Director Erin Palmer and choreographer Amanda Webster answered some questions about the show earlier today for folks who want to know more about “Grease,” or specifically about what will make DHS Drama’s production of it unique and special.
What’s so special about “Grease?” How is it relevant to your life and what you do?
Erin Palmer: “Grease,” the musical, is fun. It is a show that people enjoy watching and they can connect to. Most people have a connection to the movie or the Broadway show and everyone has a connection to high school. Between all the different characters and groups on stage during “Grease,” people can find someone that they can relate to.
Amanda Webster: Not only can many of us relate to the characters and the story line of “Grease,” but the trajectory of the plot draws many connections for our drama students. While some of them are newcomers to the club, and wondered if they would fit in, through trials and tribulations of a real high school setting, they soon realized that they truly have each other in the end, and the memories that they create together will last a lifetime. This group of students have really gelled together, and the laughs that they share onstage are genuine, speaking to the pure enjoyment of time spent together.
Are you putting a unique touch or flavor into your production of the show? If so, please explain.
Palmer: Every show we do has a unique touch or flavor. Since it is a student run production, each student brings their own personal interpretation and energy which culminate into a one-of-a-kind performance.
Tell us about some of the actors who will be playing in the roles.
Palmer: We have a great number of talented students in this production of “Grease,” bringing together veterans and rookies to create a dynamic rendition of this classic. Dan Laird, a senior and the drama club president, plays the role of Danny Zuko. The role of Sandy Dumbrowski was double cast due to the immense talent of our company. Both junior Alexis Benson and senior Chelsea Kearns share the role and bring different aspects to the role of Sandy. Dan, Alexis and Chelsea have all been in previous Dexter Drama shows, as well as shows with other neighboring theatre companies. Owen Telesco, a junior, and Stanley Misevich, a freshman, are participating in their first onstage performances. Telesco plays Kenickie, while Misevich plays his T-Bird pal, Doody.
“Grease” touched on a subculture of youths from a working class American background. How is the struggle portrayed in the show relevant today?
Palmer: There is an adolescent outlook common to all time periods which makes this show a joy to produce with high schoolers as they are able to identify with the characters and their struggles. Also, the cliques represented in this show are mirrored by today’s youth.
If you could get John Travolta on your stage participating in this show, what would you do with him?
Palmer: We take pride in the student talent that we have here at Dexter High School. If John Travolta were available, we would utilize his experience and look to him as a role model for actors. The Broadway script for “Grease” has its differences from the movie script. While we aim to bring some of the familiarity of the artistic choices from the movie, we really hope to create our own interpretation of the original script.