By MATT RAWLINGS
Of the Keizertimes
Last year, the McNary High School theatre department put on a production of The Wizard of Oz for their annual winter musical.
This year, director Tom Cavanaugh wanted to be intentional about putting on a show that involved less “fantasy.”
Even though that is the case, the setting of California in the 1950’s is pretty far from reality for high school students.
Over the next two weekends, the McNary theatre department will transport their audience back to a time of hand-jiving and poodle skirts with their production of the famous musical and major motion-picture Grease.
The play opened on Thursday, Jan. 10, but there will be showings on Friday Jan. 11 and Saturday Jan. 12, as well as Jan. 17 through 19 at 7 p.m. There will also be matinee showings on the 12th and 19th at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $8 for students.
Greaser Danny (played by Steven Cummings) and nice girl Sandy (played by Ingrid Dunn) fall in love over the course of a summer and try to create that same magic when they head back to school and discover that they are both enrolled at Rydell High.
The classic story, along with the traditional outfits, singing and dancing that defined a generation will be sure to provide high-quality entertainment for all ages.
“It’s a fun, light-hearted musical, but it has enough depth to keep you interested,’ said Kennadi Joy Thomas, who will be playing the character of Marty. “It really provides a moment to just watch and enjoy a bunch of McNary high schoolers having a ton a fun, but also see how much work we put in.”
“There are a ton of sets and costumes, so there won’t be a second where they aren’t entertained.”
The props and the costumes, the well choreographed dances, plus the singing and dialogue reveal the hours put in on this project — students have been preparing for the musical since September.


This year, director Tom Cavanaugh wanted to be intentional about putting on a show that involved less “fantasy.”
Even though that is the case, the setting of California in the 1950’s is pretty far from reality for high school students.
Over the next two weekends, the McNary theatre department will transport their audience back to a time of hand-jiving and poodle skirts with their production of the famous musical and major motion-picture Grease.
The play opened on Thursday, Jan. 10, but there will be showings on Friday Jan. 11 and Saturday Jan. 12, as well as Jan. 17 through 19 at 7 p.m. There will also be matinee showings on the 12th and 19th at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for the general public and $8 for students.
Greaser Danny (played by Steven Cummings) and nice girl Sandy (played by Ingrid Dunn) fall in love over the course of a summer and try to create that same magic when they head back to school and discover that they are both enrolled at Rydell High.
The classic story, along with the traditional outfits, singing and dancing that defined a generation will be sure to provide high-quality entertainment for all ages.
“It’s a fun, light-hearted musical, but it has enough depth to keep you interested,’ said Kennadi Joy Thomas, who will be playing the character of Marty. “It really provides a moment to just watch and enjoy a bunch of McNary high schoolers having a ton a fun, but also see how much work we put in.”
“There are a ton of sets and costumes, so there won’t be a second where they aren’t entertained.”
The props and the costumes, the well choreographed dances, plus the singing and dialogue reveal the hours put in on this project — students have been preparing for the musical since September.

“We have been thinking about this show for five months now,” Cavanaugh said. “It can be hard to focus on something for that long, but the cast has been great to work with.”
“We have had some people drop out of the show, so we needed some people to step up. And the people stepping into to new roles were ready to go and they have all done whatever it takes to give the show what it needs.”
This production will feature several classical numbers from the movie, such as; Summer Nights, Greased Lightning, It’s Raining on Prom Night and Alone at the Drive-In Movie.

However, according to the cast, there will be plenty of material in the production that doesn’t follow the traditional formula.
Ingrid Dunn, who plays the role of Sandy, said that “we have similar iconic scenes, like the sleepover and the dances, but it isn’t the same script as the movie.”
Thomas also commented: “We’re trying to make it familiar, but also different enough that people will be excited to come again.”
Luckily, a surprising amount of members of the cast haven’t even seen the movie, so there will be a sense of originality with all the characters.
“It’s been fun to see everyone find their character and make them different,” said Jacob Fritts, who will be playing the role of Kenickie. “These characters aren’t normal individuals and they don’t act like normal people.”
Both Cavanaugh and vocal director Joshua Rist, beamed with pride talking about the final product these students are ready to put on display.
“Keizer should be really proud of its kids and the commitment they have to making a great work of art,” Rist said. “What we’re doing is really cool and I think this experience has enriched kids’ lives.”
Cavanaugh added: “I want to make this an event that the community is proud of and have it be something that will be on their calendar every year. If people come out and support the kids, I think they’ll watch something they can be really proud of.”