South High theater has a new director


Fanta Diallo

Mr. Rick directing a student.

Fanta Diallo, Staff Writer

South High Theater has done many incredible shows, like Hairspray, the Wiz and this year, Grease. They put on a musical every year, normally directed by Ellen Fenster, except for this year.

This year’s show is being directed by a Rick Thompson. Mr. Thompson  is a professional director, who has done many shows, was apart of the Opera and was also involved in many musicals and plays.

When Rick was approached by Ellen Fenster, artistic director of South High Theater, he said, “There are issues in the play that I think are very adult and mature and whether or not it would work in a high school setting was a problem for me.”

Grease is known to be a controversial show written in 1950s and first performed in 1971. The show brings up many issues that we as a society feel we have gotten over. Issues like gender, sexuality and even economical class and its presence in our society.

So, before Thompson wanted to sign on to the project he wanted to make sure he would be producing a show he could be proud of “after she assured me that it was fine to reinterpret some of what goes on in this show to make sure that it could work here, I signed on.”

He went on to explain that after his conversation with Ms. Fenster, the next steps to the production of the show at South was to identify the schedules and study the script, and the music. Due to his Opera background he felt that the music in the show was a really important thing saying, “one of the first things I look at is music, making sure that the music is truly an integral part of the show.”

Grease has been in production now for approximately a month and a half, so I was able to catch up with some of the casts leads to get there take on the direction of the show. Junior Nathan Parshall, who plays Danny Zuko, said, “ The show is going really well, I’m excited and a little bit nervous at the same time,” when asked about the fast approaching premiere date of the show.

Students like Nathan have acknowledged that they have gained a lot from working with Mr.Thompson. Joshua Harley who plays Kinnike in the show said, “ I feel like I get a lot from Mr. Rick, he really goes in depth with the background of the characters, And that helps me as an actor.”

South High Theater is debuting the show Grease on March 10-13th in the South High auditorium. After months of rehearsal, Harley said,“ I’m really excited for everyone to see it finally.”