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Stepinac High School Drama Club to present Tony-Award Winning
Disney & Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins

Local High School Chosen for the Production of Whimsical, High-Spirited Story That Uplifts Families

TapsWHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (March 2014) – The award-winning Stepinac High School Drama Club will follow their last successful musical Evita with another production this spring, the Tony Award-winning musical, Disney & Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins. The Stepinac Drama Club is one of only six high schools in the nation to receive the pilot license from Walt Disney Theatricals to produce the regional premiere of Mary Poppins.

“It is an honor to present a musical about one of the most iconic and enduring Disney characters of all time. Mary Poppins’ cultural reach is enormous; its impact is timeless and has already spanned five decades,” said Frank Portanova, Stepinac’s Drama Club director. “This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Disney movie, Mary Poppins. So it is particularly fitting to present this production in honor of the musical’s golden anniversary.” Portanova is assisted in presenting the play by Keith Sunderland, Stepinac’s Drama Club producer.

In Mary Poppins, a mysterious young woman appears at the doorstep of the home of the Banks family, who find that she’s the answer to their prayers, but in the most peculiar way. Mary Poppins takes the children on many magical and memorable adventures, but the children are not the only ones she has a profound effect upon. Even grownups can learn a lesson or two from the nanny who advises that “anything can happen if you let it.”

The classical Disney story of the whimsical, proper, and high-spirited nanny consists of a cast of nearly 100 students including the stage crew. Christine Turturro of Croton-on-Hudson will play the leading female role as Mary Poppins, and John Guaragna of Yonkers will portray the leading male role, Bert. Additionally, two-time Helen Hayes Award winner Chris Guzman of White Plains will play George Banks and Amelia Sasson of Mt. Kisco will play Winifred Banks. And elementary school students, Avery Avellino of Cortlandt Manor and Dahlia White of Elmsford will play the spirited Banks’ children, Michael and Jane. The rest of the cast includes students from Briarcliff Manor, Cortlandt Manor, Elmsford, Harrison, Hartsdale, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Ossining, Port Chester, Rye, Scarsdale, Thornwood, as well as the Bronx and Connecticut.

Female cast and crew members come from nearby high schools including Maria Regina High School, Good Counsel Academy, Harrison High School, Rye Neck High School, Cortlandt High School, White Plains High School, Hackley High School, Edgemont High School, Briarcliff High School and Yonkers High School.

Performances are scheduled for Friday, May 2, Saturday, May 3, Friday, May 9 and Saturday, May 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, May 11 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $22 for adults and $18 for senior citizens and children under 12 and can be purchased by calling (914) 946-4800. For additional information go to, email: or visit Facebook: Stepinac Drama Club Page.

The production will take place in the school’s Major Bowes Auditorium. The name of the theatre originates from the Major Bowes Amateur Hour radio talent show, which was hosted by radio personality Edward Bowes in the ‘30s and ‘40s. The theatre was named as such when Bowes’ family provided funding to the school in 1948. In addition to Stepinac students and their parents, the school’s productions draw strong attendance from the general public.