Musical Mary Poppins seeks dancers, singers, actors

A screenshot from a sing-along Mary Poppins event in Massachusetts. (Photo by Sean Hoyer / Flickr)

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

A local is seeking a nanny, a cockney chimney sweep, and about 30 or 40 other people.

Director Lissa Woodbury Jensen is holding auditions for the Kodiak Arts Council production of Disney’s Mary Poppins, which will debut in March.

She says she’s wanted to do the show for a while now.

“In fact, three years ago I did Tarzan only because the rights to Mary Poppins weren’t available in time for us. Now it turns out that was a good choice and decision because Tarzan was wonderful and everything happens for a reason. So, we knew that I would do Mary Poppins for my next musical.”

Woodbury Jensen says the budget is limited, but they still bring a quality product to the stage.

“I think if you talk to anyone in our theater community here, we do a pretty darn good job for an island out in the middle of nowhere. When we did the Wizard of Oz, people were talking about it in Anchorage and coming over to see it, so we have for some uncanny reason some very professional people on the island. It’s a very artistic community anyway.”

She says she’s able to work with her cast’s strengths and weaknesses, especially considering the small pool of actors, singers, and dancers. Sometimes, people can sing, but can’t dance, or the other way around.

Woodbury Jensen is ready for that.

“I always tell people that I see pictures in my head. One of my strengths as a choreographer is not that I’m the best dance teacher on island. Certainly I’m not. But I have been given [an] ability somewhere to make non-dancers look good, if you will, and large groups of people look good.”

Woodbury Jensen says singing ability and dance skills are not the casting determiner, either. She says charisma and chemistry are also two traits she takes into consideration. Auditions for adults will be Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Gerald C. Wilson Auditorium.

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