Albert Lea High School to perform “Mamma Mia!”

Published 9:00 pm Tuesday, November 9, 2021

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Albert Lea High School students will bring a classic story to the stage this week for their first musical since the start of the pandemic.

Students will perform “Mamma Mia!,” the story of bride-to-be Sophie Sheridan, who is trying to find her real father. Dreaming that her father can walk her down the aisle on her big day, she secretly invites three men from her mother’s past to her wedding. Her mother, Donna, is going crazy that all three of her former lovers have returned and are ruining her daughter’s big day.

The musical features popular favorites from Swedish quartet ABBA.

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The role of Sophie Sheridan is played by Grace Dawson, and her mother, Donna, is played by Ava Cunningham.  Ryan Utz, Jared Turrubiartes and  Joseph Yoon play the roles of Sophie’s three possible fathers.

Director Diane Heaney said she is proud of the students, who had not been on the stage for a musical for many months, and who have made such large progress in preparing to perform.

“The kids have come so far,” Heaney said.

The play opens at 7 p.m. Thursday in the Albert Lea High School auditorium and continues at the same time on Friday and Saturday.

“People are super excited to finally see a show again,” said senior Jared Turrubiartes, who plays Bill Austin, one of the potential fathers.

Turrubiartes said he had been a small part in the musical his sophomore year, and he enjoyed it and wanted to have a bigger impact this year.

He and the other students have been practicing most days since the beginning of October. 

Katie Holt, who plays Tonya, one of Donna’s best friends, said this is the first musical she has ever been in, and before this play has always been in the tech room during productions.

“I’ve always wanted to — I love ‘Mamma Mia!’ — and thought it would be a fun one,” Holt said.

Her favorite part, she said, has been the singing.

“I’ve sung these songs forever, and being able to sing on stage with friends,” Holt said.

In addition to the main characters of the story, the musical has over 30 who play the roles of islanders and wedding guests.

“Mamma Mia!” was originally produced in London by Judy Craymer, Richard East and Bjorn Ulvaeus for Littlestar in association with Universal.

Tickets are $8 for adults and $6 for seniors and students. They are available online at and also at the door starting at 6 p.m.

If you go

What: “Mamma Mia!”

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday

Where: Albert Lea High School auditorium

Cost: $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students; tickets can be purchased at or at the door.


​​Sophie Sheridan: Grace Dawson                                          

Ali: Gretta Larson

Lisa: Kailey Boettcher             

Donna Sheridan: Ava Cunningham                              

Tanya: Katelyn Holt    

Rosie: Morgan Anfinson                      

Sky: Angel Hernandez             

Pepper: Tim Chalmers             

Eddie: Logan Strom                                         

Harry Bright: Ryan Utz                                     

Bill Austin: Jared Turrubiartes             

Sam Carmichael:  Joseph Yoon                         

Father Alexandrios: Kaidin Barnes

Islanders and Wedding Guests:  John Amarosa, Lilly Crissinger, Hayden Lowe, Brian Solberg, Kaidin Barnes, Evie Dawson, Gigi Madrigal, Jaya Stout, Avery Benda, Hannah Estes,  Joey Maiden, Ariadna Turrubiartes, Callie Brownlee, Nancy Fernandez, Judd Moller, Spencer VanBeek,

Sophia Brownlee, Aidan Halvorsen, Evan Musick, Lara Westrum, Samantha Brumbaugh, Kaitlyn Hanna, Hattie Nelson, Hannah Whelan, Morgan Christian, Addison Herr, Taylor Palmer, Madi Whelan, Tanner Conn, Kendall Kenis, Cydney Pathammavong, Hannah Willner

Pit orchestra

Diane Heaney, Abigail Chalmers, Gayle Brownlow, Lilah Aas, Brock Besse, Alden Helleksen, Todd Peterson

Tech crew

Light and sound technicians: Elise Anderson, Bailey Abrego, Eli Jacobson, Alexis Godtland, Trey Shaw    

Backstage assist:  Lia Cunningham, Tayla Hendrickson, Avery Larson

Director and Music Director: Diane Heaney      

Assistant Director/ Choreography: Mary Klinghagen

Set Director: Ken Fiscus

Costumer: Lilah Aas

Student Directors: Bailey Abrego, Tayla Hendrickson