‘Grease’: two months to prepare, three days to perform

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Regarding the sheer amount of work, the musical is one of the most stressful times of the school year for the theatre kids, between juggling good grades, theater work and still having a social life. Also, many people think that all plays and musicals are all about what’s on stage, but what some don’t know is what goes on backstage or what it takes to prepare for the show in two months. This year’s musical, “Grease” is no different.
Crew
Some may say that the crew is not thought about much while everyone is watching the actors in awe; but without the stage crew’s hard work and preparation, there would be no plays or musicals.
One of the crew members is senior Alaina Speiser. Her favorite thing to do is painting because she can learn to shade for a different effect on a set like a dungeon wall instead of a two dimensional art piece.
“It’s really fun to get involved with (crew),” Speiser said.
Although crew members don’t have exact lines to remember and don’t have to practice singing, they are responsible for taking sets on and off. Also, letting the actors know when they’re supposed to go on and off stage. They also prep for the next scene and move props around backstage. They create all of the backgrounds and most props that are used in productions year-round.
“I do feel like people think it’s as if things just happen backstage like magic,” Speiser said.
Speiser says towards the beginning of a production, such as now, everyone stays until about three or four. Closer to the show, though, they stay at school late, working hard, getting as much done as possible.
Leads and Directors
“Grease” will be co-directed by Ms. Barbara Whitlock and Ms. Katherine Doty. The leads, Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsen, will be played by seniors Devin Gray and Chloe Marsh.
Whitlock, who has only been a technical director for past school musicals, will also now be in charge of the movement on stage. She claims it’s kind of made herself her own worst enemy, but she knows in the end, that all her and her production team’s hard work will pay off.
A lot of the stress is also placed onto the leads due to having the most lines, and in this case, being upperclassmen that are expected to set a model for the younger participants.
“I’m hoping that I can bounce some ideas off of Chloe, and the other seniors, and help one another through the stress,” Gray said.
Marsh has been in two musicals before this and expressed how being a lead is a huge responsibility when it comes to memorizing lines. Both of the leads must be able to go on stage during rehearsal without a script by Oct. 26. Marsh is also prepared to help out the rookies and underclassmen participating.
Gray, on the other hand, is a rookie himself. He personally didn’t even know he could sing well until auditions. Nevertheless, Whitlock says that being a rookie shouldn’t be a disadvantage to him, but rather has the potential to be an advantage. Most of the time, rookies in the musicals are so stoked to participate that they’re usually one of the most coadjutant during the production.
¨I think for me, it being my first musical, I’m going through a lot of the same things as them (underclassmen), but being a senior I’m kind of looked up to more…¨ Gray said, ¨I can offer some insight, but at the same time, learn with them.¨
Gray and Marsh agreed that not all the stress has set in yet, but they will be prepared for when it builds up as the show gets closer.
Overall, Marsh, Gray and Whitlock, have very high expectations for the musical. Even with the stress and responsibility that rests on them, they’re more than stoked to perform ¨Grease.¨
¨No matter what, this will leave people in awe and loving every moment of it,¨ Marsh said.