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Oakbrook Elementary Brings a Family Favorite to the Stage with Mary Poppins, Jr!
Oakbrook Elementary Brings a Family Favorite to the Stage with Mary Poppins, Jr!
Posted on 04/11/2019
Students performing

The Oakbrook Elementary tradition of putting on large scale musicals continued with Mary Poppins, Jr.  This is the 12th production the school has put on, lead by music teacher, Mr. Christopher Smith.  Some previous productions have included:  Seussical the Musical, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid and Annie.

Mary Poppins, played by 5th grader Tessa Bishop, is the timeless tale of a magical nanny who to comes to help out the Banks family.  The children, Jane (5th grader Aliyah Gorski) and Michael (6th grader O'neal Youno) are reluctant at first, but eventually learn the lessons that Mary teaches.  Poppins receives help from her friend, Bert,(6th grader McKenzie Johnson) who acts as a sort of narrator throughout the story. 

The 65 members of the cast and crew put on an amazing production.  They are responsible for learning lines, choreography and blocking on-stage and moving props, set pieces and running music off-stage.  We had help from the Stevenson Drama Department, lead by Mrs. Cheryl Jackson.  These high school students put microphones on the cast members, paint the backdrops and apply make-up on everyone on stage.  Many of the high schoolers are Oakbrook alumni, who are now so excited to be giving back!

“We were able to bring in a choreographer this year,” said Smith.  “Ms. Meg Brokenshire choreographed the song 'Step in Time' and I was so thankful for her help.  I am not a dancer so it was wonderful to have a real dancer come in to help.  We were even able to include a tap sequence with a few of our talented dancers.”  The production turns into quite the family affair for Smith.  “My mom spends many hours sewing the costumes.  She even recruited one of my aunts to help out, as well!”

Smith stated that he is always to impressed with the hard work the cast members are willing to put in to make the production a success.  “We work together as a team to make everything come together.  I'm always in awe of what a group of 10 – 12 year old students can do when they work together.”