Mary Poppins floats into the Ren on August 1

MANSFIELD, OHIO. The beloved Disney classic film and hit Broadway musical Mary Poppins will be presented as the first event of the 2015-2016 Richland Bank Broadway Series and the 2015-2016 Renaissance Season. Based on the Mary Poppins series of books by P. L. Travers and the 1964 Disney film featuring Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke, Mary Poppins is a magical English nanny who is blown by the wind to the household of Jane and Michael Banks, children of a stuffy English banker and a distracted suffragette mother. Mary Poppins takes the children on a flurry of magical adventures whilst working to unite the dysfunctional family.

The musical is an amalgamation of both the Travers books and the film, including some elements from the books that had been omitted from the film. Cameron Mackintosh originally produced the musical in 2004 in the West End, and ran for 2,619 performances on Broadway from 2006 through 2013. The West End production received two Olivier Awards, and the Broadway production received seven Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, winning for Best Scenic Design.

Directed by Renaissance Artistic Director Michael Thomas, performances begin Saturday, August 1 at 8PM and continue Sunday, August 2 at 2:30 PM, Friday, August 7, Saturday, August 8 at 8 PM and Sunday, August 9 at 2:30 PM. Tickets range from $27 to $34 and are on sale at the Renaissance Box Office, via phone at (419) 522-2726, and online at The Renaissance Theatre’s $15 ticket offer is available for this event. These seats, located in the back row of the balcony and limited to 50 seats, must be purchased in person only, beginning two hours prior to the performance at the Renaissance Box Office, cash preferred. Mary Poppins is part of the Richland Bank Broadway Series, sponsored by Dr. Scott Foster, Joint Replacement Specialist for Avita Health System, Miller’s Diamond Jewelry, Rand and Mary Smith, with support from the Ohio Arts Council.

Mansfield-native Brianna Barnes, who is currently enrolled in the Musical Theatre undergraduate program at the prestigious Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, will perform the role of Mary Poppins. Barnes appeared previously on the Renaissance stage as Eponine in the 2013 production of Les Miserables and as Brooke Wyndham in the 2012 production of Legally Blonde.

Stephen Joshua Thompson, a Mansfield-native who is preparing for a move from New York City to Los Angeles to pursue a film career, will assume the role of the loveable street musician, artist, and chimney sweep Bert, portrayed by Dick van Dyke in the 1964 Disney film. Thompson was last seen on the Renaissance stage as Marius in the 2013 production of Les Miserables.

Along with an engaging score and brilliant choreography Mary Poppins, like last season’s production of Peter Pan, will feature flying effects and other theatrical magic effects as part of the staging. There was an overwhelming excitement from audience members following the 2014 production of Peter Pan in response to the flying effects, as it is a rare spectacle for our region’s audiences.

The regional cast features Alisha Anable, Katie Bahn, Blake Barnes, Brianna Barnes, Tucker Boggs, Naji Brooks, ESaelyn Cameron, Madelyn Carter, Patrick Clinage, Keaton Durbin, Dirk Eachus, Jennifer Eachus, Nathaniel Eachus, Nicholas Eachus, Danny Fain, Susan Fain, Gage Goodwin, Madeline Gray, Amy Gardner, Bob Gardner, Justice Gardner, Kera Gardner, Sydney Genter, David Harmon, Katie Harrigan, Christopher Hartman, Megan Hayes, Abilgail Heininger, Carol Heininger, Marie Heininger, Sarah Heininger, Marilyn Hunter, Seth Jerabek, Cassandra Kurek, Daniel Kurek, Thomas Kurek, Louie Kurtzman, Kristal Lawrence, Ellie Mayer, Kathryn Moir, Caleb Naugle, Ellie Nikoli, Hannah Oberlin, Pam Phillips, Braylon Pietro, Anna Scheurer, Emily Stack, McKenna Stoffer, Deon Taylor, Stephen Joshua Thompson, Katrina Tibbs, Thomas Tate, Alex Tate, Caleb Tate, Bill Waldron, Condrea Webber, and Jacque Workman.