Student Story: MAMMA MIA! Schalick’s Musical Is Back Again

By: Tayla Evans, A.P. Schalick High School

Schalick High School’s Theatre Academy students rehears a dance number for their upcoming show, MAMMA MIA! Photo credit: Schalick High School.

PITTSGROVE, N.J. – Nearly two years have passed since they’ve had a live musical performance, but MAMMA MIA! is coming to Schalick’s stage this month. 

It’s been a long time coming, and everyone involved with the production is ecstatic to be performing once again. They will dance, and they will jive, and most importantly, seeing this show will be the time of your life! 

The musical, for those who don’t know, follows Donna and Sophie Sheridan. Sophie is getting married to the love of her life, Sky. Donna owns and manages a hotel on an island in Greece, where she and Sophie live. But, there’s just one problem: Sophie doesn’t know who her dad is. Entertaining three possible options, she invites all three men (Sam, Bill, and Harry) to come to her wedding. Donna, who wasn’t aware of this nor does she know which one is the father, struggles with her past and tries to figure out her future with her two best friends, Rosie and Tanya. A barrel of laughs and filled to the brim with ABBA songs, MAMMA MIA! is sure to entertain and delight. 

Schalick Theatre Academy students running lines in preparation for their production of MAMMA MIA!

Andrea Ellis, who plays Donna Sheridan, had this to say about her excitement over the upcoming show: “The thing I am looking forward to the most is getting to perform this show with a super talented cast in front of an audience who will really enjoy it. Who doesn’t love ABBA or the Mamma Mia movie?” 

That much is true: the 2008 hit film has been a staple to many musical fans around the world. Not to mention, ABBA’s success as a pop band has influenced many. The cast and crew are elated to be able to perform. The musical is tons of fun, as Sam DeCou, who plays Sam Carmicheal, said, “I’m so excited to be a part of MAMMA MIA! because it will be the first musical at Schalick in almost two years! Being a part of such an iconic and fun show, and doing it all together with some of my closest friends is awesome! The music is great, the dancing is great, it’s just so much fun, really.” 

As revealed by Sam DeCou, dancing is an important aspect of the show. With this, Hope Campbell (a senior who plays Tanya) was given the role of student Choreographer, working with Ms. Kelly, the musical’s choreographer. The pair have collectively choreographed fun and funky dances, which are a sight to behold. When approached about her role, Hope said “I’m so excited to be given the title of student choreographer! With this opportunity, I was able to express my thoughts and creativity through these pieces. I’m just very excited for the audience to see what I came up with, and to see the story in each piece.” 

Students work on the set for Schalick High School’s production of MAMMA MIA!

Additionally, along with every great musical, there comes the music. Jack Darischuk, whose role is Bill Austin, was named Student Music Director. “I think I look forward the most to helping people ‘understand’ their music. It feels great that I can be trusted as a person to turn to when they’re confused about a part,” Jack said when asked about his position. The music aspect of each production can always be difficult to get through, but with MAMMA MIA!’s impressive musical score, a helping hand such as Jack’s is appreciated by the cast and Music Director alike. 

For so many students, this is the first show they’ve been a part of in a long time. The excitement over the show is palpable, and obvious in every rehearsal they go through. Sophia Kopreski said, “This show is very important to us seniors; it’s our last chance to perform on the Schalick stage.” Sophia has the role of Sophie, and the commitment of not only her and the other seniors of the show, but every cast and crew member, is evident in their love for the show. 

Mrs. Caitlin Hughes, Theatre Academy teacher and director of the musical said, “I am unbelievably proud of the students involved in this production. They didn’t get to have a show last year, but this year they were ready to meet this show head on. Not every school is doing a full musical, let alone daring to conquer ABBA. Live theatre is back and I can’t wait for the audience to dance in their seats and watch the students shine!” 

The love poured into this project by everyone involved is an incredible vision to witness. The performance by each cast member is brilliant to witness, and the crew members’ dedication is wonderful. Stage Manager Alyssa Camardo and Assistant Stage Manager Ryan Stanahan are present for every rehearsal and are sure to help in any way possible. 

To see the expert dances, beautiful singing, and most importantly, the hard work put in by everyone, you can come to see the show on February 24th, 25th, and 26th at 7:00 p.m.. Be sure to check out Schalick Theatre Academy’s Instagram for updates: @schalicktheatre. Come and enjoy the show; tickets are on sale now at

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