0
Votes

‘Grease’ is the Word Coming to Mount Vernon

“Grease” is the word and now it’s coming to Mount Vernon High School. The Broadway musical “Grease” will be performed at MVHS Nov. 10, 11, 17, 18, with 7:30 p.m. performances and 2:30 p.m. matinees on Saturdays.

This year’s cast is filled with performers new to MVHS and returning talent from previous productions.

The male lead, Danny Zuko is played by junior Torres Hodges. “Dany Zuko is one of the three roles I have to play before I die” Torres expects a great performance from himself and his fellow actors.

Female Lead, Sandy Dumbrowski, is played by freshman Katelyn Arthur and junior Gabrielle Henry. Katelyn played the part of Cha Cha in “Grease” last year in middle school. “I really feel like I’ve accomplished something,” she said.

Gabrielle Henry is also thrilled to be playing a lead role. “Coming from such small roles and no acting classes before now, it really means something to get a lead role.”

Another new face in the Drama department is eighth grader Bailey Braun. Playing the part of Jan along with Emily Butterfield, Bailey attends two Mount Vernon classes: Spanish II and Algebra.

She has been part of Mount Vernon Community children’s Theatre for several productions including “Pinocchio” and “The Chronicles of Narnia.”

All cast members have been working especially hard to put on an excellent performance and hope to see their community come out and support them.

NEW TO MOUNT VERNON Theatre, Jake Null has come to be the musical director for “Grease.”

A graduate of Virginia Tech with his bachelor’s degree in arts, he has directed the music in several shows, including “Godspell,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and “A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream.”

Besides instructing the Soloists and choir members in “Grease,” Mr. Null owns his own music business, Europa Studios.

He commented that there was a lot of sheltered talent in the theatre. Several of the cast and crew believe he will be able to bring out the best in all of the performers.

VIKKI WOLTZ, teacher at Mount Vernon, and Sponsor of the High School Dance Team, is choreographing the dance numbers in “Grease.”

She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park and after eleven years she decided to make a career change and become a teacher. Now she teaches freshman developmental reading and developing literacy.

She said, “I would like to see the school offer dance as a class.” With a company of dancers she could engage the dance students in small musicals and the major productions of the Drama department.

DAVID SCHMIDT, teacher/director in the drama department at Mount Vernon High school has been instructing young actors at MVHS for twelve years.

Before coming to Mount Vernon, Mr. Schmidt performed on Broadway, in soap operas, and several commercials.

In 2000 he received his Masters in Social Foundations of Education from University of Virginia and is now working to get his Ph.D. He spent three summers at Beijing University in China, teaching English.

The most rewarding thing for him is being able to help his students find scholarships to go on to college. Mr. Schmidt has many alumni now performing on Broadway.

When asked what it takes for students to become successful, he said, “Passion and dedication are the two ingredients to become successful not just in theatre but all careers and if they can learn those characteristics in high school theatre they can be successful in anything.”