Stepping In Time At Draper Historic Theatre
May 15, 2015 03:04PM
● By Erin Dixon
A few of the many people dedicated to Mary Poppins: Liz Haight (stage manager), Jeff Erickson (playing the role of Bert) and Lorrinda Christensen (set builder).
Jeff Erickson lives in Kaysville and works for Zions Bank as a project manager. Andrea Byron lives in downtown Salt Lake and works for HP as a sales analyst. What do they have to do with Draper City? “Mary Poppins.”
In April, the Draper Historic Theatre “stepped in time” to “Mary Poppins.” This beloved story came to a life in a big way on a small stage. The show ran 12 nights, two more nights than originally planned because shows began selling out.
Erickson and Byron took the lead roles, Bert and Mary respectively. These two may lead ordinary lives during the day, but their nights are frequently filled with singing and dancing on stage. Byron has been in productions since she was 16, though this is her first chance at the spotlight. During the break between Saturday’s double performance, she said,“[Mary] is a pretty neat role to have as my first lead. I’ve loved it.”
Erickson has only been performing for the past two years, but his love for the stage is just as strong. He said, “I’ve always liked musical theatre, it’s been an enjoyable thing as an audience member. When I was really young I would go with my mom to shows all the time, and I’d always sit in the audience and pick someone that I would want to be. Ever since I started [acting] I picked out my top 10 roles that I wanted to do and Bert was on there, so I wanted to come and audition. It’s been a great experience.”
The cast and crew totaled over 40 members: 36 people on stage and 10 crewmembers. They rehearsed for three months - up to 30 hours each week - prior to opening. For most people, like Erickson and Byron, that time was in addition to their full-time employment. Liz Haight, the stage manager for the show said, “[This] is a big show in such a small space. It’s been a lot of work, but they pulled it together wonderfully.” Some days, the behind-the-scenes crew worked for hours after rehearsals finished. “After five-hour rehearsals the production team would stay for hours afterwards, up until three in the morning to get the show ready.” Their hard work was well rewarded by the community. One audience member was so excited to see the show she dressed as Mary Poppins herself to celebrate.
“Mary Poppins” was directed by Jake Anderson.
Draper Historic Theatre is located on 12366 South 900 East. Their website and information about future shows can be found at www.drapertheatre.org.