Becoming the first college in the state of Kansas to get the rights to perform Mamma Mia!, Cowley College’s Visual and Performing Arts Department entertained audiences with four spectacular performances March 28-30 in the Robert Brown Theatre.
The cast and crew captured the story-telling magic of ABBA's timeless songs of love, laughter and friendship. The sunny and funny tale unfolded on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter's quest to discover the identity of her father brought three men from her mother's past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago.
To add additional layers to the show, Cowley College theatre director Nick Albrecht decided to include a little magic throughout the story.
“Greek gods became almost necessary for me to help keep the show on track and so I added a few key Greek gods into the story,” Albrecht said. “These four gods gave us the opportunity to create magic in our story.”
Mamma Mia! is a jukebox musical written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on the songs of ABBA composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, former members of the band. The title of the musical is taken from the group's 1975 chart-topper "Mamma Mia".
The musical included such hits as "Super Trouper", "Lay All Your Love on Me", "Dancing Queen", "Knowing Me, Knowing You", "Take a Chance on Me", "Thank You for the Music", "Money, Money, Money", "The Winner Takes It All", "Voulez-Vous", "SOS" and the title track.
Along with Albrecht, Lindsay Allen served as the musical director and was one of four keyboardists, Steve Butler, Ben Balleau, and Dean Christopher also performed on keyboard, Evan Ricker conducted the instrumental music, John Rohr handled set design, and Kristen Boxman was the choreographer.
“This first year at Cowley I have had the tremendous opportunity to work with a number of talented, hardworking people, and this show was no exception,” Albrecht said.
The musical featured five pit singers for ensemble numbers as well as a nine-piece band.
More than 65 individuals auditioned for the 32-person production which was made up of Cowley students, Arkansas City High School students, and community members.
“Working on this production with this cast and crew was such an amazing experience,” Lindsay Allen said. “While dealing with so many different schedules was at times a challenge, everyone’s hard work really paid off and I’m proud to say we presented a great production to our community.”
Donna Sheridan – Josi Schwartz
Sophie Sheridan – Jeannie Qualls
Tanya – Taryn Stone
Rosie – Sarah Flickinger
Sam Carmichael – Matt Allen
Harry Bright – John Rohr
Bill Austin – Isaac Hess
Sky – Zane Butler
Ali – Shea Sutherland
Lisa – Cassidy Harriger
Eddie – Caleb Parish
Pepper – Dawson Miller
Dionysus/Father Alexandrios – Robert Ferris
Aphrodite – Emily Ramsey
Eros – Jacob Giger
Tyche – Shannon Martin
Ensemble – Brandon Oleson, Ileana Varela, Meikalo Hall, Bryce James, Brittany Rosenberg, Jacob Michaelis, Abbiah Conrad, Jonathan Lee, Markie Swanson, Josie Krout, Claudia Sprague, Matthew Sinnett, Madilynn Sanderholm, D’onna Braddy, Caden Lantz, and Corbin Liermann.
Pit Singers – Kadie Carrell, Ben Chinn, and Hanah Henry.
Director – Nick Albrecht
Music Director – Lindsay Allen
Choreographer – Kristen Boxman
Scenic Designer/Technical Director – John Rohr
Costume Designer – Angie Thompson
Lighting Designer – Brandon Oleson
Sound Designer/sound Board Operator – Andrew Randall
Props Designer – Stephanie Salazar
Animation/Projection Designer – Cassidy Harriger
Hair and Makeup Designers – Isaac Hess and Angie Thompson
Stage Manager – Madison Thayer
Dramaturgy/Lobby Display – Markie Swanson
Box Office Manager – Tracy Circle
Assistant Director – Hannah Dougherty
Assistant Stage Managers – Katreena Odom and Andrew Randall
Backstage Crew – Hannah Dougherty, Stephanie Salazar, Parker Butler, and Katreena Odom
Light Board Operator – Mason Hilario
Set Crew – Theatre Practicum Class
Paint Charge – Markie Swanson
Costume Crew – Jeannie Qualls, D’onna Braddy, Claudia Sprague
Spotlight Operators – Steven Kendall, Gage Johnson
Conductor – Evan Ricker
Keyboard – Steve Butler, Ben Balleau, Dean Christopher, Lindsay Allen.
Guitar – Thor Bonner, Eric Shumaker
Bass – Lee Velazquez
Percussion – Hayes Cannon
Drums – Jordan Butler