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Parents lend a hand as cast of Mary Poppins builds sets

By Garrett Mitchell, Staff Reporter
Published on Saturday, October 31, 2015

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Jamie Dewberry and Andy Wettlin work on refurbishing a donated piano that will be used in Mary Poppins.
 

Garrett Mitchell

Jamie Dewberry and Andy Wettlin work on refurbishing a donated piano that will be used in Mary Poppins.

 



Enlarge photo

Eden Waddell has a role in Mary Poppins and does double time helping with the set.
 

Garrett Mitchell

Eden Waddell has a role in Mary Poppins and does double time helping with the set.

 

As the Greer Children's Theater puts the finishing touches on its rehearsals of Disney and Cameron MacKintosh's Mary Poppins, parents of the cast are also at work alongside their children.

Moms and dads of the GCT's talented actors and actresses have spent nights and weekends helping build the sets, which will be in the show

For the parents, it's a labor of love to work with their kids.

"I think the kids are truly giving it their all," Jessica Chapman said. "I can speak on behalf of my daughter (Laura) that she does not stop until her eyes are completely sunken and she looks like she's completely worn out."

"The children come in with such a good attitude and it's truly like a family. They all pitch in," Chapman said.

Many of the sets for the show are built by hand. Others are donated items, which are repurposed – most notably a piano. It’s one of the many old heirlooms that will find new life in the arts.

"The piano, I think, came from a donation to the city of Greer years ago and it's beyond recovery from a musical standpoint, but to be a prop it would be a great piece," Jamie Dewberry said. He worked to strip old features from the instrument.

"We do a lot of repurposing," Dewberry said. His daughter, Allison, is a cast member.

"There are pieces out here that have been in three and four different plays and all they do is get a new coat of paint,” Dewberry said.

Dewberry said refurbishing old props and donations allows the Greer Cultural Arts Council to keep ticket prices low and give more people an opportunity to experience live theater.

"Ticket prices we try to keep low by recycling as much stuff as we can," Dewberry said.

Robin Byouk, GCA Council Supervisor, said building and repurposing sets puts the GTC apart from other theaters.

"We are a volunteer theater and that's part of what makes us special because everyone who is involved does it because they love the art form," Byouk said.

"We get donations of tools, donations of items that can be used as props, and use them and continue to use them on a regular basis," Dewberry said.

Chapman said you can see the pride in each of the cast members as they build and paint their own sets.

"I really do think they have a sense of pride because they can't really envision it when they see it on a piece of paper, but when they construct it, it's still not a true vision until they start to see the paint separate and it becomes the part that it's meant to be within the play," Chapman said.

"I think that once it's all assembled in the theater they're going to sit there and be in awe of what they were able to create," Chapman said.

"Mary Poppins" performances at the J. Harley Bonds Career Center are Nov. 6-8 and 13-15. Friday and Saturday shows are 7 p.m. and Sunday shows at 2 p.m.

Tickets are adults $15, seniors/students $12, children under 5, $7. Call 864-848-5383 or email here.

 

 

 

 

 

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