SHS School Musicals: Next- Mamma Mia!


Photograph by Lia Parker from last year’s school musical, “How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.”

Alanna Christman, Staff Writer

Mamma Mia! A single mother, Donna Sheridan, raising an only daughter, Sophie Sheridan, who is soon to be married to a young man named Sky (dot dot dot). Sophie finds her mother’s diary, where she finds not one, but three possible fathers to walk her down the aisle (dot dot dot). Viewers will discover what happens when all of the characters show up. . .

The setting for this year’s annual SHS musical is a small Greek island where anything can happen. The real setting will be the SHS auditorium, and the shows will run from April 12 through 14.

The cast members have already started practice for this event. Rehearsals take place every Wednesday and Friday 2:45 to 6:00 p.m. Certain cast members are chosen for Monday practices 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., and the performers go an extra mile with an extra workout after rehearsals. Dedication is needed to become a contributing cast member of SHS’s school musical.

Donna Sheridan- Natalie Hornkohl

Donna’s Best Friends- Lia Parker and Maslyn Schoeller

Three Potential Fathers- Logan Sodl, Joshua Pessoa, and Tyler Yarnall

Sophie- Emma Flanagan

Sophie’s Fiancé, Sky- Niko Solak

Sophie’s Best Friends- Vasilia Briegel and Sara Denny

Senior Natalie Hornkohl (Donna) said, “Five words that describe musical: Very fun and very draining!”

Even so, it’s a great experience.

“Everyone is so supportive of each other and only wants everyone else to succeed,” said sophomore Emma Flanagan (Sophie). “It’s great to be surrounded by such talented and kind people. This musical is super fun for the people on stage and off. It’s like going to an ABBA concert, and who wouldn’t want to do that?.”

Because this year’s musical is so modern, it is is a bit of departure from traditional SHS musicals.  A few recent productions were How To Succeed In Business without Really Trying, Thoroughly Modern Millie, The Music Man, and Damn Yankees — all classics of the theater.

“It’s a girl heavy musical, which we haven’t done in a long time,” said senior Lia Parker (Rosie Mulligan, Donna’s friend). “It’s more modern than the musicals we’ve done in the past few years. I think that that’ll set us apart.”

For decades, SHS musicals have consistently been performed at a very high level. The positive school environment, determined cast members, and excellent musical staff work together to ensure that this is the case.

“Having directors Ms. Billye Kubiak and her son, Max Kubiak, music directors Ms. Janice Lee and Mr. Bob Riday, and costume designer Ms. Jane Sumner really creates a professional and polished show,” said sophomore Maura Demspey, also in the show. “I have been in the musical for the past two years, and I look forward to it every year.”

Not only is the musical experience fun, but research shows that it contributes to the overall quality of the high school. Thus, SHS is fortunate to boast a high quality musical annually. According to, schools with musical programs have an 93.3% average attendance rate compared to a 84.9% average for schools without.

“So far, my experience in the musical has been so rewarding,” said Hornkohl. “Everyone in the cast works so well together. We get things done while having fun, and getting to work with people that share the same interest as you is a really cool thing.”

To students looking to join the musical in years to come, it’s a rewarding process where students get to meet and make new friends.

“It’s great to meet new people we wouldn’t have normally met,” said junior Vasilia Briegel (Lisa, Sophie’s friend).

Students also learn and gain from new real life experiences on stage. It’s not just singing, not just acting, and not just dancing; rather, performers must tackle all three, as well as other intangibles.  There are a wide variety of skills developed in the creation of such a complex performance.

“My experience has been pretty good so far,” said junior Christian Beebe, who plays Pepper, Sky’s best man and bartender. “The cast is made up of great people who I find it easy to get along with. The directors are great and it’s easy to tell that they know what they are doing.”

For a more immersive experience, come to the show in April. In the meantime, there’s always the movie to watch! The 2008 movie, “Mamma Mia!” is based off the musical, plus there’s a recent sequel that describes, in more detail, Donna’s three-guy summer…

Tickets are not on sale yet, but will be soon. When they are, student tickets will cost eight dollars, senior tickets will cost ten dollars, and adults tickets will cost twelve dollars.