Putting together a high school play can be a labor of love: It usually takes a few months from auditions, to working on learning lines, to rehearsals, and finally to Opening Night.

Along the way, the cast members, teachers and crew become a family.

That was once again the case this spring semester at Gridley High School as the school’s drama department put on a great production of “Mary Poppins Jr.,” an abridged version of the Broadway musical.

The play was sponsored by Industrial Electronics, the Kaleidoscope Gridley Arts Foundation, and the Gridley Educational Foundation.

Volunteer director Mark Johnson said he enjoyed being part of the production.

“It’s great to see it come together, and watch the kids develop,” Johnson said.

Seeing the kids in their element on play night, Johnson said, is the payoff for all those months of hard work behind the scenes.

For the student actors, the play is something else to be worked into their busy schedules, between school, sports, clubs and all the other things that go into being a California teenager.

Whitney Sannar, a Gridley senior, had the lead role of Mary Poppins this time out.

What Sannar enjoys the most, she said, is the relationships formed during the long months of putting together the play.

“You make new friends,” Sannar said.

Chet Gibson, meanwhile, played “Bert.” Gibson said he enjoys the entire play process, from the auditions, to long days spent first learning your lines, to the rehearsals, and finally showtime.

“That’s the time when all your hard work pays off,” Gibson said.

Indeed, both Sannar and Gibson said the cheers of the crowd are what it’s all about.

And there were plenty of those last Friday night at the Gridley Community Center as the play wrapped up its halfway point of the run with a 7 p.m. show.

Two shows on Saturday wrapped up the run.

Sannar said there’s not much difference in the schedule for putting on two shows in the same day.

“Your feet just get a little more tired,” Sannar said with a smile.