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The Growl

Bettendorf High School

Friday, Feb. 6, 2015

Vol. 51 Issue 4

(Left to right) Samuel Hayles, Christine Vincent, Tilor Meyer, Lindsey Sheldon, Cole Harksen, and Zack Malchodi practice choreography for spring musical “Mary Poppins.” Photo Credit: Jordan Raso.

‘Mary Poppins’ sets the stage for spring musical by Alex Connor Newspaper Co-Editor


n Thurs., April 9, 2015, the BHS theatre will be opening its curtains to a musical that’s been in print, theatre and film. BHS will be the first high school in Iowa to gain the rights to “Mary Poppins” and perform the musical. Starting as an eight part book series by P.L. Travers, published between 1934 to 1988, “Mary Poppins” was adapted into film in 1964 by Walt Disney. The musical was then adapted in 2004 after years of P.L. Travers refusing to sell the rights. Travers insisted on only English-born writers to put the books to stage. The musical, revolving around Mary Poppins, the magical nanny who saves the Banks family, centralizes at No. 17 Cherry Tree Lane.

From then, Mary, the kids, George, Winifred, and Bert, the main characters of the musical, go on a drastic adventure, in which Mary attempts to save the family from not believing in themselves. The BHS production is set to have Eleanor Stamper as Mary Poppins, Alex Packard as Bert, Ali Girsch and Nathan Hutchinson as Jane and Michael, the kids, Max Robnett as George, and Emily Tinsman as Winifred. “Everyone who got a part is incredibly talented,” Stamper said. Meeting every day after school for rehearsal, rehearsal usually lasts till five, but as the show date grows nearer, those in “Mary Poppins” will find themselves mostly at school. “What am I not nervous about?” Stamper said. “I’m afraid that I’ll go to hit a note and actually not hit it.”

Stamper, being involved in theatre since about first grade, got her first role as a page in “The Phantom Tollbooth.” Her involvements at BHS include several one acts: “Anything Goes,” “By Candlelight,” “How to succeed in business without really trying,” “Rumours,” “The Rabbit Hole,” and now “Mary Poppins.” “I play the maid Mrs. Brill, minor character but I’m surprised I received it as a freshman,” Halle Fish, 15, said. Fish has been active in theatre since she was little, but this will be her first production through the high school. “I’m really excited to see it all come together, because [in the musical] broken things fix themselves, people fly, and I’m excited to see the kids faces,” Stamper said. To counter that, Fish is most nervous about the fact that “Mary may fall.” Receiving the license to allow the actors

to use a harness, Stamper and possibly four others, are set to fly on stage. With the new performing arts center (PAC) being built in 2013 seating can handle, at least, 800 people: this means a chance for more people to see the musical over the course of four days. “I hope it’s a full house. It is a popular show and I hope that there will be large crowds and to see lots of kids and adults who were born in the generation [of Mary Poppins,]” Stamper said. The show times include April 9- 11, 7 p.m. and April 12, 1 p.m. “Once you see the show there is something about it, something special and something anyone could take away from,” Stamper said. “Come see the show!”

Students prepare for ‘Battle of the Bridges’ by Rachel Griggs Staff Reporter


he Battle of the Bridges is today at the Putnam Museum in Davenport. This annual competition gives students a chance to show off their engineering skills. Dan Drexler’s engineering problems class has entered the contest to create bridges from popsicle sticks and wooden dowels. Juniors and seniors have the opportunity to put their problem solving skills to the test. Ashleigh Johanson said, “The class is

made up of a series of challenges to test your problem solving skills and then there are three competitions hosted by the Quad City Engineering and Science Council. If you place high enough at each event you can receive a scholarship from the council. The first competition is bridge building on Feb. 6, 2015,, so we are practicing to gain experience and knowledge in order to do better in the actual competition.” The class is fairly popular among students. Senior Zack Mouw said, “My favorite part about the class is probably that you can

just work at your own pace. It’s less intense than a math or science class, but you still have problems to solve. Mr. Drexler does a really good job of advising us when we need it, but for the most part he just lets us figure it out for ourselves and that’s actually a really good learning experience. It makes you think and really strains your problem solving skills.” People join the class for different reasons. Johanson said, “ I joined the class because I’m planning on pursuing a career in civil engineering. I also like the class

structure and the idea that we are working for a scholarship, not just a grade. It’s very motivating.” Dustin King said, “ I joined the class because I enjoy being given an objective and then designing and creating something that would cover our objective. I am excited for the upcoming competition, but also I am worried that we won’t finish our bridge in the time frame we are given because our first bridge wasn’t finished on time and we were forced to rush some parts.”

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