Repertory theater prepares for another highly-anticipated show

Mamma Mia participants senior Makenna Kerr and junior Bryson Kendall rehearse in the choir room on Jan. 30, 2020.

Sam Goins

Mamma Mia participants senior Makenna Kerr and junior Bryson Kendall rehearse in the choir room on Jan. 30, 2020.

Ella Fixsen and Sam Goins

After long days of rehearsal, the De Soto High School repertory theater will be putting on yet another well-known musical: Mamma Mia.

Shelby Marquis, who has been performing in musical theater productions for years, earned the lead in the musical and feels as though it is one of her most significant accomplishments.

“I was so excited [when I found out I got the lead]. I told my mom and she started crying,” Marquis said. “With most shows that I do, I don’t really shoot for a certain part, but I’ve actually been watching this movie since I was around 10, and so [getting the lead] was kind of a dream come true that I didn’t even know I wanted.”

DHS senior and repertory theater member Ashlen Boresow is also excited for Marquis to play the lead.

“I’m very excited to see Shelby play the role of Sophie. Even as just a sophomore, she has performed well in other shows during her time at DHS and received a superior rating on her individual event at the Kansas Thespian Conference this year,” Boresow said. “Overall, I’m very happy with what she brings to this show and the program as a whole.”

Despite the excitement surrounding every musical, cast members face new challenges with each upcoming production.

“The biggest challenge so far has been trying to fill the empty places when people miss a rehearsal, but we always find a way past it,” said junior stage manager Jay Martin.

Although preparing for a production on this scale can be stressful, the cast has been managing their time well and has yet to become overwhelmed with preparation.

“It’s been pretty busy so far, but the schedule works out so that we only have around two rehearsals a week for everybody, which is pretty nice,” Marquis said. “Rehearsal started as soon as we got back from winter break and it’s been going really well. We have rehearsals on Mondays and Wednesdays, and then we have the rep theater class, which is another rehearsal too.”

Not only has the cast been practicing their lines, but also their understanding of their characters and the story of Mamma Mia itself.

“The stuff that we do to prepare in class involves talking about character and play analysis, which focuses on the story and really develops some of the plot,” Marquis said.

Due to the show’s cinematic history, Mamma Mia is expected to be one of the most popular musicals that DHS has ever performed. The members of the show have high hopes for its outcome.

“I hope it’ll be successful. Most people are aware of ABBA, which is where all the music comes from, and since it had a movie and a sequel I think it will be successful,” vocal director Mindy Fry said.

Members of the cast are determined to make DHS students aware of the musical and generate a large crowd at the shows.

“We’re actually working a lot on marketing right now, like coming up with stickers and stuff like that,” Marquis said. “It’s still in the mix, but since it is a popular musical, I think it’s something new that we can bring to De Soto, and hopefully it will have a great outcome.”

Overall, the theater group is looking forward to seeing the show come to life.

“I think this show is going to be amazing. I’ve been at every rehearsal and all I’ve seen is a great performance being made,” Martin said. “I’m looking forward to watching the final turnout of the show.”