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Drama students rehearsing for 'Grease'

March 07, 2007|by MARLO BARNHART

SMITHSBURG - When the curtain rises on the Smithsburg High School drama department's production of "Grease," the two key performers in this time-honored musical will be ready to sing and dance and act up a storm.

"Musicals are my thing," said Erika Cooper, a senior who plays Sandy Dumbrowski, the heroine of the play, which debuts March 22 in the school auditorium.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. through March 24 and again March 30 and 31, also at 7 p.m.

Playing Danny Zuko is Kirk Livers, also a senior.

"There were three serious contenders for the part of Danny," Kirk said.

Nearly a dozen girls tried out for the role of Sandy, according to Ruth Hobson, who teaches music and theater at Smithsburg High.

"It all came down to singing, acting and dancing," Hobson said. "There were four judges and I made the decisions."

Impressed with her young thespians, Hobson said the lead characters and the chorus members are dedicated and work hard.

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Even while Hobson was away for a few days, the play rehearsals went on with Kyla Greenhorn as the student stage manager - a role she said she really enjoys.

"We had about 55 people show up for tryouts, which were the week before Thanksgiving," Kyla said.

She also was the stage manager for an earlier SHS dessert theater production of "Jolly Roger and the Pirate Queen."

Erika said she has listened to the soundtrack from "Grease" about 300 times. And she can add to that her experience as a Doo Wop girl in "Little Shop of Horrors."

"I have two solos and two duets," Erika said of her role in "Grease."

Kirk, a tenor, started singing in church. He also took piano lessons, which led to him being "discovered" by Hobson when he played for the production of "Oklahoma."

She said she was pleased to find out then that Kirk also could sing.

As for the future, Erika said she would like to teach theater and Kirk has his sights on a career in medicine.

The cast of "Grease" recently journeyed to Musselman High School in nearby Inwood, W.Va., to view that drama department's version of the musical.

Kirk said he got a lot of ideas from attending that production.

"They all came back quite energized," Hobson said.

"Grease" is set in the late 1950s and tells the story of the T-Birds and the Pink Ladies as they interact in their senior year of high school.

Sets include a high school dance and the soda shop.

Tickets will be on sale after March 11. They can be obtained by calling 301-824-3658.

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