BEACON FALLS — The Woodland Regional High School drama club is bringing the sounds and moves of the 1950s to the stage.
The club will present the musical Grease at the school in Beacon Falls May 2 and May 3.
“We’ve finished staging everything. Right now we are working on music and cleaning everything up. It’s very exciting,” senior Karlee Vogel, who plays Sandy, said earlier this week.
The play, which is set in 1959 at fictional Rydell High School, follows Sandy, an innocent girl who is new in town, and Danny, the tough leader of the local high school gang of boys, as they fall in love and try to overcome their class differences.
Director Susan Cinoman said the students chose to do this play and have been enthusiastic about performing it since they began rehearsing in March.
Cinoman said that sometimes when students want to do a play the royalties, or rental fees, are so high it prohibits them from putting the show on. However, Grease was within the theater’s budget.
“We were able to raise the funds and pay the royalties. So I could give them what they wanted,” Cinoman said. “I thought the community would really enjoy it too. It is such an all-around crowd pleasing show. Everybody loves it.”
With Grease, Cinoman said, teenagers are able to relate to the struggles the characters are going through and adults are able to reminisce about their teenage years during the show.
Senior Catherine Pelkey, who plays Betty Rizzo, echoed Cinoman’s sentiments.
“Aside from the show being iconic, the music is very fun. It brightens your day. It’s just a story everyone can relate to and everyone can watch it and be immersed in it for a couple of hours,” Pelkey said.
Cinoman said the cast has taken to the play because they are playing roles of people who are their own age.
“When I direct them in things they are usually stretching themselves to suit the character. In this case they are these characters. They don’t have any disconnect between what’s on the page and what they are doing,” Cinoman said.
That connection has allowed the cast to embrace their characters.
“The cast is so very their characters. The cast embodies the characters whole. We’ve embraced them so much,” Pelkey said.
Junior Robert Wiener, who plays Danny, added, “It’s wonderful to see all the other cast members … spread their wings in a very different way. In the end it turned out to be a good process. I really feel proud doing this musical.”
Pelkey said the crew has also been working very hard to make sure the show runs perfectly.
“The crew is just so helpful. It’s been a large process with costumes because everything has to be just right because the musical is so iconic. Everyone has put in 100 percent,” Pelkey said.
Though she was nervous about doing a dancing production, Pelkey is pleased with the results.
“At first when I heard about Grease I was very flustered about the dancing because we haven’t done a big dancing show in a while. So I was unsure about how that was all going to come together, but with the help the students, the choreographer, and everybody, we’ve really just pitched in and we’ve made it our show. It’s very representative of what we wanted it to be,” Pelkey said.
The club will put on two shows both at 7:30 p.m. May 2 and May 3. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for adults and can be purchased at the box office at the school.