‘Emma, A Pop Musical’ to be performed Mar. 20 and 21 at the Roxy

Friday, March 12, 2021
Cast Of Alta-Aurelia’s Spring Play, “Emma! A Pop Musical” - Emma Woodhouse – Lydia Feis, Harriet Smith – Sierra Hill, Jeff Knightley – Harrison Price, Frankie Churchill – Brennan Shea, Jane Fairfax – Abigail Marcos, Philip Elton – Parker Buckendahl Martin – Matthew Cummins, Ashley – Ellie Kaskey, Miss Bates – Trista Erlandson, Mr. Weston – Ethan Stopczynski, Miss Taylor – Ava Graham, Wedding Officiant - Madlin Wipperling. Welcoming Committee Singers: Joelle Arnts, Lily Buckendahl, Kyla Galvin, Tegan Owens. Highbury Prep Students: Katie Bryant, Sarah Cummins, Piper Graham, Laynie Knecht, Kayla Mongan, Abby Peterson, Lorelei, Schumacher, Jared Stopczynski, Madlin Wipperling. Student Directors: Cass Parks, Nora Boelter. Stage Manager: Tori Gustafson. Stage Director: Carrie Buddenhagen. Music Director: Natalie Bradburn.

Alta-Aurelia High School performers are stepping back into the 1800’s for the spring play, “Emma, A Pop Musical.” Performances are scheduled for March 20 at 7 p.m. and March 21 at 2 p.m. at the Roxy Theatre in Alta. An on-demand performance will be streamed on March 27 and 28.

The musical loosely follows the storyline of Jane Austen’s 1815 novel, but gives it a 21st century twist. Emma Woodhouse, portrayed by Lydia Feis, considers herself to be Highbury Prep’s top matchmaker after she sets up two of her teachers. She tries to set up her best friend Harriet Smith (Sierra Hill), with school president nominee Philip Elton (Parker Buckendahl) and herself up with rockstar Frankie Churchill (Brennan Shea). Meanwhile, the arrival of a new potential student and heiress, Jane Fairfax (Abigail Marcos), stirs up controversy. All in all, Emma’s matchmaking plots go amiss. Harriet ends up with the lunch busboy Martin (Matthew Cummins), and Emma ends up with the power-focused schoolboy Jeff Knightley (Harrison Price).

Within the storyline are pop tunes including Heartbreaker (Pat Benetar); Man, I Feel Like A Woman (Shania Twain); and Roar (Katy Perry).

Carrie Buddenhagen is stage director, Natalie Bradburn music director, Cass Parks and Nora Boelter student directors and Tori Gustafson stage manager.

“Due to COVID concerns, we postponed our usual fall musical to the dates of our spring play,” Buddenhagen said. “We are thrilled to be able to produce a stage production during this year when so many things have been postponed or cancelled.”

“This show has a lot of fun pop music that has something for audience members of all ages! Our cast has had fun rehearsing together and look forward to performing on stage again! In addition to the two in-person performances on March 20 and 21, we will be streaming an on-demand performance on March 27 and 28,” she said.

Reservations for the in-person performances can be made by calling 712-200-1331. Tickets are $5 each and masks are required for audience members. Details for purchasing the streaming tickets are available on the Alta-Aurelia School District website and Alta-Aurelia Warriors Speech and Drama Facebook page.