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Thursday, 01 December 2011 10:53

Grease is the word for Swift Current Comp performers

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By Jessi Gowan — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

After weeks of preparation, students involved with the Swift Current Comp. High School’s production of Grease finally got the chance to perform for audiences for several showings over the past week.

“The kids really had a lot of fun with it, they were really positive and wished we could have done more shows,” said Stefan Rumpel, drama teacher at SCCHS. “It was definitely successful.”

Rumpel estimates over the course of the week, more than 1,900 members of the community and from the outlying area visited the school to enjoy the production. He is grateful to see so much support from the community, as it encourages the students to continue to attend cultural events themselves as they get older.

“My goal with any production is for it to be entertaining,” he added. “If I don’t want to watch it, why would I put it on?”

Roughly 70 students were involved with the production of Grease, including those in the cast and the behind-the-scenes crew. This number is an increase from participation in last year’s fall production of Treasure Island.

“Last year was my first year, and one of my goals is to help expand the drama program here,” he explained. “Since this was a musical, we were able to integrate some of the choral kids with the drama kids to make for a larger group.”

However, Rumpel feels with the production being a musical, it is possible some of the younger students were too intimidated to try out so early in the school year. He hopes  more of the Grade 9 and 10 students will participate in the spring.

“We did get an influx this year of older students who hadn’t ever tried out for anything before, so that was nice to see,” Rumpel added. “The largest concentration of students in the production were the Grade 12s. They are a really strong bunch, and that’s one of the reasons we decided to go with a musical. One of my pushes in the spring will be to get some younger kids involved, so they can fill those places when the seniors leave.”

Although it is a major time commitment, with approximately 250 hours of extra-curricular time invested, students gain important and unique experiences from working on a production.

“The biggest reason to have kids involved is to develop camaraderie and confidence,” Rumpel explained. “They get to develop such close relationships with their peers, and learn a lot about working with other people. These are things that kids can take with them and apply to other walks of life.”

In December, the spring production. will be chosen.

Rumpel is hoping to try another student-directed approach, to let the students learn the ropes and work with a peer group instead of under a teacher.

“We will also be participating in the Saskatchewan Drama Association’s regional festival, which we are slotted to host this year,” added Rumpel. “We’re not sure yet, but if we do, there will be a variety of schools showing different productions sometime in March 2012.”

Last year, the group competed in Regina for provincials, where they received the ‘Spirit of Festival’ award. Rumpel hopes for a similar experience.

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