Musical men complement women’s voices, take stage in ‘Rags’

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Potential Baritone Boys Mitch Henderson, Ryan Wortmann and Jake White. Photo by Devon Gottsch

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The musicals and plays of Marian have always been impressive to students, parents, faculty, and even spectators with no ties to Marian. Many people claim that the productions display a wide range of talent that is almost unheard of at the high school level.

From heartwarming, traditional musicals like The Sound of Music to energetic, colorful, and groundbreaking productions such as The Little Mermaid in 2014, Marian has featured actors who possess skills way beyond their years. Even though Marian is an all-girls school, every production includes dedicated, talented young men who contribute a great deal to every show.

Male students from any high school in Omaha have the opportunity to audition for Marian’s most recent productions. Ryan Wortmann, a junior at Creighton Prep, has been in Marian productions ever since eighth grade when he started out with a role in Children of Eden.

“My siblings have done every Marian production when they were in high school. Thoroughly Modern Millie was my brother James’s first performance. Rachel and Charlotte did all of the productions, too. Charlotte was actually Ariel in The Little Mermaid this past year. I love to do Marian musicals because I feel like I’m carrying on my family’s legacy,” Wortmann said.

Wortmann is especially excited about his role in Rags. He plays Ben, a young, lovable teenager who falls in love with a girl named Bella, who is played by junior Gigi Hausman.

“A lot of Prep guys do Marian productions because we love working with the talented Marian students. I feel most natural and comfortable around Marian girls, and I wouldn’t feel that way anywhere else. I can’t wait to perform Rags because it’s a new storyline, and this is a Broadway show that is less known but full of surprises and suspense,” Wortmann said.

For another student, this is just the beginning of his theater career at Marian. PJ Mooney, a freshman at Creighton Prep, is excited to begin his journey as part of the Rags cast. Mooney was excited to go into high school because he knew there were great opportunities at Marian waiting for him.

“I wanted to try out because I enjoy theatre, and I saw The Little Mermaid which was very impressive. The actors in The Little Mermaid put on an amazing performance. Good performances come from good schools,” Mooney said.

Marian’s productions would not have been nearly as successful if it weren’t for the generosity and commitment of high school boys from around the Omaha area. These young men continue to amaze audiences with their powerful voices and stellar acting each and every time they perform on the Performing Art Center’s stage.

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photo by Devon Gottsch

Rags, directed by Mr. Michael McCandless, will take you on a trip back to the turn of the century when men and women, fresh off the immigration boat, were starting their lives in the booming city of Manhattan, New York. With upbeat songs and colorful dance numbers, the cast of Rags is sure to impress.

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