Staging a high school musical is hard enough without a blizzard to mess up the schedule.
The cast and crew of Foran High School’s production of Grease can attest to that. In addition to canceling school and forcing school administrators to cancel February vacation, the Blizzard of 2013, which hit Feb. 8, also closed the curtains on the show they had been readying for months.
Now, with extra rehearsals squeezed in to keep the crew ready to wow their audience, the show is ready to take the stage at Foran High School this weekend.
The delay produced more than a little angst, drama club advisor Jessica Shearer said. An enormous amount of time went into readying the show for opening day on blizzard weekend, and having to stall that was difficult, she said.
“Auditions were held in October and we began rehearsing in November,” Shearer said. “The tech crew began work in December and set building began in January. Since the December break, there has either been set building or a rehearsal on Saturday in addition to our Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday rehearsal schedule.”
With the show ready to take the stage several weeks ago, and a blizzard on the way, cast, crew and adult support started strategizing. They thought the snow might alter their production schedule slightly, but they didn’t think it would wipe out the entire weekend.
“We had discussions on Thursday before the blizzard, but at that point we were thinking we would just get snowed out on Friday and we were thinking we would just reschedule that for Sunday, Feb. 10,” Shearer said. “Even on Saturday we were thinking we could do a show on Sunday and then Monday. We didn’t accept the reality of it until Sunday.”
There was a lot of back and forth with the students and the school about rescheduling. Some of the students had plans, including college auditions, so there was a lot of scrambling to find dates that would work and still keep the momentum.
“Ultimately, once school was closed, we had no choice,” Shearer said.
The day the decision was made to postpone the show was a bit of an emotional roller coaster for the students and the adults involved. There is a planned build up to any show, school officials explained, and the change was a let down.
But the show will go on.
Addition rehearsals were scheduled last week and this week, and Grease is, once again, ready to take the stage, Shearer said.
The Foran High School production will take place Friday, March 1, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, March 2 at 2 and 7 p.m. The show is based on Grease, with music and lyrics by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.
The leads in the show are senior Robin Patrick in the role of Sandy and junior Ben Curry in the role of Danny. Kennicki is played by senior Jacob Rockwell and Rizzo is played by freshmen Meredith Bump.
“They are supported by an exceptional cast and crew,” Shearer said.
Advisors are Shearer, who is producing the show; Emily Theodoseau, art advisor, and Theresa Voss, director.
Ticket are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Tickets can be purchased from drama club members or by contacting the main office at Foran High School, 203-783-3502.
Previously purchased tickets will be accepted to any performance, but organizers said they would like people with tickets to exchange them for a ticket on the rescheduled date.