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Delta Secondary presents Grease

Musical production begins next week at Genesis Theatre
Delta Secondary students, including Jenna Khara, Hector Orellana-Boucher and Lesley Antic, practice one of their numbers during a rehearsal earlier this month. The high school presents Grease starting next week.

In 1999 Rebecca Salton was in Grade 12 at Delta Secondary and played Frenchie for the school's production of Grease.

Now she's a teacher at the Ladner high school and directing DSS's latest edition of the popular musical. "I'm always of the opinion, go big or go home," Salton says, adding the 15-year mark felt like a good anniversary to revisit the play. "We picked the biggest

musical you could do." There are seven scenes, over 130 kids and at least 10 adults involved in the production. Groups taking part include the theatre company, theatre production, dance academy and band program.

It brings back a lot of memories to be doing Grease again, says Salton, adding she wants to make her former drama instructor Janet Worrall, who she's still in touch with, proud.

"It makes me emotional to think of that moment of her sitting here and watching

this." The musical, which debuted in the early 1970s, follows a group of teenagers as they make their way through high school in the late 1950s.

"At this point in 2014 it's fun to visit a different era. I think it's really fun to take a step into a different time and place," says Salton. "It teaches us how different we are but it also reminds us how teenagers have not really changed, in a way."

The music is a memorable part of Grease and Summer Nights is probably

one of the most exciting and well-known songs, Salton says.

We Go Together is really representative of the play as a whole, with friends going through high school together, through good times and bad, she adds.

Those Magic Changes is one of her favourites and Greased Lightnin' is a "big deal" too, she says.

Grade 12 student Cheyanne Makelki portrays Sandy in the production.

"I've been wanting to play Sandy since I was really little. It's been my dream," she says.

Grease has been her favourite movie for years, she says.

Hector Orellana-Boucher, who plays Danny, is also a big fan of the 1978 film, which starred John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

"I used to watch the movie all the time when I was a kid, and I still do, and I always wanted to be Danny Zuko," he says.

Salton says she loves how much of an impact theatre can have students and their overall lives.

"Yes, we're putting on a show, we're dancing, singing and acting," she says. "But really what it's about is building confidence, teaching them skills they're going to use in their real lives, commitment, dedication, organization, time management."

DSS presents Grease at Genesis Theatre from April 30 to May 2 and from May 7 to 10 at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale at the box office at lunch and after school. Call 604-940-0069.

Tickets cost $15 for adults and $13 for students and seniors.