The musical “Mama Mia!” is coming to the Triad Theater in Yelm.
The show is about a young woman who, on the eve of her wedding, invites the three men who might be her father to a Greek island paradise, hoping she will be able to find her true father.
The lead role, Sophie, is being played by two actors, Hannah McLaughlin and Dahlia Young. McLaughlin will take the role opening weekend and Young will play it closing weekend. The two will also alternate days for two weeks in the middle, McLaughlin on September 6, 7. 8, 13, 15, and 21 and Young on September 14, 20, 22, 27, 28, and 29.
Both McLaughlin and Young enjoy the production and story of “Mamma Mia!” and they both like the character of Sophie.
“Sophie is young,” said Young. “And everyone keeps telling her so. They keep saying ‘you have your whole life ahead of you. Why are you getting married?’ I don’t really think that she understands why she is getting married, it just seems that she is at an age where it is appropriate.”
Sophie has been a dream role of McLaughlin’s since she was a girl, growing up listening to Abba (the pop band behind the music in “Mamma Mia!”), so when the movie came out for “Mamma Mia!” she watched it on repeat during road trips. When she saw that the role was open, she felt like she had to audition.
“Sophie has a great journey where I think a lot of young people kind of have to find their meaning in life outside of themselves,” she said. “So you can kind of see that with her searching to find her dad.”
McLaughlin said that she has been acting since she was “little” and that it was something she did over the summer. She got back into acting when she was in high school. In college, she fell in love with it. She studied theater at Eastern Washington University.
Young said that she first started acting when she was in a play at just 2 years old.
“Obviously I took a break for a little bit but my family, both my mom and my dad, have been bringing me to this theater since I was two,” she said. “They have been doing theater their whole lives, so it kinda runs in the family.”
Young’s mother, Dawn Emilia, is performing with her daughter in “Mamma Mia!”
Emilia’s role is that of Donna, Sophie’s mother.
“Donna is a nut!” Emilia said. “She is a wild woman who declared her independence and took off from the states to travel around Europe and form a band, Donna and the Dynamos, with her best friends. Exploring the newfound freedom of women in the 70s.”
Emilia said that Greece is where Donna decided to stay, and that it is where she keeps all her secrets. This musical is about all those secrets coming out to the world, she said.
Emilia said that she is currently the vice president on the board for Standing Room Only, a non-profit community theater organization serving Yelm and the surrounding communities. She is also one of the founders of the organization. Standing Room Only is also behind the production of “Mamma Mia!” at the Triad.
However, this production will be the first time that Emilia will not be on the production team and has focused on being an actress. She said that she feels it’s hard to let go, and that she likes being in the know and being informed about what decisions are being made. It is a challenge for her to trust that the director can do everything that needs to be done.
The show is being directed by Daniel Wyman, who has directed two productions for the Triad in the past, including “Monty Python’s Spamalot” in 2016 and Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” in 2017. He took 2018 off but is back in the director’s chair for “Mamma Mia!”
“This is a show you will definitely have to see twice, not just because there are two Sophies,” McLaughlin said. “There is something for everyone, whether you grew up listening to Abba, whether you fell in love with the movie or you just need something that’s just fun to watch, it’s a good experience to just come see theater and help support local art.”