WACT to present 'Mamma Mia' this weekend

By Mandy Underwood

“Mamma Mia!” will be on stage at the Ford Theater at the Honeywell Center throughout the weekend of Sept. 27.

This musical is put on by Wabash Area Community Theater, and features the hit songs of ABBA.

“Mamma Mia!” tells the story of a young woman approaching her wedding day. In anticipation, she invites three men who could possibly be her father. With three possible fathers and three past flames of her mother’s, comes a lot of drama and comedy. 

The performance is directed by Wabash native AJ Morrison.

For the past 10 years, Morrison has lived in Indianapolis working as a performer and an educator. He now lives in Chicago where he does the same thing.

“This is really cool for me to having grown up in this town, having left and worked professionally as a performer, worked in various situations as an educator, and then coming back here and really seeing how integral to the community this organization is,” said Morrison.

“The way it really engages creative designers, the acting talent, the musicians. All these different people just coming together and then the community coming to support it, it’s really awesome.”

Charity Rankin, playing the lead role of Sophie, also is a returning native from Marion.

Rankin was an extra in the hit show “Stranger Things,” and is bringing her talent back to Wabash County.

“This is my second stage production this year, I think,” said Rankin. “I was homeschooled but always loved doing community theatre, and this production has been a great one so far.”

Morrison encourages all people to come and see the production due to its relatable nature.

“(“Mamma Mia!”) is a lot of fun. The music is engaging because people are familiar with ABBA’s music,” he told The Paper.

“The story is relatable for pretty much anybody. There are so many aspects of relationships. And everybody, well maybe not everybody, but most people have this experience where they look back and think about the events as they occurred and what if something would have happened that gave another opportunity. I think that is something that we all can relate to.”

The cast and crew of Mamma Mia are all local residents with a lot of talent, including Clayton Marcum, playing the role of Skye, Sophie’s love interest. Marcum grew up in North Manchester and has participated in community theatre since he was old enough.

“A lot of this production has made me be like, ‘Wow, this is community theatre?” said Marcum.

“From the beginning, the music and the acting and choreography has all really just come together and I think that is awesome. There is a lot of talent right here in Wabash that I don’t think people realize is here,” said Marcum.

Emily Perkins, in the role of Donna, expressed that she was excited to be a part of this production, but that it turned out to be greater than she expected.

“From start to finish, this has been a joy-filled production! I was so excited to get to play Donna and sing through all of these amazing songs that I've known since I was a child. What I wasn't prepared for was the amazing talent of this cast,” she said.

“Sometimes community theatre can be a mixed bag, but this show was cast perfectly and every single one of the leads brings their A game. They're also exceptionally lovely people, which is just the proverbial icing on the cake. I've loved playing off 'the dads, each of whom brings something different to the table, and I haven't had to work hard at all to feel that close bond with Charity, who plays my daughter, and Kelly and Marsha, who play the Dynamos. We've had the most fun.”

Performances will be in the Ford Theatre at the Honeywell Center on Sept. 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m., and Sept. 29 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for youth through high school, and $17 for adults.

Posted on 2019 Sep 24