New Albany High drama department takes home big win

The drama department's rendition of "Mary Poppins" wins at the Orpheum High School Musical Theatre Awards

NEW ALBANY, Miss. (WCBI) – The final performance of Mary Poppins by the New Albany High School Theatre Department produced five awards at the Orpheum High School Musical Theatre Awards.

The cast and crew won awards for Outstanding Large Ensemble, Outstanding Dance Execution, The Bravo Award for Canaan Tyer, Outstanding Music Direction, and Outstanding Overall Production.

“It is very difficult to meet expectations of Mary Poppins so we ask students to make characters something different, to put themselves inside the characters,” said Mary Beth Muncie.

Muncie and her brother, Phillip Nanney oversee the theatre department.

“Following in the footsteps of our mother and father, Phil and Sylvia Nanney, who took the helm of the theatre department about 27 years ago, transitioning it from what was a senior project to now a school musical,” Nanney said.

This year’s Musical was “Mary Poppins.” More than 80 students took part either on stage or behind the scenes. The performances in Februrary were sold out, and then the students learned they were nominated for fifteen awards for the Orpheum Awards.

Drama students say the recognition is proof great leaders and hard work pays off.

“It taught me that if we put our mind to something, we can do it, we had snow days we had to make the decision to dig in even harder than we were, in the end it paid off because when you saw us up there spelling, supercal, it was no easy thing because it was a lot of zoom rehearsals and choreographers watching everyone’s computer,” said Alexis Pittman, who played “Mrs. Cory.”

“At New Albany it is more than just doing programs, you become like a family,” said Cade Pipkin, who played “Bert.”

“It pushes you out of your comfort zone, has to stand up in front of friends, and other strangers. The people I meet in this theatre department are people I have opportunity to get to know and love because of this program,” said Annsley Coleman, who played “Mary Poppins.”

Those strong ties will carry over to next school year as the theatre department builds on the momentum from its big win.

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