The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

The Township Times

The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

MTFH Seniors
Top row (left to right): Gabrielle Romano, Aubrey Barotti, Keira Robinson,  Calli Campagna, Nia Mountis, Brenna Campagna, Abby Labezius
Bottom row (left to right): Kristen Nam, Zoe Caloviras, Summer Strauss
A Record Season for MTFH
December 3, 2023

MTPA Kicks Off a New Year

MTPA’s 2023-2024 kickoff meeting

With the start of the new school year comes the start of a new Manheim Township Performing Arts (MTPA) season. The season began with the annual MTPA kick off meeting on Thursday, Aug. 31. Hundreds of students sat in excitement waiting for the grand reveal of this year’s play and musical, and after weeks of anticipation the shows were finally announced. 

The fall play is filled with mystery, murder, and comedy. But Why Bump Off Barnaby follows a cast of 10 eccentric characters as they try to decipher who is the murderer of their poor relative, Barnaby. Because of his lack of wealth, it appears as if he had reason to murder everyone else in the house, but no one had a motive to murder him. This play, written by Rick Abbot, is a British murder mystery where no one can be proven innocent until the very end. Amongst the accusations and lunacy, there is an aspect of comedy through every twist and turn. 

“Nobody has ever heard of this show… and that’s ok,” said Mrs. Kennedy, the director of the fall play. 

When looking for a show, Kennedy knew she wanted to work in the murder mystery genre. She believes But Why Bump Off Barnaby creates “lots of opportunity for mischief and craziness… and there are lots of other fun elements that go along with it,” she said. She also knows that by picking such an unknown play, the concept of the mystery can thrive, allowing the excitement to grow throughout the entire show. 

Grace Kline, president of MTPA, explained that the play is “a little obscure in the best way” and that she is “excited, but also extremely curious.” 

Kline hopes that the combination of mystery and comedy is one that can keep the audience on edge, yet still amused throughout the show. 

Following the fall play will be this season’s spring musical, Fame. Fame follows a group of diverse high schoolers as they go through their four years at New York City’s High School of the Performing Arts. As they grow together, they find romance, discover themselves, and develop a deep passion for performance. The musical consists of upbeat dance numbers, emotional ballads, the occasional love scene, and everything in between. Each character’s struggles and successes are woven into a greater story of building connections and working hard to achieve dreams. 

“It’s time to do something different,” said Mrs. Haldeman, the director of the spring musical. 

The last two years, Township has put on large scale Disney productions, and Haldeman wanted to do something more modern this season. Fame features a large ensemble cast, which will allow many different people to shine in various roles. This show also takes place in the 80s, so the style of dancing and costumes are much more contemporary than the previous shows. 

In addition to its modernity, Fame also tackles deeper themes. One reason that Haldeman loves the show is because it’s real. Each character experiences true teenage experiences, and throughout the show there is an overwhelming message that success is made of doing the right things and putting in the work. 

“I’ve never really heard of it,” said MTPA vice president Lily Reaser. “However, my mom really loves it and after listening to the soundtrack I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.” 

She believes that the energy of the show is bound to bring life to the stage.

Being involved in this season’s shows can look a lot of different ways. If you are interested in joining MTPA, whether as part of a crew or cast, reach out to Mrs. Kennedy in room 259 or Mrs. Haldeman in room 140. 

The cast of the fall play, But Why Bump Off Barnaby
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About the Contributor
Addison Journey, Staff writer
Senior Addison Journey is a staff writer for The Township Times.

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