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‘Mamma Mia’ hits the stage at Palmerton HS

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    Kelly Heinick, center, playing Donna Sheridan, rehearses with Senia Smith (Tanya), left, and Molly Campbell (Rosie), for Palmerton Area High School’s drama club’s production of Mamma Mia, running Thursday through Saturday at the high school. JARRAD HEDES/TIMES NEWS

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    Katelyn Rehatchek rehearses her role as Sophie Sheridan for Palmerton Area High School’s drama club’s production of Mamma Mia, running Thursday-Saturday at the high school. JARRAD HEDES/TIMES NEWS

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    Playing the roles of Sam Carmichael, Harry Bright and Bill Austin are, from left, Matt Binder, Mitchell Hourt and Justin Marstellar. JARRAD HEDES/TIMES NEWS

Published April 25. 2019 02:00PM


Palmerton Area High School’s drama club presents “Mamma Mia” this weekend at the high school. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and performances begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students.

Over the past few years, Palmerton drama club adviser Brent Harris said, the school has taken on shows that were a little bit heavier in content including “1984,” “Rebel Without a Cause,” “The Sound of Music” and “The Crucible.”

“All of those dealt with heavier topics and presented us with a great deal of struggle to present on stage,” Harris said. Mamma Mia is quite the opposite of that. It allowed us to produce a show that was focused on an overall atmosphere of excitement. I think it just provided us with a breath of fresh air to show up to rehearsals and worry about a number like “Super Trouper” and how set pieces would come together rather than worrying about accusations of witchcraft.”

Harris said he hopes the students gain an appreciation for a wide variety of musicals and shows.

“We are trying to create a very broad yet thorough experience for members of this club and hope to do that by continually changing the themes in the shows we choose,” he said.

If a students joins the drama club in fifth grade for Palmerton’s Drama Club Jr. productions, they will have an opportunity to participate in 22 stage shows by the time they graduate from high school.

“We hope that throughout that experience, they get a little bit of everything that theater has to offer,” Harris added. “Whether or not our students pursue theater after high school, we hope that they have developed some skills in front of an audience, some confidence in their abilities on a stage, and an appreciation for the time an effort that goes into creating any kind of artistic production.”

Palmerton’s cast for Mamma Mia includes Katelyn Rehatchek as Sophie Sheridan; Kelly Heinick as Donna Sheridan; Matthew Binder as Sam Carmichael; Mitchell Hourt as Harry Bright; Justin Marsteller as Bill Austin; Mason White as Sky; Senia Smith as Tanya; Molly Campbell as Rosie; Lindsey Fronheiser as Ali; Bailey Moyer as Lisa; Braden Gower as Pepper; Danny Haskins as Eddie; and Harrison Denithorne as Father Alexandrios.

Ensemble members include Rheese Borland, Ariella Catania, Riley Cordova, Alex Cornmesser, Gianna Crispo, Ian Everett, Maddie Everett, Riley Fallon, Julia Finley, Serenity Hamilton, Grace Heist, Autumn Heydt, Maggie Himmelwright, Nicole Kester, Isabella Kistler, Savannah Klotz, Angela Kunkle, Autumn Ladd, Isabella Lamparelli, Gina Laviolette, Brynn Merkel, Taylor Pengelly, Samantha Perloni, Cece Pyfer, Joshua Rehatchek, Alysa Roe, Chris Ross, Katie Schlemmer, Hannah Serfass, Maddy Serio, Gwen Shellhammer, Caitlin Smith, Aliyah Snyder, Faith Szena, Cora Wentz, Maddy Wentz, Mikayla Wilkins, Fiona Winger, Magnolia Young and Victoria Yo.

The show has been in production since the week before Christmas break. Students in both Drama Club and Stage Crew have been at rehearsals four days a week ever since.

“They are nearly all involved in multiple other clubs, sports, and activities,” Harris said. “Yet, here on our stage they all come together to put this show on for one weekend. I really don’t think there is anything else that brings such a wide variety of students together in this way. They constantly carry scripts with them to these other activities and show dedication to our production even outside of rehearsals. We are very fortunate here in Palmerton to have a group of kids who are this invested in what we are trying to do. I think we have a bright future here with this club and am very excited about the productions coming up next year.”

The Palmerton Drama Parents Association will be selling candygrams, flowers, T-shirts, and show posters in the lobby before the show. A 15-minute intermission will take place with refreshments available at the school store.

“The students and I have grown to love this show,” Harris said, “and will be sad for the production to come to and end.”



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