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December 1, 2016

The award-winning Family Performing Arts Center (FPAC) at Bridgewater State University will kick off its second season in January with the Disney and Cameron Mackintosh modern classic Mary Poppins, the Broadway musical.


The production brings together several parties from the state’s theater community. Joel Thayer, founder and artistic director of the community theater company Star Players of Massachusetts for nearly 30 years, is co-director and set designer for Mary Poppins.


“He is creating the fantastical set for the FPAC production,” said Lisa Troy, managing and education director of FPAC. Mr. Thayer was a member of the Department of Theater faculty at Bridgewater before becoming associate professor and program coordinator for arts and entertainment management at Dean College in Franklin.


Meanwhile, Jessica Haugh of Taunton, an Equity actress living in New York City, is starring in the title role. The production also features nearly two-dozen actors from across the state as well as a children’s ensemble.


The production, based on one of the most popular Disney movies of all time and on the books of P.L. Travers, has delighted Broadway audiences with more than 2,500 performances.


Mary Poppins will be staged in the Rondileau Campus Center Auditorium on the following dates: Thursday, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m.; Friday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Jan. 14 at 2 and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Jan. 15 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at Free parking on campus will be available in the West and Harrington lots.


FPAC has earned accolades for the two major productions staged in its inaugural season. The summer production of Beauty and the Beast earned the 2016 Moss Hart Award from the New England Theatre Conference in October. In addition to honoring the memory of the dramatist and director, the award recognizes and encourages outstanding theatrical productions throughout New England of plays that present affirmative views of human courage and dignity as well as exemplify fresh, imaginative, creative treatment within the intent of the play.


FPAC’s inaugural production last January of Seussical has been nominated for a regional award for best musical. “We are absolutely thrilled to be nominated,” said Colleen Rua, FPAC’s artistic director.


Cast members featured in Mary Poppins are:



Hannah Buhmann – children’s ensemble

Lauren Coleman – children’s ensemble

Ronnie Marshak – Bird Woman/pit singer

Jim Quinn – Admiral Boom/Bank Chairman



Nicholas Paradiso – Northbrook/ensemble



Helen Lee – Katie Nana/ensemble



Andrea Giangreco – Mrs. Banks



Leo Olmstead – Michael



Mickey White – Bert


East Bridgewater

Stephanie Blood – Miss Smythe/ensemble

Natalie Lacy – Frannie/children’s ensemble

Sarah Lacy – Annie/children’s ensemble

Kim Waller – ensemble



Alexis MacElligot – Jane



Jennifer Almeida – Mrs. Andrew/pit singer

Lindsey Ashborth – ensemble


Fall River

Emily Buckley – Mrs. Brill



Mark Townsend – Neleus/featured dancer/ensemble



Cassandra Gilbert – Valentine/featured dancer/ensemble



Anthony Genatossio – Robertson Ay

Ncole Genatossio – Miss Lark/ensemble



Dana Reid – Cop/Van Hussler/ensemble



Matthew Stone – Park Keeper/ensemble



Samantha Boragine – children’s ensemble

Patrick Chisholm – children’s ensemble

Kaitlyn Webber – featured dancer/ensemble



Jessica Dougherty – Mrs. Corey/pit singer

Jessica Haugh (now New York) – Mary Poppins

Paul Hayden – Mr. Banks

(Story by Eva T. Gaffney, G'01, Division of Marketing and Communications)