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Lee to fly in Barclay College Mary Poppins production

Hannah Brown/Kiowa County Signal
Kiowa County Signal
Bert, played by Ben Stewart and Mary Poppins, played by Hannah lee, will don the stage for the big show at the end of September.

The Director of the Barclay College Theatre Department, Randi Shetley, announced that Disney and Cameron McIntosh’s Mary Poppins production will happen, nearly five months after originally scheduled. The new show dates are fast approaching, happening on September 24-27. 

“I am excited about so many things in this production! Firstly, I am excited that we are able to have the production after the last few crazy months,” said Shetley. “This cast has been working since January and the work is paying off.” 

Shetley admits there have been some challenges to pull this production in the middle of a pandemic. First off, rehearsing a show with singing and dancing while keeping social distance is hard. Secondly, students left campus in March, cutting into rehearsal time before the original show dates. The cast and crew stepped up and worked all summer to fine-tune their lines and dances. Traci Ballard, the show’s choreographer, updated the cast with dance videos to help the learning process. Another thing that has helped make the show go on is a boot camp for the cast. 

“We brought the cast back a week before school started in August with an intense boot camp to get everyone back on track,” said Shetley. “They have blown me away with their dedication to this show.”

COVID-19 has impacted the show in more than one way. Now the audience will have to wear facemasks in the auditorium. Shetley is aware that there haven’t been many cases in Kiowa County, but she is doing her part to make sure it stays that way. 

“I am entering each ticket by hand to be sure we keep a few seats between each group,” said Shetley. “We want to be sure everyone feels safe as they enjoy the show.”

This is the third musical production BC has put on in the new Ross-Ellis Center. This may be the biggest and best yet. There is much anticipation around the show because of the long wait, and some special surprises, accounting to Shetley. 

“We have tap-dancing chimney sweeps, magical moments on stage, great special effects and lots of surprises!” said Shetley. 

One of the great special effects is a fly rig brought in by ZFX, a nationally known company. Randi’s husband, Shane, worked as a professional flyman in Branson for over six years, so there will be some experience to help make Mary fly. 

Bert, played by Ben Stewart and Mary Poppins, played by Hannah Lee, will don the stage for the big show at the end of September.

Show times are set as Thursday, September 24 at 7 p.m., Friday, September 25 at 7 p.m., Saturday, September 26 at 3 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, September 27 at 3 p.m. 

Tickets can be purchased at barclaycollege.edu/MaryPoppins.