The student-run drama department at Eleanor Roosevelt High School presented the play “Grease” on Thursday in the school’s auditorium. It will also show Friday and Saturday from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Director Megan Elliot wanted a dancing show that would be fun for the students. The senior class put the show together in only a week and a half, Elliot said. It was filled with singing and dancing, which allowed the students to showcase their skills on stage.
“I knew we could get this done,” Elliot said. “I wanted to give the students different opportunities,” she added.
The ensemble of students who worked on the play have put their own touches on the musical.
“Grease” is a 1971 musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey about two lovers in a 1950s high school in a time where Rock N’ Roll dominated the culture. Since its opening the play has remained popular, and in 1978 the musical was converted into a musical film of the same name directed by Randal Kleiser. The show tackles many social issues including teenage pregnancy and gang violence and explores themes of love, friendship, the teenage counterculture, and sexual exploration.
The two-day auditions for Roosevelt’s version of the famed musical began in early September. During the tryouts, students auditioned for the different characters and sang the songs designated for each character. The students who were called back read scripts for each character, and then Elliot determined who was the best fit and assigned roles accordingly.
"Grease" revolves around the romance between Sandy Dumbrowski and Danny Zuko. Eleanor Roosevelt senior Annisse Murillo played the role of Sandy, and this is her debut on stage for a major production. Murillo plans to pursue music education and performance in college.
“I just wanted to go all out. This was my first major production, and I wanted to strive for the best,” Murillo said.
Manuel Ayala, a senior, played Danny Zuko, who is quite the ladies man. Ayala said the competition for that role was intense. The audition process was tough, he said.
“The nerves are going to be there. I was trying to get out of there as fast as possible," Ayala said. "The competition was tough. I was shocked that I got it."