Snyder returns after long hiatus to perform in Civic Theatre’s ’Mamma Mia!’


When Kara Snyder heard Civic Theatre was presenting “Mamma Mia!,” she knew it was time to return to the stage.

“It’s been 15 years since I’ve been on stage doing anything in theater,” Snyder said. “I really love this show. There are not that many opportunities for shows that I feel I will be a good fit for.”

The Westfield resident, who took a break from acting to raise her four children, will perform as Donna in the musical, which runs Oct. 4 to 19 at The Tarkington at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.

The musical centers on Donna’s daughter, Sophie, who wants to learn the identity of her father on the eve of her wedding. Her pursuit of the identity brings three men back to the Greek Island, where they hadn’t been for 20 years.

Snyder said she was in a couple of Civic Theatre shows 15 to 20 years ago.

Snyder said she was even more excited to work on “Mamma Mia!” when she found out Anne Beck was the director and choreographer. Snyder had worked on previous shows when Beck was the music director.

“I directed and choreographed the show last year for Zionsville High School and was able to learn there was much more to it than the excellent music of ABBA,” said Beck, a Fishers resident. “It has grown to be a favorite after diving into its script more and more because there are so many themes people of all ages can relate to.”

Beck said the challenge with “Mamma Mia!” is giving equal emphasis to the huge amount of musical numbers and equally delivering a meaty script full of wonderful content for Donna’s story and Sophie’s journey.

“With ‘Mamma Mia!’ being an iconic film, more patrons have seen it over the Broadway show,” Beck said. “It is important to make this show our version, let this cast shine, create our own Greek chorus that enhances the story and its characters, and allow our audiences a great evening seeing live theatre.”

Carmel resident Laura Lockwood portrays Tanya, one of Donna and the Dynamos group. Lockwood has been performing with Civic for more than 20 years.

“It’s such a fun musical and it’s wonderful to be able to play alongside other women on stage,” Lockwood said. “I’ve always been a huge fan of ABBA. I got to sing some of my old favorites. I got to learn some new ones, too.”

Lockwood has previously performed with Marni Lemons, Indianapolis, who plays Rosie, the third Dynamo.

“I’ve always enjoyed the creative process and collaborating with other people,” Lockwood said. “This is one of my favorite places to work and volunteer.”

Emily Schaab, Noblesville, is a member of the ensemble.

“I want to be able to sing and dance,” Schaab said. “It’s a lot of work but it’s a lot of fun. I saw this show at Beef & Boards and on a cruise ship and I’ve seen the movie, so I’m very familiar.”

This is her second Civic show. She performed in “Newsies” in April.

“My character didn’t dance much in ‘Newsies,’ so that’s another reason I wanted to come back,” said Schaab, who will play Jovie in “Elf the Musical” at Civic in December.

Ryan Koharchik, Zionsville, is the set and lighting designer for Civic Theatre.

“The challenge for this one is the effects and the music,” Koharchik said. “We have a lot of light-up scenery. It’s the Greek Island crossed with a rock show, a little bit of both. Mostly with the ABBA music, it’s capturing that ‘70s feel and capturing the moment of the nightclub scene.”

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