For Heidi Engerman, preparing for Badger High School’s upcoming fall musical has been a journey.
Engerman, 17, a senior, and 44 other performing art students are presenting “Mamma Mia,” a musical comedy about a woman named “Sophia” who tries to find out her father’s identity before her wedding day.
“It pretty much follows the same plot line as the movie,” director Andrew Stoltenberg said.
The shows are scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 8, 9 and 10 in school auditorium, 220 E. South St., Lake Geneva.
The cast for the musical was selected in May, and rehearsals began in August. During the past few months, Engerman and the other cast members have been working on becoming familiar with their lines, songs and dance numbers.
“Everything is coming together, and that energy is fusing throughout the entire show,” Engerman said. “Every single moment is connecting to the next.”
Other cast members are equally enthused about the bringing the production to life.
Arturo Aranda, 18, also a senior, said he has enjoyed being involved with the production and working with what he calls a high-energy cast.
“Everyone is always hyping each other up,” Aranda said. “Everyone is cheering each other on.”
Sophomore Anthony Mannion said he is impressed with how the cast has worked to familiarize themselves with their roles during the past few months of rehearsals.
“When we started in August, we definitely needed a lot of work with the singing and dancing,” Mannion, 16, said. “I think putting it all together, it’s come along really nicely with the songs and dances.”
Stoltenberg said preparing for a musical can be more time intensive than preparing for other types of productions. He said the students have been rehearsing for about three hours after school during the past few weeks.
“Directing a musical is like turning an aircraft around,” Stoltenberg said. “It’s a slow process. Each part has to happen independently, then you got to put it all together, and that’s tricky.”
Stoltenberg said, besides the story, audience members will enjoy the music, which includes several ABBA hits such as “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance on Me,” “Slipping Through My Fingers” and, of course, “Mamma Mia.”
“It’s going to be a community show,” Stoltenberg said. “I think a lot of people are going to have fun with it.”
The cast members have a wide range of experience. Some of the actors have performed in several productions, while others are taking the stage for the first time.
Stoltenberg said being involved with the show should be an enjoyable experience for the students.
“They will have fun with the crowd,” he said. “I hope they enjoy and remember the experience of starting and working hard and having long days and having good days and tough days, then finding the energy at the end.”
Engerman has been performing in school productions since her freshman year. Some of the shows that she has been involved with include “All Shook Up,” “Once Upon a Mattress” and “Passengers.”
During her junior year, Engerman studied at a performing arts school in Boston, where she had an opportunity to enhance her acting skills, as well as learn about theater production.
Engerman plans to pursue a career in acting and study theater and marketing at Northwestern University after graduating high school. This year, she has used her experience to mentor some of the younger student actors.
“As seniors, we have to be leaders, and that’s what I was excited for this year,” she said.
Aranda has been performing at Badger since his junior year. He auditioned for a part in “The Anatomy of Grey” during his sophomore year, but was not selected.
“I didn’t really let that stop me,” he said. “I kept on going.”