FORTVILLE – With leather jackets for the boys and ‘Pink Ladies’ jackets for the girls, Mt. Vernon High School students prepare with dress rehearsals for opening night of their performance, ‘Grease’ on April 25.

Preparation for the performance of Grease started back in January when director Rick Barber started teaching the choreography that goes along with one of the songs and since then they’ve been practicing Monday through Thursday after school for two hours, and then most Saturdays up to their spring break.

Senior Katie Bowsher has been involved in the school’s plays every year – this year being her last before she goes off to Indiana University for music education. Bowsher is one of the two lead roles — Sandy Olsson.

“I just loved it so much,” Bowsher said. “I wouldn’t do anything else.”

Bowsher said that with her years of performing, there is a profound sense of community from people backstage and from those out in the audience, something she said is unlike anything she has experienced.

For Micah Gaston, a junior, this is his very first time in a school play. Gaston said he has many friends in theater, and they believed he would be a good fit for the play with his personality and desire to have fun. Gaston said he went into the audition and tried his best, never expecting to land the role of Danny Zuko.

“It’s great,” Gaston said. “I’m having a blast as Danny Zuko – I’m loving it.”

Never having been in choir or really experienced dancing, Gaston said he had spent many hours in the practice room and choir room working on his skills and asking questions.

“Everyone’s been so supportive,” he said. “They understand how to communicate to a newcomer, just to feel like a smooth transition into the production,”

Something else that is new this year, Barber pointed out, is this is his first time directing where there are more boys in the cast than girls – 21 boys to 20 girls.

This is Barber’s second time directing ‘Grease’ and he chose this performance because of the cast’s backstage talk about wanting to do it. Having so many seniors this year, Barber thought it “would be the most rewarding production that they could do.”

Barber said with this production a highlight is that everyone has a positive attitude, and the cast works 101%.

Bowsher and Gaston agreed that their favorite part of the performance is “We Go Together,” a group number that Gaston said is fun to sing with all the funny words.

“It’s a good thing for me as a director that they have that much enthusiasm and they bring that onto the stage every single time too,” Barber said.

Showtimes for the performances will be April 25-28, five performances in total. To purchase advanced tickets, visit