Milford Theatre Company showcases senior talent in “White Christmas” musical


The Milford Theatre Company performed White Christmas as its 2022 fall musical (Photos courtesy of Tara Johnson Photography).

Alexis Cornett, Editor in Chief

The performers of the Milford Theatre Company couldn’t believe their eyes when they looked outside on the sold-out, opening night of White Christmas: it was snowing. This perfect setting capped off two months of hard work preparing for the weekend of Nov. 17-19.

White Christmas was the perfect choice for this year’s musical because the show provided opportunities to highlight many different people: something essential when you have a large senior class and talent across the board. “We wanted something that had really great strong iconic music, and a lot of dance, as long as Miss Suzanne signed off on it, because that was a big factor,” Theater Director Megan Weeks said.

Seniors Jillian Armstrong and Vivian Lakin as Betty and Judy Haynes respectively performing the iconic number “Sisters” from White Christmas.

White Christmas served as a way to jump start fundraising and sponsorships to recoup from the pandemic. The introduction of a Thursday night gala event and evening show was a way to bring in more community and business members. “It was a way to kind of celebrate the program,” Weeks said. “To let people know that we’re self funded and that everything they give goes right back in.”

Around $9,000 was raised from the various fundraisers carried out over the course of the show.

The Milford Theatre Company has maintained a reputation of excellence and achievement on a regional and national level. MTC was most recently recognized at the Michigan Thespian Festival. Several seniors who competed for scholarships earned a collective total of $1,919,000 in offers. Weeks was honored as the 2022 Michigan Educational Theatre Association Hall of Fame Inductee.

Junior Simon Williams, Senior Ben Mondrush and Senior Joe Meagher perform “White Christmas”.

Costume director Melinda Mihail, with the help of several volunteers, took on the massive feat of coordinating the biggest costume musical in MTC history with over 800 costume pieces in the show. “We wanted to be true to the stylistic 1950s era,” Mihail said. “So it has taken a long time to get all that together. But it’s such a stylized show and everything sort of has to match.”

The Milford Theatre Company provides a welcoming environment to both new members and long-term members. Junior Simon Williams is a student at the International Academy, and he attests to the bonds theater provides. “It’s really nice knowing that I have a group of people in MTC that I can rely on considering I don’t even go to Milford.”

Over 20 members of the Milford Theatre Company will be graduating this spring.

The senior class is unique in its depth of talent, something White Christmas was able to showcase in its leads Ben Mondrush, Jillian Armstrong, Joe Meagher, Vivian Lakin, Aubrey Snavley, Peyton Wheeler and Austin Matlis. Many are looking to pursue careers or degrees in singing, acting or dancing in the future. With over 20 members of MTC taking their final musical bow, they will have four years of hard work, determination and memories to take with them.

“Don’t give up and just keep persevering,” Weeks said. “Life gets messy and ugly and hard. And you just have to keep pushing forward and hopefully they learned that hard work takes time.”