Recent History – 2000
Jan. 14, 2000
By Margaret Haugen, South Peace Secondary School Reporter
Q: Combine teenagers, an old car, classic rock’n’roll, a love story, and what do you get?
A: Greased lightning!
Grease is the SPSS major theatre production this year, and students are feverishly readying for public performances starting next week.
It is a story of high school life in the ‘50s. Sandy, the new girl in town, has trouble fitting in with the tough crowd. She’s too innocent to really belong with the ‘greasers’. It is also a love story involving Sandy and one of the greasers named Danny.
Frederick Klem, theatre teacher, describes the play as upbeat, entertaining, and “a lot of fun.” There’s good music and dance without a lot of serious messages. Grease was made into a popular motion picture, starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John, in the 1970s.
Students have wanted to do Grease for a long time, he adds. It is a major change from Shakespearean plays, which tend to involve difficult acting.
But a lot of effort has gone into preparing the show.
The major theatre students in Grades 10, 11, and 12 have been working on the production since September. As well as acting, students made the sets. Costumes were designed by Cheryl Penney. For one scene in the show an old car was needed. Six boys from the autoshop class restored a ‘50s car for the production.
Klem says he has really enjoyed his work on the play. He is co-director along with student Jenny Gorton. Gorton also choreographed the dances, which Klem notes are particularly impressive.
Music for the production is provided by members of the community, as SPSS has no music department. The band consists of Alice Eagles on piano, Tom Leawood on guitar, Lann Lieurance and Gertraud Martschin on tenor saxophone, Ian Munro on bass guitar, and Dennis Riggs on drums.
Students received voice training from Debbie Maddigan.
Ian Mcpherson says the best part about being in the production is “how high energy the show is.” He plays Vince Fontaine, a radio announcer who he describes as a “cocky guy who thinks he’s God’s gift to women.”
Alisha Kurjata, who plays Sandy, says working on the play this year has been “interesting, exciting, a whole new experience.” She participated in last year’s play as well.
Aaron Mathias, who plays Danny, describes it as “lots of work, lots of fun.” He says that the “interaction with other people” is the best part of participating in these productions. Mathias took part in the previous plays, “The Tempest” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” He says Grease is more upbeat and fun, and easier for people to relate to.
Sarah Greaves describes the experience of participating in a play as interesting. She especially enjoys the dancing, as she is a dancer in the Wendy Cox school of dance.
Grease will be presented to SPSS students next week. Public performances will be at Unchagah Hall on January 20, 21, and 22 at 8 p.m., and on January 23 at 2 p.m.