Grease Takes The Stage At Wilson High In Collaboration With MTW

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MTW & Wilson HighMusical Theatre West is proud to announce its collaboration with Wilson High School to produce the first fully staged musical at the school in a decade. GREASE at the Wilson High School Auditorium will run for two performances on Friday, March 18 and Saturday March 19 at 7:30 p.m. The production will be directed and choreographed by K.C. Gussler and musically directed by Curtis Heard, choir teacher at Wilson High School.

The story of this partnership starts with the MTW Footlighter’s Scholarship program. The MTW Footlighters held its scholarship auditions last year and many of the students who participated mentioned that Wilson High, even despite having a musical theater club on campus, had not mounted a musical theater production in ten years.

Paul Garman, MTW’s Executive Director/Producer, and Sari Rose Poll, MTW’s Education and Outreach Coordinator, met with faculty, students and parents about putting on a show, and it was agreed that the project was a perfect fit on which the two organizations could collaborate. It is part of MTW’s ongoing mission to keep the American art form of musical theater alive, and the organization is committed to exposing students to the joy and magic of live musical theater.

Musical Theatre West is committed to reaching out to the community and made a commitment to provide the funding necessary for a professional learning experience at Wilson. Musical Theatre West will put up the $25,000 necessary to produce the show. Funds to cover the expenses for this production of Grease are being raised through MTW’s Education and Outreach Program as well as through private donations and fundraising efforts through Wilson High’s Parent and Alumni groups.

MTW will utilize as many students as possible both on- and off-stage working as actor/singer/dancers, crew members and musicians. This experience will have Wilson students trained and mentored by working theater professionals. “The hope,” said Sari Rose Poll, MTW’s Education and Outreach Coordinator, “is that the students will have the experience of doing a musical and will learn and enjoy being mentored by theater professionals.”

GREASE tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at 562-856-1999 x4. Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Musical Theatre West Box Office located at 4350 E. 7th Street, Long Beach, CA 90804 from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Tickets will be available at the door on the evening of both performances. Tickets are $10 for student general admission, $15 for adult general admission and premium general seating tickets are available for $25. A special dinner/premium ticket package will be $50 per person will be available for the Friday, March 18th performance. Dinner and parking included in this package will be at the Musical Theatre West building located across from the school on the corner of 7th and Ximeno. All tickets are subject to handling fees. Contact box office for more details. There will be no refunds or exchanges offered for GREASE.

GREASE is still the word as this popular Broadway musical classic has been playing to audiences for years. GREASE is set at Rydell High in 1959. Rydell is filled with rebellious, thrill-loving students. In the midst of this scene, Sandy enters as the new girl in school. It turns out that she and bad boy Danny Zuko have had a brief love affair the summer before. While Sandy stresses to her new classmates the emotional attachment she and Danny had, Danny stresses the physical aspects of their relationship. As the show goes on, the students at Rydell High have to deal with various teen issues of the day as well as their personal friendships. In the end, Sandy and Danny resolve their differences and end up happily together. GREASE’s rock-and-roll score has long since become a part of our nation’s cultural heritage and includes the songs “You’re The One That I Want,” “We’ll Be Together,” “Sandy,” and the show-stopping “Greased Lightning.”

GREASE opened at the Eden Theatre on February 14, 1972. Its book, music and lyrics were written by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey.

The performance schedule for GREASE is Friday and Saturday, March 18 & 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Wilson High School Furjanik/Sandberg Auditorium. GREASE is being produced in partnership with Wilson High School’s Musical Theatre Club and Musical Theatre West’s Education Outreach Program. This program is made possible through private donations. If you would like donate, contributions can be sent to the Musical Theatre West office, 4350 E. 7th Street, Long Beach, CA 90804; please earmark your donation as a “Grease Sponsorship.” Credit cards are accepted for donation by calling the MTW Box Office at 562-856-1999 x 4 Monday through Friday from noon to 6:00 p.m.

Musical Theatre West’s Grease Sponsors are the Ackerman Family/Evalyn M. Bauer Foundation, Arts Council for Long Beach, Supervisor Don Knabe, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Wilson High School Class of 1955.

Musical Theatre West’s main stage season continues with “Cats,” February 11-27, 2011, and the World Premiere of the new Roger Bean musical, “Summer of Love,” April 1-17, 2011, and concludes with “The Wedding Singer,” July 8-24, 2011.

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