From May 19 through June9, Cushing Memorial Theatre is hosting performances of “Grease” with junior Lauren Hartley as a member of the cast.
The Cushing Memorial Theatre atop of Mount Tamalpais has been a part of the Marin community since 1913. People from all over the Bay Area have come to see the shows performed there.
“Grease” is set in 1959 at Rydell High School and focuses on a group of seniors. One of the main characters, Sandy, has just transferred to Rydell, where she reunites with the boy she had a summer fling with. The musical follows the two of them and all of their friends as they spend one last year together before they go their separate ways.
Before Hartley could become part of the cast, she had to prepare 16 bars of a song to sing from a musical, read lines to see how well she could act, and memorize a dance combination from the show.
Hartley’s voice coach and San Marin’s musical director, Kele Gasparini, who has been working with Hartley for three years, helped her prepare for the audition. She guided Hartley with the help of choir director Emily Gates, with blocking the show and character analysis. In private coaching, Hartley works on proper singing techniques.
“I am excited to watch where Lauren goes with her theater and singing,” Gasparini said. “It has been fun to watch her develop her craft.”
Hartley was called back to be a member of the ensemble. While Hartley is excited about
being a part of the cast, she is also worried about her presence once she is on stage.
“‘Grease’ has a lot of really intense partner work I really don’t want to mess up,” Hartley said.
Despite Hartley’s concerns, she is excited for the experience.
“I am so excited to perform in that beautiful theatre,” Hartley said. “It is unlike any space I will ever get to perform in, and I think everyone should get to experience its beauty and uniqueness.”