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Mary Poppins lands on Orefield Middle School stage

By Susan Bryant


Orefield Middle School Drama Club students will present “Mary Poppins JR.” on Feb. 29 and March 1 and 2.

The musical follows the story of Mary Poppins, a young British nanny who uses an umbrella to drop from the sky and show up at the home of George and Winifred Banks in London to teach the children life lessons using magic.

This musical is an adaptation of the 1964 movie and the 2004 Broadway version of the children’s book series “Mary Poppins” written by Australian-British writer P.L. Travers.

Eighth grader Aubrey Beckwith, who plays Mary Poppins, commented on her role.

“My character Mary Poppins is mysterious and always knows what is going to happen before it happens,” Beckwith said. “You never know what is going to happen with her.

“I like my character because she won’t stand for nonsense and you never know what will happen when you are with her.”

She said she loves the songs and especially the cast because they are so hard working and brilliant.

Jacob “Jake” Ott, also an eighth grader, who portrays Bert, discussed his character.

“Bert is a happy-go lucky chimney sweep who loves singing and dancing, and is best friends with Mary Poppins,” Ott stated. “I like playing Bert because there is so many ways to express yourself, and just have fun in general.”

Matthew Hauck plays George Banks.

Hauck said Banks is very straight-laced at the start and demands precision and order.

“After losing his job he becomes sad but then he learns family is more important than money,” Hauck explained. “I like playing him as his growth throughout the show is fun to play.”

This show is directed by Sydney Sniezek with musical director/producer Erich Joella, and choreographers Kayla Frankenfield and Nadia Pletz.

“Mary Poppins is a mysterious British nanny who shows up at the Banks’ household to teach lessons in life with some mystery and magic,” Joella said. “The slogan and one of the songs is ‘Anything Can Happen If You Let it.’”

Joella explains why this musical was chosen.

“It is a fun show that combines the talents of so many students,” he said. “The show is appropriate for all ages.”

“Mary Poppins JR.,” will be presented 7 p.m. Feb. 29 and March 1 and 2; and 2 p.m. March 2 in the auditorium at the middle school, 2675 Route 309, Orefield.

This show is reserved seating.

Tickets are $7 per person. Payments may be cash or check payable to Parkland School District.

Tickets will be available in the auditorium lobby one hour before every show.

Advance tickets are on sale to the public from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Feb. 24 in the OMS auditorium lobby.

PRESS PHOTOS BY LOU WHEELAND Jacob “Jake” Ott plays Bert in Orefield Middle School's “Mary Poppins JR.” at 7 p.m. Feb. 29 and March 1 and 2; and 2 p.m. March 2.
Mrs. Corry will be played by Edelweiss Wells in Orefield Middle School's musical “Mary Poppins JR.”
The Bird Woman is being played by Baxley Allan in the musical “Mary Poppins JR.,” to be performed at OMS.
Mary Poppins, played by Aubrey Beckwith, and Bird Woman, portrayed by Baxley Allan, are dressed for their roles in “Mary Poppins JR.”
Mary Poppins, portrayed by Aubrey Beckwith, and Bert, played by Jacob “Jake” Ott, will be appearing in the OMS musical “Mary Poppins JR.”
PRESS PHOTOS BY LOU WHEELAND Mary Poppins, played by Aubrey Beckwith, answers her Magical Parrot umbrella during rehearsal for “Mary Poppins JR.” to be performed 7 p.m. Feb. 29 and March 1 and 2; and 2 p.m. March 2 at Orefield Middle School.