Mamma Mia-West High’s Upcoming Musical


Austin Gerrard, Entertainment Editor

A major part of the high school experience is showing school spirit and supporting school events, and there is no better way to do so than through seeing a school musical. Every year West High students, staff, and parents work tirelessly to put on a theatrical production that will amaze. This year, that production is MAMMA MIA! West Theater will be performing the musical at 7 pm from November 18th to November 20th. There will also be a matinee on the 20th at 1 pm. By scanning the QR code near this article, you can buy tickets to MAMMA MIA.

I interviewed Ms.Stacey Hutchings, West High’s drama teacher and a major part of our school musicals, about why she believes musicals are important and why this year’s production is one you can’t miss. She has been working at West for years as its drama teacher, and loves putting on musicals. “Probably my favorite part about musicals is that the cast is always so big, so that more people can participate” said Ms. Hutchings, “and they can participate on a grand scale such as a lead role or they can participate in a smaller role like ensemble.” An ensemble is a large section of smaller parts in a musical. According to Ms. Hutchings, “without that ensemble, you never get the true feeling of cities or stores, anything like that, so the ensemble actually makes the ambiance of the show.” This year, there are about 90 students working consistently on the musical, and about 20 more who come in randomly.

Many of the students who work on the musical are in one of West’s theater classes. “Part of the course curriculum is participating in a production,” says Ms. Hutchings. “If they don’t want to act, I understand, [but] maybe they want to do tech.” Tech is the technical side of a theater production, where instead of acting, people are in charge of props, lighting, music, and other logistics. In West’s traditional drama courses, according to Ms. Hutchings, “theater students are required to do 45 minutes a week of time on this show. So then they come in and I give them smaller jobs and things that they do so that they can actually watch the process.” Some classes, such as the stage crew class, are expected to do more for the musical. These students “have to commit to 2 hours a week, unless they are a head, and if they are a head they should be here every day.” A head just means that a student is in charge of a certain area, such as lights or set construction. This year there are 2 heads each for set construction, costume, makeup, paint, lights, sound, props, house, and stage management—all but four of whom are new! All of these different roles and classes are essential to making a production perfect.

This year’s musical, MAMMA MIA!, is about a mother whose daughter, Sophie, is getting married and wants to invite her dad to the wedding. The problem is, nobody knows who Sophie’s real dad is. Because of this, she decides to invite all three men it could be to her wedding—without her mom’s permission. The plot is intriguing, and the chaos and confusion of Sophie’s wedding is captured perfectly. How will this hectic story end? Go see the musical to find out!

There are many other reasons for you to go see MAMMA MIA! Ms. Hutchings’ favorite part of the musical is the fact that “the songs are recognizable, and of course, elaborate […] I think that the music is kind of what you focus on in this show.” She said that students should see it “first of all, because it’s awesome! Second, because it is nice to go see and support your colleagues. We want to support those kids that are in your classes that have worked hours, and I’m talking HOURS, both in the technical side and in the performance side.” This time spent has amounted to over 116 hours constructing, rehearsing, costuming, organizing, and figuring out lights and sound—and that is just in the building! That doesn’t count the endless hours memorizing, practicing dances, learning blocking, and shopping for costumes outside the building. A lot of people have worked hard on this musical. If supporting all the hard work of a bunch of very talented West High students isn’t enough, Ms. Hutchings gave one more reason for you to go see this production; “It’s just fun! It’s something fun and unique to do, you don’t always get to see musicals, so it is just something interesting. Come see the show, come support us!”