Mamma Mia, award winning success

Claire Gelhaus and Roberto Matarazzo

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he D.C. Everest Performing Arts Department and its cast, musicians, and crew has been awarded multiple Jerry Awards, including Outstanding Musical, two Outstanding Leading Performance awards, Outstanding Supporting Performance, and a Spirit Award.

  Sarah Giordano, senior, and sophomore Reagan Kettner each won Outstanding Leading Performance for their roles as Donna and Sophie Sheridan, respectively, and sophomore Max Koepke won Outstanding Supporting Performance as Harry Bright. Senior Miriam Peters was voted by her cast for the Spirit Award.

  This is the first year D.C. Everest has won Outstanding Musical, but they have won various other awards such as Outstanding Ensemble, Outstanding Vocal Direction, Outstanding Scenic Design, Outstanding Sound and Light, Outstanding Costumes, and Outstanding Orchestra.

  “I think winning an Outstanding Musical Award helps the community and other theatre programs throughout the state understand the outstanding quality of programing students receive from the fine arts program at D.C. Everest,” said Mrs. Vesper, Director of Mamma Mia.  “It also allows students that participated in Mamma Mia to be recognized for their outstanding talents!”

  “It felt absolutely incredible, and we all burst into tears when we heard the news,” said Kettner. “Everyone involved in Mamma Mia worked so incredibly hard, and it felt amazing to finally get the recognition that we deserved.”

  The saying “it takes a village” has held true throughout Mamma Mia production, with lighting and sound crew, makeup and design, and all the cast working endlessly behind the scenes.

  “Every single year we have been nominated for best musical, and we’ve never gotten in it, we always worked so hard and finally we did it,” said Giordano.

  Giordano was “overwhelmed and grateful” when she heard the news, and especially as a senior because she was recognized before leaving the performing arts program.

  “Especially this year, I put in a lot of work into my role, and so it felt awesome when I found out about the award,” said Giordano. “I feel amazing because all the hard work that we all did, is paid off.”

  Koepke also remarks on the hard work required, and all the guidance and support he was given from cast mates and directors.

  “We put so many hours into this show to make it as enjoyable as possible, said Koepke.  “Getting this award really just gives us closure that we really did put on a wonderful performance.”

  Mamma Mia will perform again, May 21 at the Grand Theater, and June 9 at the Overture Center in Madison, an event all are anticipating.

  “Mamma Mia has been my favorite show so far because of the music, the choreography, the cast, and I am so excited to be performing again with so many talented individuals,” said Kettner.

  “Catchy tunes and a popular show” along with “fun choreography and awesome costumes” made Mamma Mia a student hit, and a favorite among cast and crew to be remembered by the Performing Arts Department.

  “My favorite part of the Mamma Mia was the amount of friendships I grew and started throughout the show,” said Koepke. “I grew closer to a number of people and that alone made that show worth the time.”

  Giordano and Kettner had the opportunity to audition to be a representative for Wisconsin to compete for a Jimmy award, a national recognition that would take them to New York.