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Antics & Action from behind the Mamma Mia! scenes in Prince Rupert

Talented North Coast cast & crew highlight musical fun stage production April 20-22

More than 70 community members are working countless hours as crew and cast volunteering for the first Prince Rupert community musical in five years to be held at the Lester Centre on April 20,21,22.

Rehearsals for the stage production of Mamma Mia!, come to end on April 18, followed by a day off for participants before the big opening night. The production featuring 1970s music sensation ABBA, is set to delight audiences with local North Coast talent acting, singing and dancing on stage for three nights only.

But, the accomplishment of such a feat would not be possible without the dedication and skill of musicians, technical support, set construction and backstage organization.

“The jobs that people do that are not seen is absolutely essential to ensuring the production is the highest quality of enjoyment,” Chris Armstrong, general manager of the Lester Centre said.

Alison O’Toole, director of Mama Mia! said rehearsals for the band started in January under the musical direction of Kristy Tillman with the musicians meeting once a week. However, as things ramped up they met on their own time outside of the scheduled practices to make sure all the music was perfect.

The phenomenal set was designed by Dwain Harrison, who is the technical director of the production as well as of the performing arts centre.

Armstrong said he could not count the hours put into the design and building of the set.

“Most of his days were spent on the construction and getting material with five or six regular helpers. The set was then decorated by very talented crew members,” the theatre manager said.

No small feat, the set was built and taken apart multiple times throughout the past months to allow for other Lester Centre performances. Each nail and screw in the massive two-story wooden structure has been secured by the adeptness of Harrison’s team of community volunteers, who will have audiences transported to a landscape across the globe.

Armstrong pointed out that the play is a “springtime” play well suited for the current here and now that audiences can get lost in for an evening of entertainment.

“If not for these people a production like this couldn’t be enjoyed. We’re so grateful to the members of the set design, those working backstage and the musicians,” Armstrong said. “There are no small roles in any production and they exemplify that.”

Tickets for the musical production are available at or Cooks Jewellers.

K-J Millar | Editor and Multimedia Journalist
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