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Theater lovers take note. Newsome Wolfpack Theatre presents Disney’s Mary Poppins this month with tickets on sale now.
The show will take place at Newsome High School (NHS) Thursday through Saturday on April 16, 17 and 18 at 7 p.m. with a matinee performance on April 18 at 2 p.m.
The cast is led by Mackenzie Valentine as Mary Poppins and Ian Negron-Rodriguez as the lovable chimney sweep, Bert. The Banks family include Joseph Rissler as George, Elizabeth Miller as Winifred and Jake Perez and Mia Scaringe playing the roles of Michael and Jane Banks, respectively.
When asked about her role, Valentine commented, ”My mother fell in love with Mary Poppins when she was very young and raised me on a spoonful of sugar. We always had Mary Poppins quotes on the refrigerator and we still cry when we watch her fly onto the screen.”
Twenty students fill out the cast, that includes Raima Reid and Camilla Gonzalez, two Randall Middle School students breaking into the high school theater world.
According to Artistic Director Dr. Chad Cornwell, the production is different from others, with set designs by Hillsborough County art teacher Lindsay Valentine made to look like a children’s storybook come to life. NHS students Sydney DeFelix, Thomas Barker and Benjamin Lance are the show’s technical directors and are in charge of the set crew and construction of the sets. Dr. Cornwell shared his vision of the production.
“We have given the chimney sweep ensemble and our set crew a much larger role as those telling this story,” he said. “Mary Poppins is about fun and magic, but it is more about caring for each other, loving each other. This is a lesson the Banks family has to learn. It’s a story that is completely relevant today.”
During show research, Dr. Cornwell found notes from the show composers, the Sherman brothers, pointing out that “tuppence a bag has nothing to do with tuppence or bread crumbs. It’s about the fact that it doesn’t take much to give love, that it costs very little to make a difference to other people’s lives.”
“The Newsome Wolfpack Theatre is built on investments made in the students,” said Dr. Cornwell.
The entire 2019-2020 theater season has been dedicated to retiring Newsome Principal Carla Bruning.
All performances are in the Newsome High School Theater at 16550 Fishhawk Blvd. Tickets are pre-sold with $5 student prices or $8 for adults. Visit newsometheatre.ticketleap.com/marypoppins/. More information can be found at www.newsometheatre.org.