After hours of practice, Dan Miller will be directing his 36th production.
Dakota Wesleyan is set to perform “Mamma Mia!” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, at 2 p.m. Sunday at the DWU Sherman Center on campus. Tickets are sold for $12 to the public, $5 for DWU faculty and staff, and free to DWU students. The show will run again Nov. 15-17.
The cast and stage crew of more than 50 includes students from DWU and Mitchell High School. They have spent nine weeks practicing for about 15 hours per week.
“It truly is a dream when you are passionate about something and get to spend your whole life involved in that passion,” Miller said.
He has been involved in theater throughout his life, receiving his theater degree from the University of South Dakota and later attending the Saint Joseph Theatre School in Scarborough, England, where Sir Alan Ayckbourn, Britain’s most well-known modern playwright and director, taught him.
Miller has also written two musicals that have been produced. The first was “Robin Hood; Spirit of the Greene” and the second was in commemoration of Lewis and Clark’s travels through our region. It was comedic musical called “The Absurd Adventures of Lewis and Clark”. In addition to producing two musicals, Miller won Best Regional Director from BroadwayWorld.com for his production of “Spamalot” at the Sioux Empire Community Theatre. It was also chosen as the Best Regional Musical of 2015.
“The music professors and I absolutely love the music of ABBA and when the rights to produce this show became available we decided to do it,” Miller said. “It is a great musical with a great story and incredible music and DWU has a lot of great talent.”
Dan recruited his daughter, Madison Miller, to help with choreography for the musical. Using notable dances from the movie, she tailored it to the cast.
Jasmine Ferguson, a freshman, plays the character Sophie. Ferguson is pursuing a career in acting.
“I have always been active in music and acting, but putting them together is another thing entirely. It was so much fun to be able to experience it in such a supportive atmosphere,” Ferguson said.