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New Heights for NHP Theatre

By Julia Esposito

After almost three months of rehearsals, NHP’s spring musical production of “Mary Poppins” was coming together swiftly. However, there is one element that was implemented just one week before the curtains would rise that truly elevated the show in a way that has never been done before: flying! Through lessons, wire installations and a lot of determination, seniors Ishita Bansal and Andrew Canese, who are playing Mary Poppins and Bert respectively, will soar “Over the Rooftops” this upcoming weekend.

Although they make it look seamless, the stars had to put a lot of trust in the hands of the crew.

“I was a little nervous at first in all honesty. Going upside down for the first time is like a crazy trust exercise with the harness I’m wearing. The whole time I’m just hoping I don’t just slip out!” Canese said.

“We brought in a flying specialist to install the equipment and train our crew. We do daily safety checks of all equipment and harness, and [we] have signals for if we need to stop in the middle of a sequence,” director Mr. Gary Ferrar explained.

Source by Julia Esposito

Ishita Bansal and Andrew Canese "fly" across the stage, embodying their roles as Mary Poppins and Bert.

The iconic image of the original classic film “Mary Poppins” in 1964 is of the magical Julie Andrews soaring into the sky with her flying umbrella. Being able to replicate this live brings the audience further into this whimsical world.

“I think it just makes the show that much more ‘Mary Poppins-y.’ I can’t imagine a version of Mary Poppins where flying isn’t used at some point, so I’m really happy we get to make the show all the more magical using it,” lead Bansal said.

“I think flying is necessary, since Mary is all about achieving the impossible,” Mr. Ferrar said.

Source by Julia Esposito

If flying was not enough, the character Bert also completes flips and somersaults, amongst other aerobatic stunts, all whilst being suspended in the air.

“The aerial tricks I had to learn were a little challenging at first, but I’m really comfortable with them now, and I can’t wait to see how the audience reacts!” Canese said.

“I was skeptical of how the final product would look, and it really exceeded my expectations. I can't wait to share it with audiences,” Mr. Ferrar said.

See the magic yourself and come watch “Mary Poppins” on March 10 or March 11 at 7:00 p.m. and March 12 at 2:00 p.m.


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