Griswold High School to perform musical version of '9 to 5'
By Janice Steinhagen - Staff Writer
Griswold - posted Mon., Apr. 15, 2013
The woes of women in the workforce get a humorous send-up in Griswold High School’s musical production “9 to 5,” hitting the stage April 24-27. The play, based on the hit 1980 movie, features a crop of senior thespians who share responsibilities with director Raymond Churchill.
This year, Churchill has three senior student directors, who also share the stage as lead actors. Christopher Vasquez portrays Mr. Hart, the universally despised “sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot” boss of Consolidated, who makes the office a living hell for his female employees. Student director Amanda Vantine portrays Judy, the nervous new girl, who is back in the workforce after a painful divorce. Her mentor, Violet, played by Arielle Hall, is a competent worker who is angling for a promotion. Student director Katrina Landry plays Doralee, a voluptuous but chaste “backwoods Barbie” who finds herself fending off Hart’s lecherous advances.
“They’re three completely different women who would never be friends except in these circumstances,” said Vantine. Their hatred of Hart brings them together; as each of them suffers a setback at the hands of their evil boss, they forge a bond of friendship as they plot a hilarious revenge.
Landry said that the student directors take attendance, conduct warm-ups, handle the cast and generally assist Churchill. “We get a chance to shadow him and learn what everything’s about,” she said. “We’re involved in the decision-making.”
A good percentage of the students at GHS have some role in the production. More than 60 students are in the cast, which includes a chorus and dancers, but many more work behind the scenes with scenery, costumes, or even printing the programs. Students are in charge here, too. Senior Scott Goyette serves as sound director, who, along with his crew, works to balance the sound levels for each actor. “We have about 20 mics onstage,” he said. “We have to figure out the proper levels for the sound. You don’t want it to be too loud or too soft.”
“It takes so much time and so much dedication to make this play what it is,” said props manager Krystin LaRose, a senior. “You get very close to everyone because everyone’s together working with all these people. You have to work with everyone no matter what. Everyone’s a family here.”
“This is my favorite part of the year,” said Vantine. She said that she doesn’t play any spring sports so she can focus her energy on the annual musical; this is her third production. She said that it’s a lot of work, but added, “Tough as it is, I love the pressure and the reward at the end. On Saturday night, you forget all that and you’re so happy. You enjoy the reward.”
“It’s so much fun,” said LaRose. “It’s probably one of the things I’ll remember most from my high school career.”
“9 to 5” will be performed at 7 p.m. on April 24, 25 and 26, and at 1 and 7 p.m. April 27. Tickets are $11 and are available at www.griswolddrama.com.