many different places.

“As the drama club president, I had to step up and help get everybody focused. It’s been super hard to play the lead and have to try to keep the others on task.

“At the same time, though, it’s been so much fun to be able to call these people my family; I’ve really made a bond with everybody here.”

The cast features veterans and newcomers. They are Jasmine Vrooman, Maddie Downing, Josh Robinson, Emma Biché, Sadie Cotrofeld and Alex Purdy (whom Bevington calls “one of the hardest working people on that stage!”) back on the Northville boards. In addition, the talents of NCS drama newcomers such as Seth Bailey, playing Bert, and Gavin Clute, cast as young Michael Banks, both ninth-graders, show how bright the future is for next year and beyond.

Mary Poppins is the third production at Northville, following “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Annie,” since the drama club was re-established in 2014. Senior (and class of 2017 valedictorian) Vrooman, playing Mrs. Brill, says she’s particularly happy to have been so heavily involved in the rebirth of NCS drama these last three years.

“It’s really nice,” she said, adding “you have this feeling like you’re doing something good, because you know that after you leave, it’s going to continue to grow and be better and better.”

“You wonder what it’s going to be like when you come back to see shows in the future.”

Tickets, at $8 for adults and $5 for students, will be available at the door.

By Patricia Older

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