Mary Poppins- An Actress Experience

Abigail Calabrese, Staff Writer

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Friday, February 5th, was the opening night of Mary Poppins. There were three performances: one on Friday, and two on Saturday. This show was a lot of fun for both the audience and the performers, with upbeat and exciting songs like Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, Jolly Holiday, and Step In Time. You may think that the stage version of Mary Poppins is all happy songs and plots, but unlike the movie, there is the introduction of a villain- Miss Andrew.

I played the part of Miss Andrew, the evil nanny who replaces Mary Poppins when she leaves without notice. She is nasty and cold-hearted, threatening to feed the impudent Banks children a medicine called “Brimstone and Treacle” (Sulfur and Molasses). When she first arrives, she sings a song about how her Brimstone and Treacle will work in getting the spoiled Jane and Michael to behave. But, sure enough, Mary Poppins makes her big return in Brimstone and Treacle Part 2, in which the two nannies- good vs evil- sing in an epic nanny battle. Mary Poppins uses her magical powers to force Miss Andrew to drink the entire bottle of the Brimstone and Treacle, causing her to become weak, and finally forcing her out of 17 Cherry Tree Lane…never to return.

In last year’s musical, Willy Wonka, I played the part of Charlie Bucket, who is humble and good hearted. This year, I performed in my first ever villain role, Miss Andrew, who is offensive and abusive. It was such a drastic contrast to go from the hero to the bad guy this year, and it was a fun challenge to act from a totally different perspective.  I found it more difficult to channel negative energy on the stage than to channel positive energy- a villain is so out there and always has to keep everyone on his/her toes. Getting down the evil facial expressions takes a lot of practice, too! Unlike the humble hero, the villain must have a presence about him/herself that fills up the stage as much as possible.

Playing the part of Miss Andrew has given me the opportunity to see through the eyes of the villain, and made me realize that it’s not only the hero who has all the fun!

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Mary Poppins- An Actress Experience