By Tony Johnson | Arts & Entertainment Editor

The cast and crew of the Johnson theatre production of Grease are set to light up the stage with grease-lightning (pun-intended) starting Feb. 3 at 7 PM in the Johnson auditorium. All of the art departments have greatly contributed to this lavish high school production of the hit Broadway play and movie, and their efforts will no doubt culminate in success on opening night.

“The last I heard, the cast for the Grease play is 60 students strong,” junior and chorus member Bria Woods said. “It’s truly a collaboration of art and passion. We have members from the dance team, tech theatre, regular theatre classes, productions theatre, art, even the band choir; everyone has just come together to collaborate [and share] ideas and talents to put on this production.”

Despite the numbers involved, producing a play that involves dancing, singing, and acting can still be a challenge at times. Grease demands constant rehearsals and a lot of detail.

“There are a lot more elements to this play since we have to add in song, musicians, and dancing; even the set is different,” co-theatre director Jay Asterman said. “For Hamlet we had a very stationary set, so things didn’t move and actors just moved around the set. Here we’ve got a whole bunch of different set-pieces on wheels and things are going to be coming in and out, so blocking and choreography all have to be around that as well.”

Having two experienced performers in the lead roles of Danny and Sandy makes it seem less of a struggle.

“I spend a lot of time getting into character and thinking about what that person goes through, their past life, and why they act the way they do,” senior Josh Talliaffero said. “I’ve watched a lot of ‘greasers’, a lot of things from the 50’s. I’ve watched a lot of films that have to do with the character and I spend a lot of time trying to be cool because I’m not really cool.”

Even though there are plenty of sources of inspiration, the cast is still adapting to the skill of dancing, singing, and acting all at once.

“Usually, I like to do that so I make it work,” senior Victoria Trujillo said. “But sometimes I’ll lose my character in the dancing because I’m focusing on the dancing versus the acting. So, putting the dancing in with acting is probably the hardest part, but the singing and the acting are very easy for me.”

Putting the show on is no easy task, but when it’s all said and done, the challenge and time devoted to its production will be rewarding.

“The stage version I just like better,” Trujillo said. “It has more songs for all of the characters, not just Danny and Sandy, that you get to hear which are in the movie soundtrack but they’re just background music, so there’s a lot of new songs and everyone kind of gets their moment to shine.”

The ticket prices of $10 pre-sale and $12 at the door are well worth it for such an energetic production put on by fellow classmates. As Talliaffero put it, it will be…

“A wonderful experience and a thrill-ride worth millions!”

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