Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The 50s invade Vistamar

Last weekend the students put on 6 shows of the musical Grease. The first two shows were on Friday and then there were two each on Saturday and Sunday. Thus, Friday was declared 50s day. Unfortunately, apparently only the teachers were told this because a number of us, myself included were surprised when the students didn't dress up. Actually, the students not only didn't dress up, but they had no idea why some of the teachers were dressed like it was the 1950s.
I'm a huge fan of the 1950s and so a couple of years ago I had my mother make me a poodle skirt. She did an incredible job. Unfortunately, I realized at Halloween that none of my Halloween costumes, including my poodle skirt made it to California. I'm pretty sure they are at my grandmother's house, but I have been back twice and I never remember to look for them. Thus, when they announced 1950s day I was sad. I decided I still really wanted to participate and I found a cheap poodle skirt on Amazon (sorry mom I really would have preferred the one you made!). I ordered it and then the night before I bought a curling iron. I wanted to create a style that appears to be called a bouffant (I think that was the style I wanted it has been almost a week). Well, I didn't actually know how and I couldn't get my hair to do quite what I planned, so I tied it back with a scarf. It was really cute nonetheless. We took a picture of the staff that dressed up. Originally, I wasn't going to include that picture here, but then Sunday morning at swim practice one of the women was like, "Do you teach at Vistamar School?" I replied that I did and she told me she had seen a picture of me (and the others) on Facebook. She said I wasn't tagged in the picture, but I figure between that and the fact that the picture went out in our school newsletter last week, it is fair game.
"Rydell Staff"
On Saturday morning, I gave my students a mock AP Chemistry exam (I of course only gave this to the students in AP Chemistry) and then in the afternoon I went to see the musical Grease. I was rather tired since the play started at 2 pm and I had arrived at school at 8:40 am (on a Saturday after of course working a full week) so I wasn't sure I really wanted to be there. However, the performances were limited to 100 each and I already had a ticket so I didn't want to not go and leave an empty spot, so I went. I am glad I did. It was the most interesting play I have ever been to.
The audience came in and sat down in chairs to wait for the performance to begin. Then Eugene and Patty (I will refer to everyone by their character names here) came and welcomed the audience to their first day of school. They let us know that the day would be interactive and told us to come on. So we followed Eugene through the halls. As we were walking down the hall we started to see cast members hanging out and then all of the sudden the started the first song moving up and down the hall with us as we proceeded towards the back patio.
On the back patio

We don't have a cheerleading team. I was impressed by
the routines they learned.
On the back patio, we were directed to seats which included some among the cast members who then interacted with us. The band was set up back there and the first scenes played out on the patio before we moved to the gym. From the gym, we went to the front parking lot, but we went along the back fence and characters were hanging out pretending to smoke and so forth. After the parking lot was the intermission. There were popcorn and candy grams available. Then we went into the performing arts space for the prom scene. Here the cast members pulled audience members up to dance with them. Being a teacher at the school, I had one student pull me up to dance with her, then another cut in and I danced with him. After that, I sat down, but it wasn't long before another student was asking me to dance. They made small talk as we danced in character, which I thought was pretty cool. The play continued in the parking lot again where they even had a carnival set up with real games and a dunk tank (they had wanted teachers in the dunk tank, but I don't think many volunteered. During the performance I went to it was a student in the dunk tank).
There's both a train track and a metro track right behind here
(you can see the metro track in the picture). Unfortunately, a train went
 by during one of the outside scenes making it difficult to hear for a while.

While there were some issues, especially with the costumes (during the prom scene, for example, the students tried to have appropriate dresses, but many of them were simply too short and/or had way too much back exposed) and the sound (imagine trying to do tech for a play that not only moves throughout the entire building and two outdoor spaces, but also involves wind - the wind knocked over some of the equipment at least once), but it was the most unique and engaging play I have ever been too.

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