MAPLE PARK – Christina Staker, an English teacher at Kaneland High School and director of the school’s upcoming production of “Singin’ in the Rain,” said “the hope” is that it will indeed rain during the famous song and dance scene in the musical.
“Our mission is to try to make it rain onstage,” Staker said.
The technical rehearsal scheduled for the week of April 17 will be the test for whether they can pull it off. A trough system, PVC piping and a baby pool will not only produce rain, they hope, but real puddles for Don Lockwood (played by senior Jarod Kovach) to dance in and out of.
The iconic musical, set in 1920s Hollywood, plays with the movie industry’s transition from silent film to “talkies.” Silent film star Lina Lamont (played by senior Taylor Heiser) faces a challenge with her nasal and high-pitched voice, which would likely end her career in the changing movie industry.
A solution is found through using the lovely voice of aspiring actress Kathy Selden (played by senior Sabrina Massa), substituting it for Lamont’s squeaky voice.
Then, Lockwood falls in love with Selden, and he wants her to have a career of her own, not just being the voice for Lamont. Therein lies the conflict of the story.
“We love this musical,” Staker said.
Staker, who is finishing her fourth year of directing theater at Kaneland High School, said she loves working with the students involved in productions. The seniors she is working with in the lead roles for “Singin’ in the Rain” were the freshmen she saw in her first year with the theater program.
“It’s a ton of fun to watch them grow and develop over time,” she said. “They wow me every year with some new talent.”
When Massa found out that this year’s production would be “Singin’ in the Rain,” she set her sights on the role of Selden. Although she had tap danced when she was young, she knew it was her weakest link, so she took classes for three months last fall to get ready for the audition.
“She’s a very determined woman who wants to make it on Broadway,” Massa said of her character.
Massa said she related to her character’s determination to achieve her goals.
Although she tried out for the role of Selden, Heiser said when she was chosen for Lamont, she instantly fell in love with the character.
“She’s crazy, and she’s not afraid of telling people what she thinks,” she said.
Her biggest challenge was finding a balance between good singing and the nasal tonality of her character’s voice.
Kovach said he started doing theater when he saw how much his older brother, Alec, enjoyed it.
He said he is enjoying the dancing and singing, and especially likes the songs “Singin’ in the Rain” and “Moses Supposes.”
He also enjoys playing a character who changes over the course of the production. He said Lockwood starts out with a bit of an ego, and a girl “brings him down to earth.”
Tickets are now on sale. The production will be staged April 21 through 23.
If you go
What: Kaneland High School performance of “Singin’ in the Rain”
Where: Kaneland High School auditorium, 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park When: 7 p.m. April 21 and 22 and 2 p.m. April 23
Cost: $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Preschoolers are free, but they need a ticket. Kaneland School District staff and Kaneland High School students are free, but must show a Kaneland ID when presenting ticket for admission. Tickets can be purchased at http://shawurl.com/31u9.