Hannibal Courier-Post

Mary Poppins musical takes flight

Mary Poppins (senior Evie Rodenbaugh) talks with Jane (senior Emily Sullivan) and Michael (third grader Caleb Kurz) on Wednesday at the Hannibal High School auditorium. The musical will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, Friday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 26.
TREVOR MCDONALD/COURIER-POST
By Hannibal Courier-Post
Posted: Oct. 18, 2019 5:00 pm

HANNIBAL — The magical tale of Mary Poppins will soon spring to life at Hannibal High School and cast and crew members have been rehearsing since the first week of school to bring all the aspects of the musical together.

Vocal directors Kate Fuller and Sara Kurz have been leading students on their journey to showtime since the first week of school. Kurz said auditions were held before school began. The cast, crew members and directors shared in the excitement of performing a classic with many familiar songs coupled with some new songs and different scenery.

The students donned colorful apparel as they gathered together for different scenes of the production. Kurz said everyone has been working hard as a team to bring the musical to fruition.

“We're getting to that point where everybody's tired, but we're getting excited because the costumes are here, Mary Poppins gets to fly, the set is finally all finished and the orchestra is coming next week,” Kurz said. “Step by step, piece by piece, it's finally here — it's finally going to put everything together on Monday.”

Junior Evie Rodenbaugh plays the role of Mary Poppins. Rodenbaugh loved watching the movie as a little girl — knowing many of the songs before she began rehearsing for the HHS production. She remembered being surprised by the expansive range of singing for the performance. She knew Poppins was a soprano, “but I didn't realize that she sang that high — it was a little bit different than I expected.” Rodenbaugh said the experience helped her grow musically, and she has had fun along the way.

“I enjoyed the entire process,” Rodenbaugh said. “I really like when we finally get to be on stage, because that's where you see it all come into action. That's probably my favorite part — putting it all together.”

Sophomore Linnea Brown acted in several productions at Hannibal Middle School and Hannibal-LaGrange University, and she decided to join the stage crew for her first time. The experience has been fun for her, and she said crew members work together smoothly as a team with tasks like changing sets in between scenes.

“I loved acting, but I always wanted to help out with set stuff — but I never really got to, because you can't really do that when you're acting,” Brown said. “It was cool to get to do the other side of it — they're both equally difficult and they're both equally important.”

Senior Meghan Sanders has been in HHS musicals since she was a freshman, and she enjoyed her first time as part of the stage crew and taking on a leadership role. The backstage action happens rapidly, with set changes occurring within 30 seconds.

“It's been a lot of fun learning those differences,” Sanders said. “You get to know the show on a different level of what all goes on behind the scenes — because you just see what happens on stage and all the acting, and you don't know exactly what happens behind the scenes. It just takes a lot of work and you have to know your stuff and when to do it.”

Senior Jana Hinds said she enjoyed the sentimental aspects of her role as the Bird Woman.

“I think the song is really pretty, and the scene at the end with her is really sweet — the Bird Woman and George,” Hinds said.

Tickets for the musical are $10 each and are available by stopping by Hannibal High School or purchasing them before the show — at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24, Friday, Oct. 25 and Saturday, Oct. 26.

“I think it's a pretty magical show... it's a lot of fun to watch,” Hinds said. “I just think any age person would enjoy the story.”

tmcdonald@courierpost.com