HANCEVILLE, Ala. —Wallace State Community College’s Fine and Performing Arts program is in the midst of rehearsals for Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s “Mary Poppins.” The production, complete with a flying Mary Poppins and live orchestra, will be shown Oct. 25-28, with shows at 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 25-27 and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Oct. 28, which is a sensory-friendly performance. All shows will be held in the Betty Leeth Haynes Theatre. Admission is $5 for children 12 and under and $10 for adults.
Co-created by Cameron Mackintosh, “Mary Poppins” is based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney Film, with original music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, with new songs and additional music and lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe. The book was created by Julian Fellows.
The lead role will be played by Samantha Drake of Hartselle, with Bert the chimney sweep played by Rayce Cleghorn of Cullman. Justin Weygand and Cheyenne Teeling, both of Cullman, play George and Winifred banks, the harried parents Jane and Michael Banks, played by McCoy Cleghorn of Cullman and Domenico Brunetti of Cullman.
Other cast and crew include Carson Partain, Isabella Allred, Cole Lawrence, Blake Tetro, Sabrina Myers, Ashlynn Teeling, Emily Douglas and Riley Adams of Cullman; Abigail Pass, Brooke Norris and Isaiah Washington of Hanceville; Conner Gulley, Eli Parker, Chloe Nutt, Breanna Spangler and Abby Moody of Hartselle; Essence James and Weslie Beasley of Decatur; Samuel Hewitt and Hannah Glassco of Albertville; Anna Eads of Huntsville; Meredith Jordan of Madison; Lacey Johnson of Pinson; Jorelle Webster of Hayden, Caroline Grimes of Orange Beach; and Victoria Sports of Dayton.
Sunday’s matinee performance will be sensory-friendly, scaling back and toning down lighting and sound that may be disturbing to those with sensory issues.
“We do adjustments to lighting to eliminate and strobe lights or bright flashes; we leave the house lights up a little bit to prevent the stage from being too bright and overwhelming,” said technical director Noah Carpenter. The sound is also turned down and any harsh sound effects are softened. Even the programs for the play will be different, alerting of points in the show that may be startling and character comparisons between the actors in the play and those in the original movie.
Salerno said while this will be the program’s first sensory-friendly production, it won’t be the last.
“I had a mom email me to ask if we were going to do one…and I thought, why aren’t we doing that,” she said. “You want everybody to be able to experience the arts. I’m going to bring my son to this one, because there’s a lot more freedom; if people need to move, if people need to make noise, it’s okay.”
The Fine and Performing Arts programs at Wallace State include Theatre, Vocal and Instrumental music, dance and studio arts. For more information, visit www.wallacestate.edu/fpa or call 256.352-8277 or email@example.com.