Miami East High School presenting ‘Mamma Mia!’


By Sam Wildow

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CASSTOWN — Miami East High School (MEHS) will be transporting audiences to the islands of Greece this week with their musical performance of “Mamma Mia!”

On a small Greek island, Sophie — performed by Adilyn Richter — dreams of a perfect wedding, which includes her father giving her away. The problem? Sophie doesn’t know who he is! Her mother Donna — performed by Amelia Schwartz — is the former lead singer of the 1970s pop group Donna and the Dynamos, and she refuses to talk about the past, so Sophie decides to take matters into her own hands. Sneaking a peek in her mother’s old diaries, she discovers three possible fathers: Sam, Bill, and Harry. She secretly invites all three to the wedding, convinced that she’ll know her father when she sees him. But when all three turn up, it may not be as clear as she thought. Told through the legendary music of ABBA, “Mamma Mia!” has become a worldwide sensation that has audiences everywhere dancing.

Performances will be held on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, March 18-20. Performances on Friday and Saturday will be at 7 p.m. with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. On Sunday, the performance will be held at 2 p.m. with doors opening at 1:30 p.m.

All seats are reserved seating this year. Tickets are $10 and available at the MEHS office or at the door beginning one hour before the performance.

Kristy Hurst, intervention specialist and director of Miami East’s musical “Mamma Mia!” said the students in the musical began rehearsals immediately after welcoming the new year. Students have since kept up a tight schedule of rehearsing several nights a week and on weekends.

“These kids are champs; they are not only amazing singers and dancers but athletes, class leaders, and scholars,” Hurst said.

The musical cast and volunteers are currently putting in the final touches before performances start Friday, and Hurst said they are seeing the production come together.

“The students have been fantastic!” Hurst said. “We have had our fair share of obstacles this season, but they have shown such perseverance and grace through all of it. We have a strong mix of stage veterans and newcomers this year, so it’s been fun watching them interact and grow this into a true show. This week especially when all the pieces — costumes, sets, orchestra, lighting — come together, their energy just changes. They can finally see the bigger picture.”

Hurst also commended the adult helpers for the show, including Music Director Ken DeWeese and their choreographer, Angelique LeMaster.

“Our Music Director, Ken DeWeese, is amazing — he’s basically learned to be a one-man band for this production,” Hurst said. “And our choreographer, Angelique LeMaster, is also a full-time college student, so the work that everyone has put in has just been really unbelievable.”

This year, MEHS’s musical performance will also be a comeback following the COVID-19 pandemic. Hurst explained, in 2020, the production was shut down during tech week. The juniors and seniors in the musical did not get to see their hard work come to fruition that year as the show was stopped seven days prior to opening.

In 2021, the school put on a small musical with a limited live audience, so Hurst said that being able to return to its large, original format this year has been a joy for the students, as well as “really lit a fire in us to put on a fun and engaging performance for our community.”

“We hope that the audience comes to have fun,” Hurst said. “We want them to remember how great the arts, especially by young artists, can be. A jukebox musical is great for a ‘comeback’ production because the songs are catchy and well known. So we are really just looking forward to being able to entertain them.”

The cast list for the MEHS’s production of “Mamma Mia!” includes: Adilyn Richter is Sophie Sheridan; Faith Thomas is Ali; Olivia Latchney is Lisa; Amelia Schwartz is Donna Sheridan; Jasmyn Maingi is Tanya; Kayly Fetters is Rosie; Vincent Crane is Sky; Kyle Rowley is Pepper; Hayden Dennis is Eddie; Jacob Riley is Harry Bright; Evan Massie is Bill Austin; Tristan Rowley is Sam Carmichael; Kierstin Thomas is Minister Alexandrious; dance captains include Sunnee Hazel, Jenna LeBlanc, Sophie Mitchell, Jocelyn Motter, and Ellen Vallery; and the company includes Candice Bevan, Lilli Forsythe, Maryn Gross, Chloe Gump, Sunnee Hazel, Jenna LeBlanc, Sophie Mitchell, Jocelyn Motter, Lilly Slone, Emma Sutherly, Celia Thomas, Kierstin Thomas, and Ellen Vallery.

MEHS is located at 3925 North State Route 589 in Casstown and can be contacted at (937) 335-7070. For more information, visit

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