Mamma Mia! here Dartmouth High School goes again

Apr 14, 2023

Dartmouth High School students are gearing up for their production of “Mamma Mia!,’’ a musical that will take viewers to Greece for the iconic love story.

The cast knows with such a well-known soundtrack comes a responsibility to uphold its sing-along ability.

“Especially since it’s ABBA and everyone knows and loves ABBA you [need to have] everything down to the tee because it’s so well loved. Everything about the show needs to be perfect basically,” said Haley Cabral, a junior who plays Rosie.

Co-director Denis Lawrence Jr. explained that “Mamma Mia!’’ has been a long time coming for Dartmouth High School.

“We're really excited to be doing “Mamma Mia!’’ We've been trying for a number of years, when we finally got the rights to do it, it had been done too much around here,” said Lawrence. “So now that there's been a lull in productions…we thought that was the time to do it, [and] we had the talent pool to utilize.”

According to Lauren Lima, a senior playing Donna Sheridan, the popularity of the show brought more people to the cast than in her previous three years. “We have a lot of people participating that have never done theater before, especially musical theater, because of it being an ABBA jukebox musical, [that] drew them in.”

The cast rehearses for nine hours a week and spends more time outside of rehearsals memorizing and practicing their lines. The effort clearly comes from a place of passion.

“I love singing, it’s one of my favorite things to do,” said Mason Langlois, a sophomore who plays Sam Carmichael.

The lead role, Sophie, is played by 9th grader Rowan Desautels, who is feeling some jitters for her high school theater debut but is enjoying the process.

“It's my first production here at the high school but everything has been really fun, everyone's really accepting,” said Desautels. “I’ve been singing for a really long time and I've always loved musical theater so I thought it'd be really cool to try out.”

With 32 actors on stage and about 30 more backstage managing sets, the directors hope that anyone feels welcomed to the cast and like they will improve their ability to sing, dance and act regardless of the level they enter at.

“I think everybody is just wonderful to work with, it's been such a pleasure to work with these kids, they're so talented,’’ said Shirley Byers, co-director of the production. “And just the fact that they chose to share their talents with us, I really appreciate their dedication, their talent,,all their efforts. It’s gonna be a great show.’’

The show opens May 4 at 7 p.m. with three more showings: May 5 at 7 p.m. and May 6 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased from Dartmouth High School Theatre Company. Lawrence expects the show to sell out.