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Students perform on community stage

Several of our students had the opportunity to take their theatrical skills to other venues – and some are still performing. Rising junior Mara Holifield is a member of the Greek chorus in Mamma Mia! at Shelby County Community Theater in Shelbyville, Ky. The show opened last weekend and continues July 26-28 and Aug. 1-3 at 7:30 p.m. with Sunday, Aug. 4, at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $11-$16.

Mara said she has enjoyed the chance to perform during the summer, especially since she feels like “I enter an entire new world when I’m on stage and I love to make the audience feel the same way.”

“I love performing, and I am surrounded by positive people who share the passion with me,” Mara said. “It’s somewhat challenging vocally because we create beautiful harmonies, and I’m singing in a different vocal range than I usually do, but I love the change because I feel like I’m really growing from it.”

Recent alumnus Jesse Zoeller ’19 is in Disney’s Beauty & the Beast at Centerstage in Louisville on select dates through Aug. 4. Tickets are $22-$27. .

Other students wrapped up their performances this past weekend. Rising junior Victor Beeler and Andrew Bittenbender ’18 were in All Shook Up on the Jeffersonville RiverStage, with Victor a featured dancer and member of the ensemble and Andrew playing the role of Dean. Mr. Ronnie Breedlove, our musical theatre/technical theater teacher, was the producing artistic director for the Elvis Presley-inspired musical comedy, and Dan Bullington ’76 played the role of the sheriff.

Victor auditioned after hearing about the show from Mr. Breedlove in his Theatre II class, and he was glad to be part of it.

“I absolutely loved getting to meet new people in the cast,” Victor said. “I also loved the music of the show. It’s all Elvis music, but it’s done in a way where anyone who watches the show or listens to it can enjoy it.”

Performing on an outdoor stage had its challenges though. The heat wave that hit during the first two nights of the show made it difficult for backstage costume changes because everyone was sweating. And the closing show was under the threat of rain, so Victor learned what rain pace was, which calls for the cast to increase its pace to try to finish the show before the rain. Unfortunately, the final scenes were cut Sunday night as a storm rolled in, but Victor still enjoyed the experience – including improving his dancing skills, an area where he is weaker.

“The heat was something else,” he said. “We were all constantly drinking water backstage, and getting in and out of costumes wasn’t easy either. But this didn’t take away the fun at all from the experience.”

Three Deanery students who also have been Providence Junior Players (including Mrs. Ellen Holifield’s two youngest daughters) were in Frozen Jr. at the Clarksville Little Theater. Rising freshman KB Merchant and more than a dozen Deanery students, many of whom have been Providence Junior Players, participated in a summer theatre workshop and performed last weekend in Seussical Jr. and/or Lion King KIDS at the New Albany Amphitheater. New cafeteria manager Mrs. Sarah Gahagen was the choreographer for the junior shows.

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