University Liggett School Players Present Mamma Mia! 02/24/2021

University Liggett School is pleased to announce that its award-winning University Liggett School theater company, The Players, will present a live and in-person production of Mamma Mia!

Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 11 through Saturday, March 13, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 14. The Sunday matinee will feature the senior Rose Ceremony before the show begins.

Set on the fictional Greek island of Kalokairi, Mamma Mia! follows Sophie Sheridan in her quest to find her birth father on the night before her wedding. Without telling her mother, Sophie invites three men suspected to be her father to her wedding.

Mamma Mia! features Christina Jarad ‘21 as Sophie, Emilia Bronk ‘22 as Lisa, Kennedy Marshall ‘22 as Ali, Lily McLauchlan ‘21 as Rosie, Dahlia Medvinsky ‘23 as Donna Sheridan and Chloe Outland Knickerbocker ‘21 as Tanya.

Lucas Sikora ‘21 as Bill Austin, Jacob Tomlinson ‘22 as Harry Bright and Ruide Xu ‘21 as Sam Carmichael portray Sophie’s three potential fathers, while Evan Provenzano ‘22 as Sophie’s fiance Sky, Darrius Samples ‘22 as Pepper, Gio Thams ‘24 as Bobby, and Luke Yoshida ‘24 as Eddie round out the cast.

Much like they did with the fall production of Steel Magnolias, the cast is producing Mamma Mia! under pandemic conditions and protocols.

“Our motto this year is to ‘take the next right step.’ We have been very careful to be mindful of the safety of our students and staff as we move through the process of making theater,” said Phill Moss, Creative and Performing Arts Department Chair and Executive Producer of Mamma Mia! “Knowing the importance of keeping our creativity high, but caring for our students and our audience is always at the forefront of our thinking.

“Every show is an opportunity to learn and grow, but our efforts this year have been exceptionally meaningful. Being face-to-face, and having an opportunity to work as an ensemble can easily be taken for granted. The pandemic changed that. Our efforts this year have allowed us to renew our commitment to ensemble, being together, and the joy of live performance,” he added.

Auditions were conducted virtually, as were the first weeks of rehearsals. As school reopened to in-person learning after winter break, and the Michigan High School Athletic Association opened up the winter sports season a reassessment of our production process moved us into live rehearsals. All members were masked and socially distanced, and we limited access to the auditorium space to the members of the cast, assistant direct, and director. Students were also grouped into cohorts and rehearsed in separate spaces. Participants made a commitment to limit other activities as a means of reducing risk.

The ULS theater seats 400 people, and a limited number of tickets will be sold for each performance. Tickets will only be sold online. The ticketing software tracks purchasers to assist in contact tracing and will keep groups socially distant automatically.

The air exchange system in the auditorium is the most robust in the school and has been set to “high.” The air in the room is cycled every 45 minutes and is passed through medical-grade filtration. The room will undergo disinfectant fogging each evening after the show. The first four rows of the theater have been left open so that performers are between 12 and 20’ from the first row allowed for seating. Students will also perform the show in masks.

Upon entrance to the building, audience members will be asked the standard COVID protocol questions and must be in masks at all times. After the show, there will be no “meet and greet session with cast and crew” and all members of the audience will be asked to exit the venue.

Mamma Mia! is written by British playwright Catherine Johnson and is based on the songs of ABBA composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, former members of the band. Mamma Mia! is the longest-running Broadway jukebox musical, with almost six thousand performances in its 14-year run. With favorite ABBA hits like “Dancing Queen,” “Super Trouper,” and “Mamma Mia,” Mamma Mia! is the perfect feel-good show.

Tickets are on sale at: