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Summer lovin’ comes to town

POSTED August 11, 2009 11:23 p.m.
Sandra Dee and Danny Zuko are set to come to life at the Turlock Community Theater during the last weekend of August. Turlock Youth Performing Arts will be performing “Grease: The School Version” as their summer production.
Janice Anderson, president of the TYPA board of directors, said that the school version is cleaned up a little bit, and some of the adult language and situations have been removed from the original Broadway version to make it suitable for a younger cast and audience. The topics of teen pregnancy, smoking, and drinking have been glossed over in the school version of the musical.
“There won’t be any hickeys from Kenickie,” Anderson said.
The Turlock Youth Performing Arts senior company held auditions for the play at the beginning of June. Anderson said that the company tries to cast as many actors as possible, but of the 100 or so children who audition, they typically cast between 25 and 40 parts. Senior Company actors are between the ages of 12 and 18.
The actors have been rehearsing the musical twice a week for an hour and a half each session. A week before show time, the young actors will start rehearsing nightly. Tech week is the time when the production all comes together, and performers start rehearsing the full production all the way through.  
Costumes, lighting, and other behind the scenes functions are taken care of by parents, volunteers, and board members. Anderson said that occasionally some of the seasoned veterans of Turlock Youth Performing Arts will return to direct backstage activities and help with the more technical aspects of production.
The Turlock Youth Performing Arts also has a junior company for performers between 8 and 14 years of age. The Junior Company recently wrapped up their production of “High School Musical,” and will be casting for “Alice in Wonderland” in January.  The two companies typically take turns producing plays and musicals. Anderson said there used to be overlap between the two groups, but they are easier to manage when they perform back-to-back instead.
“Grease: The School Version” will run Aug. 28-30.  Evening performances on Friday and Saturday will start at 7 p.m. and matinee shows on Saturday and Sunday will start at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at Yonan’s Jewelers, Mariachi’s Restaurant or by phone at 537-5227.
To contact Andrea Goodwin, e-mail agoodwin@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2003
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