“Mamma Mia!” Takes the Simon Theatre Stage February 7-9

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Stony Batter Players, Mercersburg Academy’s student theatre company, is proud to announce its winter musical, Mamma Mia!, which opened Friday, February 7 in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Simon Theatre. Performances were also held Saturday, February 8, and Sunday, February 9.

Directed by Laurie Mufson, director of theatre at Mercersburg, the play is set in Greece. Sophie dreams of a perfect wedding, including her father giving her away. There’s one problem: Sophie doesn’t know who he is. Her mother Donna, the former lead singer of the 1970s pop group Donna and the Dynamos, refuses to discuss the past, so Sophie is left to take matters into her own hands. Sneaking a peek in her mother’s old diaries, she discovers three possible fathers: Sam, Bill, and Harry. She secretly invites all three to the wedding, convinced that she’ll know her father when she sees him; but when all three turn up, it may not be as clear as she thought! Told through the legendary music of ABBA, Mamma Mia! has become a worldwide sensation that has audiences everywhere dancing.

“I feel like on one level it’s upbeat and fun and we’re in Greece, but underneath there is a story about a strong woman and the choices she had to make in her life and how she chose to raise her daughter on her own,” Mufson said. “It’s more than just a light piece of fluff. It’s a much more complex show than people think.”

“The underlying story is the need to understand who you are,” Mufson said. That’s Sophie’s big question—how she feels incomplete without knowing who her father is, and her discovery of who he is. There are some wonderful identity questions that the characters struggle with.”

Mamma Mia! is based on the book by Catherine Johnson and co-produced by Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus.

Richard Rotz (arts faculty and director of music), James Brinson (arts faculty), and Lindsay Owen (private vocal teacher) provided musical direction and vocal coaching; Kelly Dowling (arts faculty/assistant director of the Burgin Center for the Arts), set, costume, and prop designer; Walt Dowling, lighting designer; Jessica Doubell (arts faculty), technical director; and Pat McDaniel, sound engineer.

Donovan Dowling ’21, Shoki Nemoto ’21, and Maddie Gillner ’22 are the stage managers; Koko Chen ’23, Katie Doyle ’21, Maddie Stang ’22, Surya Talasila ’20, Franklin Williams ’22, Dalilah Winter ’22, and Serena Zhang ’22 make up the tech crew.

Click here for a complete cast list. 

This year, members of the school’s Community Engagement team worked with the Mercersburg Lions Club to collected unused eyeglasses to donate to the Club. A drop-off location was available in the Cofrin Gallery in the Burgin Center for the Arts at each performance.