The Show Must Go On


Annika Hardy, Staff Writer/Production Team Member

Due to the catastrophic impact of COVID-19, Carolina Forest High School’s production of “Mamma Mia!” has been postponed until further notice. Seniors are left feeling heartbroken and disappointed. Yet, the students continue to pray for a miracle. 

Becky Bannon, who is one of the musical directors, comments, “As you can imagine, we all are extremely disappointed.  I realize that this pandemic has resulted in more devastating misfortunes than postponing or even canceling, a musical. I certainly sympathize with those dealing with physical, emotional, and financial woes.”

Senior Tyler Newall feels devastated about the potential cancellation of Mamma Mia! However, he looks forward to the future. Newall plans to major in Special Education at Coastal Carolina University next year.

Newall states, “In Mamma Mia!,” I am in the ensemble. We practiced for six hours on Monday, Tuesdays, and Thursdays and 2.5 hours on Wednesdays and Fridays! So, in total, about 26 hours for the whole week! During this hiatus, I have continued to look over my music and choreography. If this show is canceled, I will be devastated because we have put so much effort into this show. Plus, it is some of the seniors’ last musical we will ever do; it would be very gut-wrenching.”

Senior Leigha Schaefer is excited about her role as Donna Sheridan in the musical and extremely disappointed that the coronavirus is affecting the show. Yet, she remains optimistic and plans to major in the musical theater program at Anderson University this fall.   

 Schaefer addresses, “During quarantine, I have continued to sing the songs and read over Donna’s lines. If the show is canceled, I will be devastated. With this being my first lead role, I would be so upset. It has been a dream of mine to get a lead role in a high school musical. This year, it came true! I am hoping that the musical does not get canceled.”

Senior Hannah Mullen was cast as Ali in the musical. Mullen is a dedicated student, and she plans to major in Early Childhood Education in college this fall.

Mullen reveals, “If the show is canceled, I will definitely be sad because it has brought all of us closer together.”

Senior Maggie Race is a high-achieving student and plans to perform on Broadway in the future.

Race states, “I play Sophie in Mamma Mia!, I have been practicing on my own since we have been out of school. It has not been the easiest without anyone to practice with, but I am doing it! The amount of work this cast and crew have put into the show is incredible. For us to lose the chance to perform, especially since we were a week away from performances before we started quarantine, would be heartbreaking.”

Ms. Bannon adds, “We held open auditions for Mamma Mia! before the Christmas holiday, We started rehearsals in early January and rehearsed every day after school through Friday, the 13th of March. That truly was an unlucky day for the cast and crew because schools were closed before our next scheduled rehearsal.  I have worked on every single Carolina Forest show since the school opened 24 years ago. They were all wonderful, and they had something memorable—the gorgeous huge chandelier rising over the audience in Phantom of the Opera was certainly the most remarkable—but the show I will remember most fondly is Mamma Mia! I will always have a special admiration and affection for this cast and crew, especially the seniors. I know how much they love theater and how much they were looking forward to bringing such a fun show to our nine sold-out audiences. My heart aches for all of them.”