Armstrong Community Theater’s ‘Mamma Mia’ is a family affair |
Valley News Dispatch

Armstrong Community Theater’s ‘Mamma Mia’ is a family affair

JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
Armstrong Community Theater
The Armstrong Community Theater is performing ”Mamma Mia,” the musical July 12-14 at the Casino Theatre in Vandergrift. Some of the ensemble rehearse a song.
Armstrong Community Theater
The Armstrong Community Theater is performing “Mamma Mia,” the musical July 12-14 at the Casino Theatre in Vandergrift. Pictured (from left) Cortney Bavera (Tanya), Laura Lloyd (Donna) and Emily Younkins (Rosie).
Armstrong Community Theater
The Armstrong Community Theater is performing “Mamma Mia,” the musical July 12-14 at the Casino Theatre in Vandergrift. There are three mother-daughter duos (back row) Laura Lloyd (playing Donna), Emily Younkins (playing Rosie), Lori Koleck (ensemble) and (front row) Karissa Lloyd (ensemble), Hannah Younkins (director) and Nicole Koleck (ensemble).

This performance of the musical “Mamma Mia,” definitely has a mamma’s influence.

Three mothers who introduced their daughters to the theater will be part of the production of the Armstrong Community Theater July 12-14 at the Casino Theatre in Vandergrift.

“It’s a family affair,” says Hannah Younkins of Worthington, where the theater has rehearsal space, and sometimes performs at the Worthington Civic Center. She is the show’s director and her mother Emily plays “Rosie.” “My mom and I are doing the show together. She is a big reason I love theater. Being involved in shows helped bring me out of my shell.”

The mother-daughter duos have been spending the past two months rehearsing for the show. The performance described on the theater’s website says “ABBA’s hits tell the hilarious and heartwarming story of a young woman’s search for her birth father. This sunny and funny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. The story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship, creating an unforgettable show. A mother, a daughter, three possible dads and a trip down the aisle you will never forget.”

It definitely has an impact on children, says Laura Lloyd who plays the lead role of “Donna.” Her daughter, Karissa is part of the ensemble.

Laura Lloyd of Vandergrift said she had her children involved in theater at a young age because it has so many benefits, not just in teaching them about acting and performing, but about other life skills, she says.

“I believe it helped my kids be able to give speeches and made them more outgoing,” says Lloyd. “I passed down my love of theater to my children.”

Lloyd, a theater board member, says there is a bond among those who have a passion for the theater and she and her daughter are creating lifelong memories. Sharing the stage brings them closer. It also creates a relationship between the cast and the audience, especially with a show such as “Mamma Mia.”

She says the tune “Dancing Queen” most likely will have the audience out in the aisles dancing and singing. “I love doing shows where the audience gets to be a part of the show,” Lloyd says. “Crowd participation is fun.”

Lori Kolack and her daughter Nicole, the third duo from Ford City, are part of the ensemble.

This is the main show for the Armstrong Community Theater. It is one of five they do a year, including a children’s performance.

“Live theater is so special because it’s a better experience because you hear live music and see the actors and actresses performing on stage,” Younkins says. “You can never do the exact same show twice. The cast is having a lot of fun and we hope the audience will as well.”

Tickets are $15

Details: armstrongcommunity


JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 412-320-7889, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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