MP Theater Company brings back WWII-era production this week

Mountain Pointe High School’s Theater Company is preparing for its first production since winter break with “Brighton Beach Memoirs.”

The coming-of-age story is cast by mostly underclassmen, and the theater company’s student stage manager is excited to see the production return to Mountain Pointe.

“It’s a fresh show and the actors have been working so hard,” said stage manager and Mountain Pointe senior Brianna Manheim.

The play follows a young boy going through puberty during World War II and his perspective through journaling. Since some of the material in the show does address the main character’s coming-of-age time in life, Manheim said the show is more appropriate for high school-aged and older attendees.

Directed by science teacher Corey Quinn this year, “Brighton Beach Memoirs” first appeared in March 1983 and quickly went to Broadway a week later.

The story is set in Brighton Beach of Brooklyn, N.Y., and follows an almost-15 Eugene Jerome, who faces puberty, a search for identity, and other awakenings after his father’s death.

“It’s kind of a little bit of a glimpse into his life,” Manheim said.

With a mostly lowerclassmen cast, Manheim said she is excited for new students to get involved.

“It’s great to see them learning, and the work is getting out there,” she added. “Theater is going beyond the fine arts department.

Manheim has been stage managing since she was a freshman, and has noticed that more students from athletics and other clubs or hobbies on campus have opened up to theater.

“We love working with new people, we’re here to really share our love of the theater,” Manheim said.

Show times for “Brighton Beach Memoirs” will be on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 3 p.m.; Friday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. Tickets will be available at the school bookstore or at the auditorium before each show, and cost $5 for students and $7 for adults.

Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dmartinez@ahwatukee.com. Follow on Twitter: @_dianamartinez.