CONNELLSVILLE — Students at Geibel Catholic Junior-Senior High School are preparing for one of the biggest events of the academic year, the annual musical performance, which this year is “Mamma Mia!”
This will be the 20th production in the directing career of music and performing arts teacher Nick Bell.
“It is crazy to me that I have done this for 20 years already,” he said.
Nearly 80 percent of the students are involved in the musical, Bell said, whether it be performing or helping behind the scenes with costuming, set design or stage crew.
“Musicals bring students together in a different way than sports do,” Bell said. “The musical stresses a type of teamwork that is not the same as being on a team. There is one common goal: entertain the community.
“But while doing that, it creates a family which includes athletes as well as those who do not participate in sports. We have a mixture of both guys and girls that creates memories and friendships which last way past their Geibel days.”
This culture of family includes siblings of students who have participated in the musical and since graduated.
Senior Nina Alvarez is following in her sisters’ footsteps by taking part in this year’s production.
“I have been to every musical since I was 5 because my sisters, Natalie and Julia, were also in the shows. I feel as though I’ve grown up in this family, and I was raised to be a part of it.
“Participating in the musicals has been some of my favorite memories of Geibel. It really brings me joy and happiness to have continued my siblings’ tradition.”
Patricia Nickler, principal, says that being a part of the musical gives the students a sense of belonging.
“The students who take part in the musical are part of something bigger than just a show. They are giving something to the community with a chance to be transported to another time or place. There is so much talent in our Geibel Catholic family,” she said.
“Mamma Mia!” will be presented March 29 and 30 at 7 p.m. and March 31 at 2 p.m. at the State Theatre, Uniontown. Tickets will be available at the school, 724-628-5600, as well as the theatre box office, 724-439-1360.
— Lori Padilla