Matthews and Wilkinson transform into entertaining couple in “The Music Man”

Jack Matthews and Elizabeth Wilkinson | Photo by Shi Lessner Photography

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The Hartland Drama Club Troupe #4213 presents Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” April 26-28 and May 2, 4 and 5. From now until opening night, we will be introducing you to members of the production.

While Hartland High School upperclassmen Jack Matthews and Elizabeth Wilkinson bring plenty of individual talent to the stage in the Drama Club’s production of “The Music Man,” teamwork is the key to their entertaining partnership.

Matthews and Wilkinson appear as teenage couple Tommy Djilas, the town troublemaker, and Zaneeta Shinn, the mayor’s oldest daughter, in the classic musical.

“From this show, I have learned that teamwork really does make the dreamwork,” said Matthews, a junior who is also the Drama Club’s student director. “We all have such passion and love for this art, and it wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for our full and hardworking cast.”

Wilkinson, a senior and Drama Club secretary, adds that she has grown as an actress while part of the club. She and Matthews have collaborated for months to learn their roles, including complex dance steps. “With this production I’ve really learned to trust my dance partner when it comes to lifts, and to just go for it!” she said.

Although Tommy’s “bad boy” reputation is a departure from Matthew’s respectful nature — “I have a massive fear of authority,” he quipped — Wilkinson says Zaneeta’s “super energetic and bubbly” personality reflects her own.

The son of Judy and Ken Matthews and sibling to brothers Kevin, Mark and Nick, Matthews is also involved with Jazz Ensemble, Wind Symphony and Student Ambassadors. After graduation, he hopes to pursue his love for dance performance and become a physician assistant of dermatology.

Wilkinson, the daughter of Belinda and Mike Wilkinson and sibling to sister Emily, also participates in choir. Her post-graduation plans are to attend Northern Michigan University to study forensic anthropology and Native American cultural studies.

The Hartland Drama Club Troupe #4213 is presenting Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27; at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 28; 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 2, and Saturday, May 4; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 5. Tickets are $15 for adults, and $13 for seniors and students, and available for purchase at For every ticket sold for the Thursday, May 2, performance, $1 will be donated to the Humane Society of Livingston County. All performances will be held at Hartland High School, 10635 Dunham Road, Hartland.

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