The Jenison High School Thespians wrapped up another top notch musical production this weekend. Albeit a little last minute, I was pretty excited to be asked to document their performance of Mary Poppins. It was so fun to capture the students throughout the whole process of their show. With access to backstage, all the pre-show warm ups and finally the amazing production itself, I logged over 2,000 photos! Even getting that down to a reasonable number was a challenge, because there was just so much to shoot.
Shooting with my 70-200, getting used to stage lighting and other unpredictable moments made for some fun on the fly adjustments. These were also taken on a regular show night and I wanted to be mindful of the paying customers in the audience so I felt a little limited on vantage points.
I was so impressed with the props, acting, and overall choreography. The cast and crew worked hard on meticulous details, some very big dance numbers and other surprise elements! Emma Byerwalter’s portrayal of Mary Poppins was “practically perfect” and honestly the best performance I have ever seen by a high school lead. She became Mary Poppins through her mannerisms and calm, confident demeanor on stage. If you didn’t know that she was a senior at Jenison High School you would have thought they cast a seasoned adult. Emma may have portrayed the namesake for the show but there were many other students; elementary and high school age that poured their everything into these performances! Not to mention the countless crew members behind the stage.
A special thank you to Mr. Avery for trusting me to document this show and thank you for everything you do for these kids and the theatre department at Jenison. I hope the photos relay the impressive work of these ‘kids’!
All photos ©Damion Van Slyke.
To purchase high res photos please visit both links (there were so many photos I had to break it into two stores) :