MHS Drama Club to perform “Grease — The Musical”

Meeker junior Collin Cochran, who will play the characer “Danny,” practices a dance with freshman Andrea Edinger. The MHS drama club and the International Thespian Society Troupe 1284, will perform the play Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., both nights in the MHS auditorium. Photo by BECCA NIELSEN
Meeker junior Collin Cochran, who will play the characer “Danny,” practices a dance with freshman Andrea Edinger. The MHS drama club and the International Thespian Society Troupe 1284, will perform the play Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., both nights in the MHS auditorium. Photo by BECCA NIELSEN

The Meeker High School Drama Club is gearing up to perform “Grease — The Musical” this Friday and Saturday, April 22 and 23, at 7 p.m. in the MHS auditorium. The directors are certain that it will be well worth the $7 ticket price to watch this show.
A talented cast of actors and actresses ensures a great performance. The drama club performed this musical six years ago for Meeker and once again will “wow” the crowd. Director Gary Zellers noted, “The crowd will notice a difference in the play with the different mix of kids.”
For nine years Gary and his wife Laurie, the stage manager, have been involved with the drama club. They both encourage the kids to develop their own characters through the chemistry on stage. The club will sometimes watch the movie but the directors like to give them the latitude to find their own idea of who their characters are.
Even if you attended the play six years ago, come again for a new twist. With every performance and the multiple facets involved, something new is bound to occur.
“The audience has no idea what really happens behind the scenes,” Gary said of the shows. Last year a musical miscue on an iPod had a lead singer belting a major song, acappella.
“Most people thought that it was part of the play!”
Because technical issues can and will arise, Gary and his team encourage the kids to learn the story in segments. That way if a difficulty pops up the actors and actresses can shuffle through one segment and move forward without a hitch. Sometimes the cast can even loop back and hit several pages in the script that were inadvertently missed the first time through. Gary is amazed by what a cast can do in times of crisis during a live performance.
This year the audience can look for some new faces on stage as well as some seasoned veterans. Sophomore Amanda Kendall, playing the part of the quirky Frenchy, has been involved in the drama club since Gary and Laurie can remember. Kendall has many solid performances under her belt. Gary warns the audience to “Look for the Lathrop’s (Hughes) moment of comedic timing.” Sophomore Hughes is bursting with talent and energy as ladies’ man, Sonny.
Naturally brunette sophomore Kaylyn Edwards went blond to play the lead female part of Sandy. Rizzo will be played by senior Laura Glass. When asked about the upcoming event Glass, still in character, replied, “Bomb diggity!”
A few other faces to watch include Collin Cochran as Danny, Charlie Adams as the greaser Kenickie, Caleb Dodds as suave Roger, Justin Hardy playing awkward Eugene, Mariah Jensen as Jan, Denee Chintala as the seductive Cha-Cha, Andrea Edinger as the ever-so-sweet Patty and Maclaine Shults stepping into the role of the worldly Marty.
Behind the scenes many adults dedicate their time and energy to make this annual production a success. Kim Kendall and Mary Washburn are assistant directors who take care of the set and props. Kendall busies herself with the dancers and also lines out the set crews. After years helping out, she still enjoys “watching the kids grow and shine at something they are good at.” Bob Amick is in charge of the technical aspects of the light and sound.
Overall, Gary feels “this group of kids has been full of energy and has had no problems.”
This is a huge undertaking for everyone involved. Watching the final result is well worth your time. According to Gary his payoff is that working with these kids makes him feel younger.