Archive for July, 2012

"Grease" at the Hollywood Bowl

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

How proud we were last Saturday evening! Deb Wilcox on StageMr. and Mrs. Schwartz, Mrs. Behrens, and our family all attended the Hollywood Bowl’s showing of the musical, “Grease”! Why? To see our own Ms. Deb Wilcox perform in the film and appear on stage with other cast members, including “Frenchie” (center in photo). Wearing a lovely black dress (on left in photo), Grease Sing A Long 07 14 2012Deb looked as beautiful as she did in the movie! Personally, I can tell you I had chills seeing her so many times in the film. If I had buttons, I would have popped all of them in realizing what she has done in her dancing and what she has done for our school. Thanks to the multiple talents of Ms. Deb, all the children at PHS will dance beautifully at their weddings – no dancing lessons needed! We love you, Ms. Deb!

Our Own Deb Wilcox!

Monday, July 9th, 2012

A classic film that has touched and entertained audiences for over thirty years is the 1978 musical, “Grease.” Peninsula Heritage School’s own Performing Arts Teacher, Deborah Wilcox, was in the ensemble cast of “Grease.” She, along with 19 other eclectic performers, was cast by Broadway Choreographer Patricia Birch, and Director Randall Kleiser, as principal players, rounding out the star-studded cast. Deborah Wilcox recalls her experience (In photo, back row, far left): Deb Wilcox in Grease
A friend told me about the audition on the Paramount Studios lot. The audition was in one of the sound stages. There were about 500 people auditioning, and I later learned that 500 more had auditioned in New York. I waited six hours, and then we were called into the audition by groups – about 25 to 50 of us at a time. We were taught the choreography and some of us were asked to read lines for the Casting Director, Director, and the Choreographer. A few days later, the phone rang at my house and my mom answered. I wasn’t home at the time, and she was informed that I had been cast in the film. I was ecstatic that I got the job – it was a dream come true!
I joined The Screen Actors Guild, and then the entire cast rehearsed for three weeks at Paramount Studios. We began four months of filming at different locations in southern California, as well as the sound stage at Paramount.
I learned so much about directing, staging, and choreography from Patricia Birch. The twenty of us ensemble players, ten boy and ten girls, were chosen for our varied uniqueness in size, shape, talents, and personalities – no one fit into a mold. She would observe our creative instincts and choices, and then shape our performances into whatever scene or production number we were working on. She had a huge influence on me, and that is what I aspire to when working with the children at Peninsula Heritage School – honoring each and every child’s uniqueness, and valuing their creativity.
This is the third summer that the Hollywood Bowl is having its “Grease Sing-Along” (this coming July 14th). Seeing the film projected on the Bowl’s giant screen and watching the audience re-live every musical number, many in costumes, is a truly dynamic experience. It also reminds me of how fortunate I have been to work with such iconic performing artists and legends, like Sid Caesar, Eve Arden, Frankie Avalon, Sha-Na-Na, Annette “Cha-Cha” Charles, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.
Working on a film is very much like working at PHS. We all work as a team and support each other’s individual skills and talents. Working on the set of “Grease” was a very caring environment, and we all became like a family, just as we are here at Peninsula Heritage.

Fifth Grade Graduation

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Once again our PHS graduation was bittersweet. It was very difficult to see this lovely class of students spread their wings and leave PHS. Photographer Taking PictureSome of the students have been here at PHS since they were three years old, while others had just joined us this year, yet fit in perfectly with our graduates. This class performed beautifully throughout the year in the Fifth Grade Play, our week of Colonial Days, and at this Graduation. Their academic strengths as well as their talents in the arts were shown on each occasion. Some of these dear souls will stay with us for our outstanding Sixth Grade year. We celebrate that we will have them for one more year and know that they will thrive in our unique Sixth Grade program. Others will go to various schools, but we will welcome them back at the Harvest Fair’s Alumni Breakfast and at various other times throughout the year. We wish them and their supportive parents all the best that life has to offer, with lots of happiness to go along with their success!

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