Group nears opening night of their production of “Grease”In a few more weeks, poodle skirts and penny loafers will again reign supreme in Lake County. The Lake Superior Community Theatre is celebrating their 10th anniversary with its production of “Grease” at the William Kelley High School Auditorium.
In a few more weeks, poodle skirts and penny loafers will again reign supreme in Lake County. The Lake Superior Community Theatre is celebrating their 10th anniversary with its production of “Grease” at the William Kelley High School Auditorium.
Executive director and play director Paul Deaner said he’s been thinking about doing a production of “Grease” for years but that it was a matter of making sure he had enough male talent pool to fill the cast. The secret agenda of the Lake Superior Community Theatre’s “Stars on the Shore” talent show last year was to draw out potential male cast members for the “Grease” musical.
“They got a taste of being onstage,” Deaner said.
After “Stars on the Shore,” Deaner said he approached the male participants about “Grease,” and many signed on. Deaner said he loves the enthusiasm of the 54-person cast and is thrilled with the students in the cast who have been putting forth their best efforts.
“We have kids who have never performed in a play or at a play at this level with these demands put on them,” he said.
Two Harbors High School sophomore Kim Riley says “Grease” is her first production. “I’m having so much fun with the dancing and singing,” she said.
The cast has been rehearsing about three times a week since January and took special dance classes last fall. Choreographer Susan Michels said she had a wonderful experience with this cast in teaching them the many different dance styles they were expected to learn. She said the most difficult dance was the hand jive.
“They were so enthusiastic,” she said. “It would only work with a cast that wanted to get it right.”
Deaner says his actors have faced the demands of acting in a quality show: projecting their voices, singing loudly, and expressing their faces and bodies when they perform.
“We do expect them to invest a significant amount of time and energy in what we do. Time is a value and energy is too and they’ve given a lot to be in our show,” he said.
Deaner said he wants the audience to experience a great execution of the play and a well-performed show — the kind of polished product that the public has to come to expect from the Lake Superior Community Theatre.
“I want the kids to do well with the delivery, the timing, the humor,” he said. “I want to see the kids on the stage come to life with their presentation. We want to see a fantastic set with fantastic painting. We want (the audience) to see the car the William Kelley industrial tech department made. We want them to see a technically excellent show.”
William Kelley High School senior Tynan Clark has been involved with Lake Superior Community Theatre since its creation 10 years ago. He said he’s participated in many different aspects of theater, from working as part of the backstage crew to being onstage. This year he is portraying the character of Roger. Clark said he’s been practicing a lot. “I sing in the car,” he said.
Deaner said he thinks the community wants to see quality drama like “Grease.” The director helped to form Lake Superior Community Theatre after he looked at the lack of quality theater and drama classes in local schools. “I wanted to do something about it,” he said.
Deaner added that William Kelley High School has been supportive of the Theatre’s efforts. When the Lake Superior Community Theatre was just getting started, past William Kelley High School Principal George Starkovich agreed to let the group use the school’s facility and the Lake Superior School District’s Community Education department gave the group a $500 seed loan.
“We’ve got a partnership in presenting the arts,” Deaner said.
The Lake Superior Community Theatre became a formal nonprofit organization in 2007. Deaner said the group is open to everybody, although there is a changing age cutoff for potential cast members.
“Grease” will open on April 13 at 7 p.m at the William Kelley High School Auditorium. Deaner said he’s confident the audience will enjoy the show. “They’re going to be knocked out and want to come back,” he said.
Admission is $10 for adults and $8 for students and children. Tickets are sold at the door at and at the Lake Superior Community Theatre’s website, www.lsct.us.
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