On April 20th and 21st, Staten Island Tech presented a practically perfect production of Disney classic Mary Poppins to an audience of students, alumni, teachers, and family. Whether they were from the cast/ensemble, band, stage crew, tech crew, or studio crew, the students involved in this year’s annual spring musical had been working hard on the show since January.
The cast wowed us with their passionate acting, singing, and dancing. The musical’s story follows the flawed Banks family and the arrival of their new magical nanny. It’s a story about family, being kind, and the whimsicality of life. With everyone speaking in British accents and never missing a beat in their lines, the actors shared the touching story of Mary Poppins. The dancers and choreographers showed impressive skill from the quick gestures of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” to the neat tap dancing in “Step in Time.” The costumes dazzled us; the actors sported Victorian-era wardrobe, shimmering drapes of statues, professional monochrome attire of bankers, eccentric fashion adorned with colorful wigs, and chimney sweeper outfits complete with soot on their faces.
Julianna Torres, who played Mrs. Brill, commented: “Being in spring musical this year was absolutely surreal. The play we put on felt straight out of Mary Poppins’s handbag, and although I never dreamed I’d grow so attached to the show, I can safely say that there’s no show and no cast I’d rather have had the honor of being a part of!”
The band brought even more emotion to the show with their lively melodies. The orchestra pit accompanied the cast, playing songs like, “Chim Chimney,” “A Spoonful of Sugar,” and “Anything Can Happen,” and softly played under some dialogue. Like in a traditional Broadway play, there were several students who played more than one instrument during the show. Maximus Saenz, who played trombone and tuba, shared: “Being a part of band is very rewarding. You are surrounded by so many talented people and you learn so much. Band for spring musical is interesting because of how non-traditional it is; there are harmonicas, recorders, and the brass has many mutes.”
The studio crew recorded the live show, while tech crew provided lighting and spotlighting, operated the microphones and sound system, and controlled special sound and visual effects. Tech crew member Serena Low helped with the iconic shadow projection of Mary Poppins flying with her umbrella and expressed, “There are a lot of different people in tech crew and working with all of them has given me much diverse knowledge. Working in the show made me feel good because I was able to be a part of something bigger than myself that needed a whole lot of cooperation between a whole lot of people.”
The stage crew displayed vibrant backgrounds for the stage and matched the magical character of Mary Poppins. The students showcased various sets, including the Banks home, the children’s room, the kitchen, the park, and a city skyline from a rooftop. They also showcased colorful kites, seemingly infinite space within Mary’s handbag, and self-moving kitchen utensils. Stage crew member Debby Lin commented, “My favorite scene was probably the kitchen scene. Since I was one of the students tasked with moving and turning the giant flies, (whilst trying to do it as quickly and quietly as possible), the 10-to-15-second change was pretty stressful to make. But once the scene began, it was pretty incredible to see. Students literally hid inside tables in order to make it seem as if the pots, pans, bowls, and spoons were moving on their own […] Everything was meant to look effortless, but there was clearly a lot of passion and dedication put into the show. I hope the audience could sense that passion that was present throughout the entire auditorium.”
The cast, orchestra, studio & tech crew, and stage crew made the spring musical a delight to watch! Thank you and congratulations to the production team, the teachers who directed the students, and all who were involved in it. Until next year!