BY AMIELLE CHRISTOPHERSON
If you’re looking for something to warm you up during this cold snap, look no further than the Mamma Mia! production currently happening at the Jeanne & Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre. A Churchmice Players production, Mamma Mia! features all your favourite ABBA songs, as well as several Augustana students! We asked them to answer a few questions about how they got involved with the Churchmice Players, how they’ve enjoyed community theatre, and we hope you’ll make your way out this weekend (from Feb. 14-17) to take in the production. Tickets can be purchased online through the Lougheed website or in person at the Box Office from 9 – 4:30.
Kristin Bergman’s Answers:
- What character do you play in this performance? I don’t play a principal character in Mamma Mia! but I am an extra as well as a member of the chorus and dance troupe.
- How did you get involved in Mamma Mia!? What drew you to trying out and getting involved? I was told about the show by a friend who auditioned with me. Being a fan of acting, singing, dancing, and of the show itself it was impossible to say no to the chance to be a part of it.
- What’s been something you’ve learned doing this that surprised you? I’m surprised at how much I’ve learned about acting and putting on a show just by being a background character. I assumed that being an extra would just mean smiling and singing, but it’s amazing how much fun and personality you can put into it that really brings the whole show to life. Also, watching the fabulous leads we have has given me a lot of ideas about how to improve my own acting.
- What’s been your favourite part of getting involved in the Camrose community in such a different and creative way? The show has been ton of fun, and the best part has been working with this whole community of wonderful people to create such a great product. I feel so much pride in myself and everyone around me every time we perform a scene that we’ve spent months trying to perfect and finally nail it!
- Why should students come out and see this play? Students should come to the show to laugh, dance, and support the actors and Churchmice Players community that has put so much time and dedication towards this production. Any fan of ABBA and/or musicals is going to have a lot of fun watching no matter what.
- Would you recommend trying out for something like this to other students and why? I would absolutely recommend trying out for community theatre. It’s a great way to build confidence and step outside your comfort zone if you haven’t done anything like it before because you have a whole community of people right there with you for support. If you do have experience with theatre it’s still a lot of fun and provides many opportunities to learn.
- Would you do something like this again? I plan to audition again and do as many shows as I can while I’m in Camrose. I’m having a blast!
Day Bulger’s Answers:
What character do you play in this performance? Sophie Sheridan
How did you get involved in Mamma Mia!? What drew you to trying out and getting involved? I love the story line! It is my mum’s favorite movie and we watch it together all the time. Also, I have never had the opportunity to do musical theatre, so it was a great opportunity to try something new and get involved in the community.
What’s been something you’ve learned doing this that surprised you? I was surprised to meet such a welcoming and enthusiastic community of people. Since I am new to acting, I have relied on the guidance of the production team and my fellow actors in Churchmice Players. They have really helped me to explore my role and adapt to the demands of the stage. 🙂
What’s been your favourite part of getting involved in the Camrose community in such a different and creative way? I have greatly enjoyed attending rehearsals and taking an active role in creating the scenes. Singing and dancing alongside this dynamic cast has helped me to replenish my energy stores after a long day of studying.
Why should students come out and see this play? Several Augustana students are involved in the production and we have all been working hard to make this a great show. You won’t want to miss it!
Would you recommend trying out for something like this to other students and why? Absolutely! It is a great way to meet new people and do something outside of school. It has been a lot of work of course, but it has been worth it!
Would you do something like this again? Doing this production has helped me to discover a new passion. I definitely intend to get involved in Churchmice productions in the future!
Jamie Grunwald’s Answers:
- What character do you play in this performance? I’m a chorus member – which doesn’t mean that I’m not important, it just means that I get to dance more and worry about memorizing lines less.
- How did you get involved in Mamma Mia!? What drew you to trying out and getting involved? I did theatre for a number of years throughout junior high and high school, and I missed being in theatre productions and wanted a chance to re-engage my creative side. Day (Bulger) was also an influence in encouraging me to come out; plus, ABBA music is always a good idea.
- What’s been something you’ve learned doing this that surprised you? I have learned a number of singing tips while rehearsing for the show. I have not sung on stage for close to five years, so it was fun to learn some new things and build up my technique a little bit again!
- What’s been your favourite part of getting involved in the Camrose community in such a different and creative way? It’s really enjoyable to get to know people from the community outside of school. Even just recognizing other cast members at the grocery store or seeing them at volunteering events has increased my sense of community with Camrose as a whole and it’s fun to be connected through the experience of this theatre production.
- Why should students come out and see this play? Students may already be familiar with Mamma Mia! through the movie, but the musical has extra songs and details that add to the show and the story. I also really enjoy going to theatrical productions because of the experience of theatre, and, as previously stated, ABBA music is always a good idea.
- Would you recommend trying out for something like this to other students and why? Although the Augustana community is great to be a part of, engaging with the larger Camrose community is also incredibly rewarding. Community theatre is a lot of fun because it’s open to people of all theatrical backgrounds and newbies are always welcome. Plus, musical productions are a great opportunity to let loose, make some new friends, and dance your heart out.
- Would you do something like this again? Absolutely – once a theatre kid, always a theatre kid.