Although the movie Grease recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, the high school romance, cliques and all-around drama are still very relatable. The Pink Ladies, so called because of their iconic pink jackets, are a rebellious group of teenage girls that adopt sweet and naïve Sandy, a transfer student to Rydell High School. We got a chance to interview some of Casa’s Pink Lady cast and hear about their high school experiences.
Mary Mattison, “Sandy”
Mary Mattison identifies closely with her character explaining, “I was such a Sandra Dee in high school. I always got picked on for dressing conservatively; I never got into trouble; I didn’t date; and I had bangs!”
Mary is coming to Casa straight from North Carolina Theatre, where she just played “Sophie” in Mamma Mia under the direction of Eric Woodall. Woodall is no stranger to Casa, having directed our recent productions of Next to Normal (2018) and West Side Story (2017). Mary says, “Everyone I’ve met who’s worked at Casa has loved it….It’s going to be a super fun group to work with at a great theatre.” We think Mary will fit right in!
Hannah Shankman, “Rizzo”
When asked if the “high school you” would identify with her Grease character, Hannah Shankman says, “Yes, I was definitely a Rizzo.” Her most embarrassing high school memory is when she was called “Hannah SKankman” on the school announcements by mistake. Unfortunately, the nickname stuck around for the rest of high school, but that didn’t stop Hannah from being voted Most Likely to Succeed, unlike her notorious character.
Hannah may be considered a “late bloomer” in some respects when it comes to acting. In high school, she only played one lead; otherwise, she was in the chorus or had a small part. She wasn’t accepted into an acting program until the end of her freshman year in college. However, you would never suspect it based on her impressive resume, having played “Elphaba” in Wicked and “Fanny” in Funny Girl, two of her favorite roles.
Madison Kauffman, “Jan”
Madison Kauffman is excited to be heading to Texas for the first time to play “Jan” in Grease! She really connects with “Jan” because they are “literally the same person – loud and the character of the group.” Madison says, “Jan is me in a nutshell and that’s why I love her.”
Madison knew in high school that she wanted to be actor. While she was involved in many extracurricular activities at school, including volleyball, choir and student council, theater was her first love. Every day after school, she would head straight to rehearsals for shows with the community theaters in town.
Emmie Kivell, “Marty”
In high school, Emmie was very into fashion and makeup, just like her character, “Marty.” She was even voted “Best Dressed.” However, she describes herself as a combination of “Marty” and “Patty Simcox.” Like “Patty,” she was very involved in school extra curricular activities, holding many leadership positions, but she wouldn’t be caught dead without some makeup and a cute outfit!
Emmie is thrilled to return to Casa explaining, “I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with Casa in the past, and the people and atmosphere make me feel so loved, welcome, and happy. The familiar faces and sense of family make working here an amazing and memorable experience every time. I love coming to the ‘dome sweet dome’!”
Emily Pace, “Frenchy”
Emily went to a very small private high school, which was very different from the high school scene at Rydell High in Grease. Although Emily never considered dropping out like “Frenchy,” she does relate to her character in that she hung out with the “cool” kids but still felt like an outsider.
Grease is Emily’s second show at Casa. You last saw her as Jangle in Twas the Night Before Christmas in December 2018. She’s excited to return to Casa because “it’s the most friendly and welcoming place.
Sarah Youngblood, Ensemble
Sarah Youngblood is currently a high school senior. She’s a regular performer here at Casa Mañana, having been most recently in our Children’s Theatre production, Twas the Night Before Christmas in December 2018. She was last seen as part of Casa’s Broadway season in 2008 when she played “Molly” in Annie. Like many of the high schoolers in Grease, she can’t wait for high school to be over. Her fondest memory of high school is getting to miss school to perform in Casa Mañana Children’s Theatre shows for school field trips.
Tickets are going as fast as Greased Lightnin’! Get yours today: bit.ly/Grease-at-Casa