"Matilda: The Musical" Comes to Mercersburg

Saturday, April 2, 2022
Riley Schermerhorn ’22 and Tyerra Rooffener ’23 in "Matilda: The Musical"

Stony Batter Players, Mercersburg’s student theatre company, presented Matilda: The Musical Friday, April 1, and Saturday, April 2 (two performances). Performances were held in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Simon Theatre. 

Based on the 1988 children’s novel of the same name by Roald Dahl, the production centered around Matilda, a precocious 5-year-old girl who loves reading and isn't afraid to be a little bit naughty to overcome adversity at home and in her school. 

“I really wanted something that was joyful and fun. It feels like everyone can use a laugh after two years of COVID!” says Director of Theatre Kelly Dowling P ’21, ’21, ’23, who directed the show. “I also wanted a musical that was family friendly, since we haven’t had a mainstage show to appeal to younger kids in several years.”

Matilda was the first Stony Batter performance fully open to the general public in more than two years. “Performing the show is really the cherry that we put on top of all the steps it takes to bake and decorate the cake,” Dowling says. “While the performances might look almost like those before COVID, the rehearsal process has been completely different.”

Despite this, the cast and crew fully committed to creating a stellar performance. Dowling says, “We have actors using wires for aerial work and doing stage combat. There are even a couple of people in drag. Meanwhile, the crew has built a beautiful playground on stage and will work behind the scenes to make all kinds of technical magic happen.”

See a full list of the cast and crew.

Patrons were given the option to make a donation to charity when reserving tickets, and could bring cash or check or food donations to benefit charities, including the local food bank. 

“I think we are incredibly blessed with resources in our theatre program here at Mercersburg,” says Dowling. “Since we can offer free tickets, it seemed like a good way to collect a bit to pay those blessings forward. Because Matilda is set in a school, we want to benefit school children especially.” 

All monetary proceeds will be split between a Mercersburg children’s charity and The American Horse School on the Pine Ridge Native American Reservation in South Dakota.

“I guarantee anyone who attends will laugh a lot and, fair warning, they might tear up a time or two as well,” says Dowling. “I hope there will be a full house at every performance to appreciate all our students have achieved and the fantastic story that they will tell thanks to all their efforts.” 

For more information on this story, please contact Lee Owen (owenl@mercersburg.edu) in Mercersburg’s Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications.