The Department of Music and Theatre at Walters State Community College will present the musical “Grease” in six performances beginning April 21. The spring production of “Grease” marks the first time in 15 years the college has put on the popular musical.
“We have 26 cast members, about half of whom are students at Walters State,” said T.J. Kent, instructor of theatre. “Including the production crew, choreographer and set and costume designers, there are 36 people involved in the production.”
The 1971 musical, written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey, had the longest run in Broadway history when it closed in 1980. It went on to become a successful feature film and enjoy two Broadway revivals. “Grease” remains a staple among community and scholastic drama groups.
The Walters State production is made possible through the college’s working agreement with Encore Theatrical Company in Morristown, and through the college’s Music Theatre degree program. The relatively new program allows students to add more focused and interactive song and dance components to their training.
Kent said about half of the students in the production are in the Music Theatre program, and that the head of that program, Laura Ritter, is music director for “Grease.” The series is expected to attract large audiences.
“This is the most dance-intensive show we’ve done since I’ve been at Walters State,” Kent said. “We’ve been doing quite a few dance rehearsals. It’s a longer process than what we usually do, but I want to make sure all of the choreography is very tight. I want to give the cast enough opportunity to be super comfortable with it.”
The production will present six shows in two weekends in the theatre of the Judge William H. Inman Humanities Complex on the college’s Morristown campus. Kent said he expects some of the performances to sell out.
Performances are set for April 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30. Showtime for Friday and Saturday performances is 7:30 p.m., with Sunday performances begining at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and $5 for students.