Dancing Into Mamma Mia

Jenna Cameron, Writer

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Every year the Central Regional Drama Club pulls its audience in and brings them to a new place to learn a new story. They have gone under the sea with The Little Mermaid, to the swamps with Shrek, to New York City with On the Town, and this year they get to travel halfway across the world with the musical Mamma Mia. Mamma Mia is a classic play about a bride to be trying to find her long lost father. The drama club had their auditions on December 12th, 13th, and 14th, but they started preparing for this much sooner. Starting in September the club, under the leadership of Mrs. Shivers and Drew Wilfrid, participated in Dance Clinics to hone their dancing and acting skills to prepare for the iconic show they will perform sometime in March.

Dance Clinics are one of the greatest ways that the group prepares prior to auditions. Typically a dance clinic is three hours long and consists of dancing and acting. The last dance clinic, on December 9th, for example consisted of acting games, monologues, and dance routines. Previous dance clinics also contained practice on accents, like Russian, British, and Minnesotan, dancing to numbers from musicals like Spongebob Squarepants and Mean Girls, along with teamwork exercises. The musicals’ choreographer, Drew Wilfrid, shared, “dance clinics are so important because they help the cast meet newcomers, have some acting exposure, and- probably one of the most important things- build confidence. It takes a lot of courage to get up on stage in front of an auditorium full of people and these dance clinics help us get one step closer to dancing like nobody’s watching.” The club works hard to become more confident actors and dancers in time for the show, especially given that for some of the cast it is there first high school show or first show in general. One newcomer, Jessica Zumpano, had said, “I wasn’t sure about joining drama at first, but a friend of mine convinced me to go to a dance clinic to try it out. I loved it. It was a fun time with good people.”

While the cast of the drama club gets a lot of attention and praise for their performance on stage, people often forget that there are other crucial members in the drama club. The cast would be quietly performing in the dark if it wasn’t for the tech crew, they wouldn’t be able to take the audience anywhere if it wasn’t for the set crew, and the play would be an unorganized bore if it wasn’t for the stage crew switching the scenes. Drama club needs people of stage as well as on. These roles don’t require going up on stage and singing or dancing, yet they are still just as important and put in just as much practice as the cast.

It won’t just take the cast, it will take the whole club to make this year a memorable one. The director, Mrs. Shivers, has said, “every year is different and this year we are going to the islands of Greece and singing songs from Abba.” The cast might be able to take care of the singing, but everybody will be needed to bring the story of Mamma Mia to life and transport the entire audience to the islands of Greece. It will take the whole club and the audience to not only make this year different and memorable, but also great.