SCP, AC team up to bring "Mamma Mia" to stage this month

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Choreographer Carissa Thompson, middle, AC student Lilly Boessen, left, and lead actress Pam Sanza, right, answered questions about roles in Sherman Community Player's production of "Momma Mia."

The toe tapping story of a mother, a daughter and three possible dads comes will be headed to a Texoma theater through a partnership between the Sherman Community Players and Austin College.

Unlike other productions SCP has done through out the pandemic, "Momma Mia" will not be streamed live. It will be an in-person show only and people will be asked to wear a mask while in the theater.

Theater goers can catch this production of the world-wide sensation June 4-27 at the theater inside the Ida Green Communications Center on the Austin College campus, 1201 E. Brockett, Sherman.

"In 2001 when Broadway had to close because of 911, (Momma Mia) was the first show that opened Broadway back up. It was a show of joy and celebration and we wanted to bring that into Grayson County especially during this hard time of this past year during the pandemic. We wanted to provide Grayson County with an opportunity to celebrate, " said Sherman Community Players Artistic Director Josh Harris, who is directing this performance.

his brightly painted set will welcome those who see SCP's production of "Momma Mia" to take a trip to the islands with Choreographer Carissa Thompson, left, lead actress Pam Sanza, middle, and Austin College student and cast member Lilly Boessen.

Additionally, they wanted to partner with AC to give students and staff at the college the opportunity to be in a community show and they wanted provide a show that welcome patrons back to the theater in person and allow them to see the newly renovated theater space at the Sally Jim Nation theater. 

And lastly, they wanted to do the play at AC because it has enough space to provide for social distancing.

The play features Austin College students, faculty and staff as well as community members. 

SCP Director Josh Harris, right, sits on the set of the theater's summer production "Momma Mia" this week with choreographer Carissa Thompson, middle, lead actress Pam Sanza and Austin College student and cast member Lilly Boessen at the Ida Green Theater at Austin College.

He said it is "a great feeling" to offering such an experience in person again. 

"It feels like the arts are alive again," he said, even though SCP offered some in person opportunities to see productions during the pandemic. 

"We have not had the ability to sell like we normally do because of our restrictions," he said. "So they fact that we get to come into this space at Austin College and really provide a quality piece of community theater, we are super excited and can't wait."

According to information provided on Austin College's website, the upgrades to the theater include," not only upgraded and aesthetic seating but modernized theatrical lighting and controls, new curtains and rigging, a new sound system and speakers, and a laser projector and retractable screen for presentations, movies, and visual effects." 

The improvements were made with a $2 million gift from trustee Sally Nation who graduated from AC in 1964 and her husband, Jim, of Dallas. 

Tickets may be purchased from from SCPtheater.com or by calling the Sherman Community Players box office at 903-892-8818.