Amy Kimbler has been a chorus teacher in the North Colonie School District for 26 years and has been involved with the Shaker High Theater for six years. This year she is directing the spring musical “Mary Poppins.” The musical is based on the stories of P.L. Travers and the Walt Disney film. It will show at 7:30 p.m. on April 1 and April 2 and 2 p.m. on April 3 at the Shaker High auditorium. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. They can be purchased with cash at the door or online at shsncss.booktix.com
Q: This year’s musical is “Mary Poppins.” What made you pick that particular show and what do you look for when choosing which shows to perform?
A: We picked the show because we wanted to bring a musical to the stage that would be familiar to all members of our community. I grew up watching the Disney film as a child and just fell in love with the character Mary Poppins. She was so firm but yet loving and familiar. I knew there were so many like me that had such fond memories of the book or story as a child and would love to come see our version. I also knew that it would be a family show that young children could come to and be excited about. It was unfortunate to have a musical during COVID and Mary Poppins was just the magic to bring back theatre to Shaker
Q: What is the best part about directing a high school musical? The most frustrating?
A: The best part about directing a high school musical is being with the kids! I love being with them. The Shaker Theatre department has a real sense of community and the kids are hardworking, dedicated, accepting and kind. The hours are long, the time commitment is huge but the memories and the relationships you make with the students along the way are invaluable. It is always the highlight of my year. I love it. The most frustrating part about directing a musical is putting all the working parts together. As the director, you can envision how the show will look but to explain it and execute it is hard at times. I find that to be the most frustrating part.
Q: As a director, you want students to know their cues and lines, but what else would you like students to take away from their participation in Shaker Theater?
A: All of our kids know their cues and lines — they are so dedicated. I don’t usually worry about them getting all of those parts down at all, they always do. The one thing I want them to take away from their participation in Shaker Theatre is the relationships they made along the way. To me there is nothing more important than the relationships you make with people. That is the value of the show, the comradery, the teamwork.
Q: In the age of cell phones and Facebook, why does live theater still have an allure and/or why is it still important in today’s world?
A: I love live theatre, live music, live sporting events. There is nothing like “live” anything. In this era of digital media, it is again really important for people to express themselves through whatever venue they feel most comfortable whether that be theatre, music, art and etc. I think for the performers the act of working on an artistic project teaches you so much more than just the art and technique itself. I think for the audience that comes to support us — they get to feel in their body the excitement of live theatre and storytelling. You can watch a movie and feel
emotion and excitement but nothing is like hearing the live rhythms of taps hitting the stage or the magic of a huge chord from a cast 40. That is the magic of music theatre — there is a certain pulse to it that you can only feel if you’re there watching at the time.
Q: What is your favorite play of all time and why?
A: I have lots of favorite plays and musicals for sure. I have to say that the ones I have directed have become my favorites and I couldn’t really pick one because they all were so different. Over so many years you learn to love each of them in their own way. The memories and cast of each fill a special place in your heart.
If you would like to see someone featured in Five Questions contact Jim Franco at [email protected] or 518-878-1000.