‘Mary Poppins Jr.’
WEBSTER CITY — The backstage rooms of the Webster City Community Theatre are a chaotic noisy place to be on rehearsal night as the cast of its production of “Mary Poppins Jr.” prepares to run through the musical.
Some are looking for parts of their costume.
Some are trying to decide on whether white socks or argyle socks will be best.
A few are sitting in the front rows waiting for everyone else.
Somehow, Director Loween Getter manages to be a calm island in the middle of the storm in spite of few young actors getting into costume in the wrong room.
“Do not dress in the bathrooms,” she said. “The bathrooms are for bathrooming.”
There are 24 members of the show’s cast, all under 18. Grades range from fourth to seniors in high school.
“I cast everyone that tried out,” she said proudly.
“Mary Poppins Jr.” is the 31st show that Getter has directed at the Webster City Community Theatre.
She started out performing, the first time in 1985.
“I was in the chorus of ‘Camelot,'” she said. “I was immediately hooked.”
During her years in the theatre, she’s done just about everything there is to do. That includes directing, publicity and even the janitorial work.
There’s only one thing she hasn’t done.
“I’ve never run the light board. I tell them what I think I want, they tell me what’s possible. We get along that way.”
She especially enjoys working with younger actors and encourages them to participate.
“We’ve always tried to have one kids show a season,” she said. “I enjoy seeing them figure out what it’s all about.”
She’s had several former cast members go out into the world and try their luck in show biz.
“I had one that went to L.A. and tried to make it into the movies,” she said. “He landed a role because he was the only one that knew how to drive a stick shift. Then sanity stepped in and he became a teacher.”
Getter even met her husband, Doug Getter, through her activity in the theater.
“My husband and I met in high school,” she said. “Then college and life happened. Forty-one years later I was directing ‘Gypsy,’ he was producing ‘Gypsy.'”
Some of her cast are veterans. Gianna Borer, 16, of Webster City, is among those. She plays Mary Poppins.
“I’ve been in 15 or 20 shows,” Borer said
She enjoys the closeness in the troupe.
“I just really like the family that’s formed,” she said. “The people are sweet. Friends become like family.”
Daniel Blankenship, 17, of Webster City, plays the chimney sweep.
“I just love being able to perform,” he said. “This has manifested into a new passion and love.”
Getter has help with the production. The musical director is Dane Barner, assistant director is Angela Rottering, and costuming is by Karin Yungclas and JoAnn Robb.
Those last two had their hands full in the backstage chaos too.
“I never got a chimney sweep hat,” one actor said.
“There’s a whole bucket of them over there,” Getter replied.
‘Mary Poppins Jr.’
“Mary Poppins Jr.” opens on Oct.12. Show nights are Oct. 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 7 p.m. Oct. 14 and 21 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for children under 10.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.wcctonline.org or by calling 515-832-4456. They can also be purchased at the theatre’s box office, which is open weeknights from 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon, and one hour before each show.
Upcoming productions include “The Trouble with Cats” in February, “Leading Ladies” in late March and early April and “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” in July.
The Webster City Community Theatre is located at 1001 Wilson Ave., in Webster City.