FAIRBORN — Wright State University’s Department of Theatre, Dance and Motion Pictures is presenting the worldwide dance musical sensation “Mamma Mia!” from Oct. 29-Nov. 14 in the Festival Playhouse of Wright State’s Creative Arts Center.
After a delay of more than 18 months, “Mamma Mia!” will finally take the stage in a disco-infused return to musical theatre for Wright State’s acclaimed theatre program. Directed and choreographed by Greg Hellems, with music direction by F. Wade Russo, scenic design by Department Chair Pam Lavarnway, lighting design by Matthew Benjamin, and costumes by Michele Sampson, the show is a joyous celebration of young and not-so-young romance.
“In 2020, just nine days before its scheduled opening, this production was shut down due to nationwide COVID lockdowns,” said Artistic Director Joe Deer. “The set and costumes sat onstage and in our shops for 18 months, while most of the cast and crew graduated. Now, with an almost entirely new company, revamped scenery and costumes and an incredible sense of excitement and anticipation, ‘Mamma Mia!’ is going to blow the roof of the Festival Playhouse.”
Audiences around the world have flocked to this light-hearted romantic comedy about a daughter on the eve of her wedding seeking to learn who her real father is. Along the way her mother, a one-time pop singing sensation, is reunited with her disco trio and renews her friendship with the three men who might be Sophie’s father, and eventually her own romance. Set on a fantasy Greek island and filled with the music of 1970s pop sensations, ABBA, this show will have audiences literally dancing in the aisles and humming along with more than two dozen Top 40 hits from their youth.
“It is so reinvigorating to be back in the rehearsal room with my peers and continue telling this story,” said Sarah Green, who plays Sophie. “I am overjoyed to finally be able to open this show. It is truly the perfect time. This feel-good show will pour joy and life into the hearts of its audiences. There is a heartfelt joy that radiates throughout this musical. Whether you’re 17 or not, you will leave a Dancing Queen.”
Added Sophie Hardy, who plays Donna: “I just love the energy of the whole thing. As a Brit, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for this. ‘Mamma Mia!’ audiences can definitely expect a party. We’re here to have a good time and to get the audience to have a good time. I was part of the original cast when we were going to put it on in 2019, and its only gotten better since then. The comedic moments have gotten funnier and the set is even more gorgeous. I can’t wait for the world to finally see what we’ve been working on for so, so long.”
Per university guidelines, all audiences, students faculty and staff are required to wear masks while in the Creative Arts Center. For tickets and information call 937-775-2500 or visit www.wright.edu/theatre.