MSM Arts Department’s 2019 musical enjoys successful run

The Mount St. Mary Academy Arts Department’s latest production, Once Upon a Mattress, proved to be a hit! More than 700 guests attended the musical comedy, which ran November 1-4 at Catholic High School’s Auditorium. Led by MSM’s speech and drama teacher, Jenny Moses, and choral director, Chelsea Allman, nearly 90 students were involved in the family-friendly show. The creative and hardworking cast and crew, which included a handful of students from Catholic High School as well as two homeschooled students, handled every detail in bringing the fairy tale of the Princess and the Pea to life. This included set design and construction, publicity and community outreach, and costume design and makeup in addition to the spectacular singing and acting by the 35-member cast.


“This is one of my favorite shows we’ve done simply because the cast was truly one of the most cohesive with which I’ve ever worked,” Ms. Moses said. “But we also did some pretty amazing things with the set, which was huge, and so much of that is student led and created. It’s just really cool to continue to watch our cast and crew grow over the years.”


Ms. Allman added that this year’s group was also one of the most dedicated and hardworking. “I love it when cast members have taken it upon themselves to learn their songs and lines outside of rehearsal. It shows how disciplined and proactive they are,” she said. “The leads of the show, in particular, showed so much dedication. Often in rehearsals, I was able to thank them for making my job easy.”


At the end of the final performance on Monday, Nov. 4, Holly Marr ’20 was recognized as this season’s recipient of the Jennifer Boccarossa Spirit of the Show Award. Named after the school’s alumna and former choral director who passed away in 2013, the award honors students who possess a passion for musical theatre, sense of fun and adventure, and willingness to work hard to make the show a success – all qualities for which Jennifer is celebrated and remembered.


Ms. Moses said Holly was incredibly involved in this year’s production and showed excellent leadership qualities as stage manager. “What really makes her stand out is her maturity level, attention to detail and the ability to manage both of those without making people hate her,” Ms. Moses laughed. Ms. Allman agreed, noting that Holly was “a great leader, always had a smile on her face and made a huge contribution to the success of the show.” Holly also served as stage manager in last year’s production of The Addams Family.


Save the date for the MSM Arts Department’s final event of 2019. The Concert Belles and Harmony Belles will present their annual Christmas Concert on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at 7:00 p.m. at Catholic High School’s Auditorium.


Mount St. Mary Academy, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy, develops young women with a moral and intellectual foundation rooted in Catholic tradition. Mercy-minded and college-prepared, our students meet the future with wisdom, compassion and integrity.