Mamma Mia! is Sold Out, but why isn’t the school doing anything about it?

Katelyn McGauley

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It’s 8:30 pm on Wednesday, November 7th, and my friend, who is in the musical, just informed me that this year’s musical, Mamma Mia!, has sold out for both nights. Keep in mind that the musical is over a week away and the whole theater has been sold out twice. The question that comes to mind is: Why doesn’t NCDS have a musical that is more than two nights?

First of all, I would like to congratulate all of the cast for selling out, more than a week in advance, the entire theater twice! I am truly in awe of the hours of work everyone in the cast has put in to produce such an amazing production. I am very lucky that I was able to get a ticket, but my heart aches for cast and crew members’ fellow classmates, teachers, and family members who will not be able to watch this year’s production because of the limited amount of performance nights. According to some senior cast members, there was a conversation “months ago” between cast members and the school administration about expanding the number of nights Mamma Mia! was being shown at school. Cast members wanted to add one more night, such as other schools around the area, like Nobles, but the administration said no with two main arguments. The first argument was that another production of the school musical would require the school to be open for a Saturday. However, the school opens for multiple Saturdays throughout the year, including Homecoming, Dance Team Competitions, Sophie’s place, and Saturday AP classes. So, would opening the school for a few more hours on another Saturday really make a difference? The administration’s second argument was on the rights of the show. The school applied for the rights to produce and perform Mamma Mia! for two nights, and in order to get a third, the school would have to reapply. The process could take thousands of dollars and could be time-intensive. Personally, I believe this is an understandable reason for not having a third night if this issue surfaced only a few nights before the production. But the school was given, from what I understand, at least one month to reapply for another night because musical cast members knew how popular the Musical would be. 

After thinking about a solution to the problem, I have come to the conclusion that instead of doing a completely new day for a performance, the school should consider doing two performances on one night. One could start at 3:30, and the other at 7:00. That way, there could be another performance without having to get the rights for the production for another day. 

There is also a financial incentive for the school to have the musical run for one more night. Tickets are $5 and there are approximately 250 seats in the theater, so the school would make approximately $1250 for one extra night! Also, keep in mind, that would be on top of the $2500 the school is already making from the other two sold-out nights, so the grand total would be $3750, which can be used towards the growing theater program. 

Finally, the cast and crew have worked tirelessly for 3 months to only perform for two nights, which seems extremely disappointing. Sports teams have multiple games that people can come and support, including Homecoming for fall sports, but the musical, although cast members put in the same amount of time, is only two nights. In my opinion, it just seems unfair. 

As of Thursday, November 8th the school has found 30 more tickets that are only open to parents of the cast who were not able to buy tickets online, but unfortunately they will be in the front row, or standing in the back and in the balconies, which is not the best place to view the musical. So, although they will be able to view the musical, it may be hard to see all the details. For students that were not able to secure a ticket, the complete dress rehearsal on Tuesday will be at 5:00 in the theater, but keep in mind this is not an actual production. All of this makes me think, what can the school do in the future to respond to its growing theater program?