BATAVIA – Drawing on the hits of ABBA, the jukebox musical “Mamma Mia!” will be performed by a 45-member cast of Batavia High School students and seven band members at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7 to 9 at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre.
The story revolves around a wedding on a Greek island, to which the bride, Sophie, has invited her three possible fathers.
Sophie will discover what she really wants and her independent mother, Donna, will rediscover her youth, a news release stated.
Rehearsals overlapped the recent International Day of the Girl, which highlights the challenges girls face, while promoting their empowerment and human rights.
The Batavia High School Drama program explored the day’s significance with the cast members of a show it views as shining a light on the full potential of girls and women.
“During rehearsals, the cast [members] not only recite lines and practice choreography, they have deep discussions led by director Dominic Cattero on how the [late 1990s] time period of the show affects women and their relationships with men, families and each other,” the release stated.
Maisie Sweeney, who plays Donna, said she finds the musical to be all about how women treat each other.
“There are choices for these characters to make: Are they going to build each other up, or tear each other down? … Donna and Sophie face difficulties in respecting each other’s life choices, and it is only when they reach an understanding [that] they each feel empowered enough to confidently make some pretty big decisions for themselves,” Sweeney stated in the release.
“Day of the Girl is all about encouraging women to be unapologetic about who they are; the way we get there is by validating and supporting each other’s choices, even if they are different from our own,” she said.
Sophie Chahmirzadi, who plays the role of Rosie, recognizes the show’s emphasis on sisterhood.
“Women face so many barriers, biases and challenges, and ‘Mamma Mia!’ demonstrates these areas and shows how girls can come together and overpower what challenges them,” Chahmirzadi stated in the release.
“Throughout the process of this show, I have grown to find my voice as an artist and power as a woman to make a change.”
The performers include freshmen Abe Alley, Miranda Balok, Rachel Blahnik, TJ Borre, Gemma Cohen, Ashlyn Garrity, Ronni Gustin, Chloe Nelson, Clara Patterson and Alana Plourde; sophomores Addie Bloom, Lorelai Burke, Ally Cooper, Claire Dean, Timothy Gustin, Will Lambert, Anna Laurich, Desert McGarr, Emma Myers, Kayla Giesen, Zoe Weeks and Kohl Winkle; juniors Anthony Barranco, Sofia Bellafiore, Mackenzie Benkers, Ella Canniff, Vivien Cohen, Tom Hougen, Ava Little, Venessa Plourde, Matthew Siekierski, Serafina Tassi, Anika Thoresen; and seniors George Aigner, Sophie Chahmirzadi, Bella Clarey, Hannah Curran, Parker Fletcher, Gwen Heidank, Landon Keller, Morgan O’Brien, Maisie Sweeney and Jeremiah Young.
The BHS musicians are sophomores Joe Caltagirone and Tristan Carroccia; juniors Ben Avila, Grant Hibbeler and Sarah Schroeder; and seniors Mia Chahmirzadi and Aidan Perrault.