MARY’s Flying In!
We’re only three days away from our opening night of Mary Poppins and we couldn’t be more excited! It’s been a wild ride worthy of Mr. Toad and we can only go up from here. We started back in May and the weeks have flown by, but there’s still so much more to explore. As we prepare for our first public performance, we can’t forget how far we’ve come since our first rehearsal back in May.
We started in a big room, seated at long tables with close to fifty chairs. Some of us were great friends; some of us were complete strangers. All of us had our own expectations. Will we make friends? Will we sound good? How are we going to learn all these dance numbers? We realized very quickly that we were not alone in these concerns or in our endeavors to achieve them. Everybody in this room was on our side and we were on theirs. By taking part in this production, we make the promise to support each other and help each other when we fall. We stumbled. A lot. But each and every time, someone was there to catch us: another actor, a production team member, our friends, our families. None of it would be possible without them.
The first few rehearsals got us into the swing of things. Cracking a joke or two about the script, making cool music, having fun. Personal stories, thought-provoking insight, connecting with the characters on a deeply emotional level. We laughed; maybe we cried. I did when I heard “Feed the Birds” for the first time. I knew when I heard this wonderful group of people “aaaah” that Mary Poppins was destined for success.
Days turned to weeks and slowly but surely, snippets became scenes. Scenes became acts, and finally a full show. We went from “What comes after the ball-change?” to “What else you got?” The harmonies strengthened, the rhythms sharpened, the songs became stories. There were still hiccups to smooth and scenes to polish, but it was well on its way to being so much more than “a good show.” Mary Poppins means something personal to every person involved, something that I would be foolish to try to put into words. Mary Poppins is an experience unique to each individual who partakes of it. No two shows are ever the same, and that’s the most thrilling aspect of live theatre: we all experience it together.