HSE presents ‘Mamma Mia!’

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As soon as co-directors Ethan Mathias and Mary Armstrong learned “Mamma Mia!” was available for licensing for schools and amateur theater groups in 2018, they were eager to secure it for his Hamilton Southeastern High School students to perform.

“We had all enjoyed seeing the professional production and tour and knew that it would be a great fit for our program when the rights were finally released,” Mathias said.

Ava Gerber, left, and Annie Cushman appear in Hamilton Southeastern High School’s production of “Mamma Mia” (Photo by Mark Ambrogi)

Performances will be at 7 p.m. March 7, 8 and 9 in the school’s Leonard Auditorium.

Ava Gerber plays Donna, the mother of Sophie who is getting married in Greece. Sophie invited three men from her mother’s past in hopes of finding her real father.

“I’ve always loved the movie and I’ve seen the show live and I was really excited when they announced we were going to be doing it,” Gerber said.

Gerber said playing Donna was her first choice.

“I’m really excited to have gotten the part,” she said. “Even if I hadn’t gotten this role, I was still really excited to be in the ensemble.”

Gerber said she really only knew the ABBA songs that are in “Mamma Mia.”

“But I really love all of it,” Gerber said. “There’s one song at the end that is more challenging, but it’s exciting to challenge my voice.”

Sophomore Annie Cushman plays Sophie.

“I’ve seen the movies many, many times,” Cushman said. “I really like the songs ‘Name of the Game’ that I sing with the dad, and ‘Under Attack’ is my nightmare scene. That was a little more challenging. It’s really fun to sing. ABBA songs are upbeat. You can’t help smile when you sing them.”

The students playing the men in Donna’s past are: Matt Iacobucci as Sam Carmichael; Tadd Nyland as Bill Austin; and Sam Jones as Harry Bright.

Mathias’ wife, Devan, and Elizabeth Pike are helping with choreography. Zak Tschiniak leads the pit orchestra.

For more, visit hsedrama.org

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