story by Rebekah Street and Maddie Mason
District 5 theatre students gathered in the Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College to perform the theatrical interpretation of the 1978 hit movie Grease.
Students from all over the district have been preparing for this year’s musical.
“We started rehearsals on March 3. We’ve spent every day, including several Saturdays, blocking the show, learning lines, choreographing dances and harmonizing songs,” Spring Hill junior Carrie Melton said. “These past two weeks we’ve been getting ready for opening night.”
Along with working with each other to ensure the show will run smoothly, actors have also been learning how to portray their characters.
“My character has been more than fun to play,” junior Hailee Beltzhoover said. “I’m Ms. Lynch, the mean old English teacher, who is constantly trying to keep the rambunctious Rydell High kids in order…especially Mr. LaTierre.”
While cast members can relate to their characters easily, others are playing a counterpart to who they really are.
“I would say [my character and I are] pretty different, mainly because I try not to be so harsh with people,” Carrie said. “But at the same time, Rizzo and I have a low tolerance for dumb questions.”
Only one district musical is put together per school year, and it differs slightly from the smaller plays that individual schools are able to perform each year. A district musical can be more challenging to put together.
“From the beginning, it has been really difficult because you’re getting students from four different high schools together and trying to get them all together at the same time,” Dutch Fork choir teacher Josh Wall said. “But overall, it has been a fairly smooth process because most of all [the students] have been in attendance for everything.”
The pros far outweigh the cons, however, as the district musical is a time where students who share the same passion are able to work together.
“[Doing a district musical is important] for two reasons: One, you get to befriend amazingly talented people from all around the district that you would’ve never crossed paths with otherwise,” Spring Hill junior Logan Baldwin, who plays Danny, said. “Two, with a once a year district show, the overall quality of the show is far [better] than that of a regular high school show. There’s just more anticipation behind it, so more work gets put into it.”
With Grease being a well known musical and movie, it was key that the students had enough time to prepare for the show.
“I think we’ve done well with the timing we were given,” senior Sara Alston said. “A lot of things certainly could have been better but I’m proud of how we brought it together.”
A period of seven to eight weeks are usually allotted for the yearly district musical; however this year, students were given only six weeks.
“The most challenging part about the musical this year is that we had only a mere month and a half to put it all together. Because of that, the whole cast has had to put on their best [performances] and work as hard as possible 24/7, which is not an easy thing [to do] with school and prom and exams,” Logan said. “But we pulled it off and I’m extremely proud of everyone.”
Nerves and anticipation are high for the debut of the 2015 Grease district musical, starting April 22. Students get to not only get to interact with the entire district, but work towards their dreams as well.
“[Playing a lead role] is more terrifying than it is satisfying. Being a lead sounds great and all, but then you get your script and see that you’re in almost every scene, dance and song and it’s just exhausting at times,” Logan said. “But nonetheless, my dream is to perform on stage. I couldn’t be happier.”