Travis Paterson/News staff Sandy (Emily Mackin) and Danny (Matthew Stachniak) are ready to meet for the first time at Claremont in Grease, The Musical, which runs May 13 to 16 and May 19 to 23 at 7 p.m. at the school. A matinee also runs on May 23 at 2 p.m.

Greased Lightning hits Claremont

Grease, The Musical stars have high school tales of their own

Behind the scenes of Claremont secondary’s upcoming production of Grease, The Musical, is a high school tale of its own.

Playing Sandy is Grade 12 student Emily Mackin, who falls into a social-class conundrum with Danny, played by co-lead and fellow Grade 12 Matthew Stachniak. Their stage relationship as a couple is an extension of a real-life partnership, though it’s not exactly a reflection of it.

“We were hanging out last summer and Matthew would sing,” Mackin says. “I told him he was good at it and he should try out for the school play.”

Mackin, however, is a stage veteran. She’s been involved in Claremont’s past three productions: Wizard of Oz, Legally Blonde and 42nd Street. During that time Stachniak was at Reynolds secondary and not part of its drama program. The closest stage experience, he said, was when he last took part in a Grade 10 choir. Otherwise he’s been plucking his guitar here and there. Acting is new, to say the least.

“I went into (October’s) Grease auditions having fun, but I really didn’t think anything would come of it,” Stachniak said. “When the cast list came out a week later I saw Emily’s name first on the list (as Sandy), right below it was my name, I was pretty shocked, it was a bit nerve-racking.”

Claremoent Drama head Colin Plant said Stachniak was a natural fit.

Offstage, Danny is not in Stachniak’s character, but onstage he’s totally a Danny, Plant said.

“When (Stachniak) auditioned, he nailed it. Though he was a rookie, we believed with coaching and hard work he could pull it of.”

In Grease, Sandy and Danny first meet in the Californian summer of 1959.

Assuming Sandy will return to Australia for September, they forego their short-lived romance. When they meet at school, Danny, a greaser, is unable to break character and they’re separated by peer groups, until they break the barriers and reunite.

As a real couple, Mackin says being in a stageplay with Stachniak ends up being more fun, if anything.

“The scenes demand you to be professional and true to character, anyways,” Stachniak says.

“The teachers here are dedicated to making it a professional environment and they’re good at it, so it’s comfortable,” Mackin said.

For Grease fans who know the character of Kenickie couples with Rizzo – that’s happening in real life at Claremont as well.

“Go figure,” Plant says. “Really, we’re blessed because the dynamic of the lead group is very positive, they really work with each other,” Stachniak agrees.

“We actually hang out, we’re a close group. It’s like we’re in high school or something,” he says.

Claremont’s Ridge Theatre presents Grease from May 13 to 16 and May 19 to 23 at 7 p.m. There is a Saturday, May 23 matinee at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $12.50 for students/seniors at 4980 Wesley Rd. Call 250-658-6672 for reservations.

Just Posted

Fiddle tunes complete farm bistro experience

Year-end recital at the Roost features Nellie Quinn’s fiddle students

Rebirth of downtown cultural festival coming to Victoria in July

Folktoria aims to pick up where Folkfest left off

Pass a pint: Great Canadian Beer Festival tickets on sale now

Over 200 brews and ciders will be featured at this year’s craft celebration

Art Gallery of Greater Victoria expansion gets $6M boost from province

Project many years in the making, but planned for current Rockland site

B2B season has rare Island line-up of shows in Qualicum Beach

Month-and-a-half of performances kicks off with Baskerville comedy July 3

VIDEO: Jazz vocalist Susannah Adams continues her Island tour Sunday at Crofton pub

Fresh off a triumphant show at Hermann’s Jazz Club, Adams set to light up Osborne Bay Pub

B.C. tourism grant helps Sooke Fine Arts Show

Grant will attract audiences from across B.C. and Washington

Sooke Arts Council hosts open house

Event takes place July 3 at 7 p.m.

Disney production filming at Victoria’s Government House today

Made-for-TV movie will feature the inside of the Rockland Avenue mansion

Duncan Has Talent performers prepping for summer show

Signups on now for crowd-pleasing series staged at Charles Hoey Park as part of The 39 Days of July.

Gabriola glass blowers Dirk Huysman, Mary Ann Richards launch first solo show

Plan a road trip: Island’s Hive Emporium hosting exhibition through June 24

PRIDE WEEK: Popularity has surged for Memorial Drag Ball game in the past 20 years

The venue has changed, but the theme of not taking one’s self too seriously remains

5 fun things to do this weekend in Greater Victoria

Car Free YYJ, family fishing, Sooke bluegrass, walk for cancer and a mascot’s birthday

Most Read