Students at Hunting Hills ready to hit the stage for Mamma Mia!
After a two year hiatus from live performances, students at Hunting Hills are ready to take the stage in this year’s production Mamma Mia!
Performances run March 2-5 at the Memorial Centre.
More than 50 students from Grades 9-12 are involved in the production. This includes actors, dancers, production crew, and pit band musicians. Auditions for the production took place last June, and since September, students have been rehearsing and working hard.
“Students audition into this class and they have to learn to be triple threats in a span of four months. Students are acting, singing and dancing,” said Piper Rempel, Director, adding rehearsals for the production take place beyond a regular school day.
According to Hunting Hills’ website, Mamma Mia! takes place on the Greek Island of Kalokairi, where guests are beginning to arrive for the summer wedding of Sophie Sheridan and her fiance, Sky. Sophie dreams of a big white wedding where her father walks her down the aisle, the problem being-she doesn't know who he is! With the help of her friends, her mother's old girl group, and the island's colourful villagers, Sophie intends to discover who she truly is, reunite her family, and have the wedding of her dreams. Based on the music of ABBA, the students of Hunting Hills will have audiences singing and dancing along to this family-friendly romp of a musical.
“It’s a really campy show and I think it’s silly and fun and not something that takes itself too seriously,” said Rempel. “It’s been really great for our students to come back into theatre with something really over the top. It has been really fulfilling for them.”
This year, the production includes a pit band, which adds a fun element to the show for both the cast as well as the audience, but it also comes with challenges that the students have had to overcome.
“The score is written at Grade 8 music level, and our band students usually play music between Grades 3.5 and 5. Our Grades 9, 10 and 11 students have been learning it since October,” said Rempel. “They saw the challenge of doing a pit band and, guided by Band Director Amanda Fitch, they took it and ran with it.”
Another challenge for students have been delays in rehearsal caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The kids aren’t used to doing a full scale show,” said Rempel. “That is why it was so important this year that we have it at the Memorial Centre with full tech so we can show them that, even in challenging times, they can do it.”
She added that despite the challenges, the students have continued to excel.
“These kids are performing at a really high level and are dedicating a lot of hours. Giving the community a chance to see the excellence that teenagers can achieve is so cool, and for them to showcase that to the community is really great too,” said Rempel.
Taryn Martinek, Choreographer, said she encourages the community to come out, enjoy the show, and support the students who have worked so hard to put on the production.
“When people come to the show, they can expect to see singing, dancing, and laughter - we laugh so hard that we cry sometimes,” said Martinek. “It’s the perfect celebration of acting, singing, dancing and music.”
To purchase tickets, visit https://www.rdpsd.ab.ca/huntinghills/_ci/p/7339 or call the Hunting Hills Bookstore at 403-342-6655 Ext. 1123.