MTS was given an offical review by the Ready Theater Arts group. Here is what they had to say about our awesome students.
Muckleshoot Tribal School
We saw a fun loving production of GREASE that sure seemed to make the audience very happy. We heard some sound system problems throughout the early scenes which were resolved after the director Jess made an announcement that “we are going to have a ‘do over’”. The audience cheered loudly and approvingly. I think that was a great call. Everyone in the cast and crew got a fresh start. The sound improved greatly after that decision. It seemed like this allowed each performer to do their best to be heard and understood.
Design elements of costumes and sets provided a believable world for this story. This gave a solid foundation for the actors to keep the story and plot crystal clear. Much of the action of the scenes was played up center, which made it hard for the audience to connect with the story and the storytellers. This performance space is challenging. One solution could be to work the very down center, down left and down right positions of the stage. Another solution may be to use a small raised stage for some of the scene work. Scene changes from scene to scene were often slow, which tended to interfere with the flow of the storytelling. One solution is to practice scene changes only for part of one rehearsal. Another solution may be to overlap scene changes, as one scene ends then beginning of the next can start right away.
After the curtain call, the cast walked down to a ‘Red Carpet’ area. It was stanchioned off so that fans could gather and take pictures of all the performers. This was a great idea and gave some ‘Glitz’ to the occasion. The whole cast and their family members were able to shower them all with praise (and get some autographs). I’d never seen this done at a High School show and thought it was very inventive and practical (and GREAT for students.)
These actors were ready to perform. We could see that in their physical eagerness. And that’s a testament to your ability to spark and nurture your theatre program. Congratulations.
We heard an excited cast with varying degrees of physical animation and energy in delivering the vocal score. I noticed some challenges with the vocal balance between chorus and principals. Continue to work together to be understood without one dominating over the other. One solution is to practice group numbers with the soloist(s) on one side of the room and the ensemble group on the other. As they practice together a call and answer dynamic can be experimented with until the group finds their vocal balance naturally. It was a pleasure to see this whole company, take on this lively and catchy score. Good work.
We noticed effective choreography in this show. WE GO TOGETHER was the highlight with its boisterous energy manifesting in crisp patterns of two couples across the stage and three rows back. The movements looked well-rehearsed and seemed to challenge everyone’s personal strengths. I also noticed a sense of ‘play’ with each dancer. Besides the group unison movements (hand jives, etc..), this number also provided several solo, ‘spotlight’ features which was fun to watch. This choreography helped further the dramatic action of the play, celebrating the group’s closeness to each other. Nice work..
We saw some very effective scene elements in this show. The cars at the drive in and GREASED LIGHTING were great. These cardboard cutouts had details that made these cars work well. They also were endowed with importance by every actor. The lockers in the hallway at school were also very well constructed and helped with the reality of the setting. All set pieces at the Burger Palace looked very authentic and helped establish the location of the play. Overall, this set provided a very effective setting for the Greasers..
We noticed an effective lighting design. All actors were well lit with no shadows. The action of the play and storytelling were supported by this work. The uses of color appeared limited to yellows and reds. I noticed the intensity was at just one or two levels throughout the show. It made me think that an idea worth considering would be to try a couple other intensities (25% and 75% for example) This could help support any mood shifts in the story that you feel is appropriate. Overall, an effective design. Good work.
We noticed a very effective costume design. Each costume helped establish class and emotional condition. The students looked very believable in their attire (1950s, James Dean, High School student dress) The boys in jeans, t-shirts, leather jackets and boots (or penny loafers), with the women in colorful short sleeved tops, knee-high pressed skirts, and bobby socks. We also saw attention to detail like in GREASED LIGHTNING , the guys had bandanas that were checked like a finish line flag. All the costumes fit well and were neatly kept. Most importantly, all costumes gave each actor free range of movement to dance, act and sing in their individual scenes. Good work.
HAIR AND MAKEUP
We saw an effective hair and makeup design. We noticed that both men and women had the appropriate amount of foundation to be seen and expressions readable. Men with slick backed hair added to the reality of the world of the play. Good work.
This stage crew did a good job of keeping this production moving. All set piece moves were moved by crew members wearing darker clothing to help mask their presence to the audience. We saw deliberate set movements during each change which occasionally would slow the story down. One solution is to rehearse just the set moves some time around the opening week. Just practicing these moves, without actors, can help build confidence and efficiency in all scene transitions. We saw crew working hard to do an effective job of keeping the play moving forward. Great work.
Some notes in Performer Categories:
Raven Stevenson as Sandy:
We heard effective vocal energy in your portrayal of the Sandy. That energy helped us hear your lyrics and understand the emotions of the character. I also noticed challenges with pitch on occasion. In those instances, work with your music director to develop strength in your breath support. It’s that foundation that will improve consistency with reaching all notes with confidence. Physically we saw a confident mover and dancer. We also saw an emotional connection with the character’s inner drive and emotional involvement with her friends. For example, we saw you relate very effectively to Frenchy, Marty and Rizzo. You revealed character as a strong person, willing to risk her comfort level in order to be accepted by her classmates (and Danny). Congratulations on an effective performance. We wish you continued success.
Shane Moses as Danny:
You brought a vibrant Danny to life in your portrayal of him. You have a natural charisma on stage. We heard effective vocal work and you knew your material well.
We also noticed you had effective articulation with lyrics and your spoken lines. I encourage you to keep finding roles that challenge your vocal skills. Working with your music director you can build on maintaining pitch control through strong breath support. This will make another avenue available to tap into your high levels of expressiveness. Your solid stage presence gave you the ability to let us see and believe the arc of this character. We saw an expressive and confident mover in all your numbers. Congratulations on a solid performance.
Isabel Baca as Frenchy
We saw an excellent actor and singer in your performance. You have a natural and bubbly stage presence. Your articulation was clear, with lines and lyrics that were easy to understand. Everyone in the audience responded to your humorous punchlines. It was really fun to see. Your natural ease on stage supported all your acting work. People’s attention was rapt when you fearlessly held stage and kept your wits as the cue for BEAUTY SCHOOL DROPOUT song didn’t come up on time. You showed great bravery and determination because the show must go one right? That was a fantastic moment. Continue to pursue finding leading and supporting roles like this. They suit you well. Congratulations on a truly wonderful performance. We wish you continued success.
Erick Elkins as Roger
We saw a solid performances from Erick Elkins as Roger. In him we saw a truly excellent dancer. He possess great stage presence and was very expressive in his movements.
We saw an engaged chorus. Your collective presence as a singing and dancing ensemble was very evident. Your acting work in each scene, especially “WE GO TOGETHER” was amazing. We saw characters listening and reacting to each other. This showed me that the cast was focused on being present and supporting the main action without distraction. Vocally we heard a very well-prepared cast. We heard clear lyric articulation and clean vocal cutoffs. Your physical presence and command of the dancing in the musical number “GREASED LIGHTING” was a highlight. It made the entire audience feel the comedic nature of the story, judging by all the laughter. This engaging ensemble an effective performance Congratulations.