Finding their center

Erin Wrinkle

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Students balance their schoolwork with play practice

Hannah Smith, Amanda Jackson, Mary Flanagan, and Jennifer Vaughn rehearse for their performance in Grease. Melissa Southard, center, is playing the lead role of Sandy.

On Feb. 8, the Wichita Theatre went back to 50’s with their rendition of the musical Grease.

This production brought attention to many actors of all ages, but some of Midwestern State’s own had the honor of being a part of it.

“We have several MSU students and alums in the show, too many to count” graduate student Jennifer Vaughn said.

Jennifer Vaughn who plays the role of Jan in Grease is a special education graduate student. Vaughn started acting when she was 10 and ever since then she has been hooked.

Vaughn isn’t the only one who shares a passion for the stage. Emma Brown who graduated last spring from MSU with a BA in Theatre started acting when she was just 4 years old.

“Not to sound cheesy or cliché, but I’ve been an actor and performer at heart since I was really little, around age 4,” the Electra native said.

When the auditions for Grease came around Brown asked herself the question, “How could I not audition”?

Not only is Brown busy with her role as a chorus member and hand jive dancer in Grease she has recently been cast in a one-act play here at MSU.

The cast of Grease has been working on making the show great since December when they auditioned.

“We practiced Monday, Tuesday and Thursday up until the week before the show, and then we rehearsed every single night with full costume and makeup,” mentioned Kayleigh Boyd.

Even with all the practices the education major still manages to find time for her school work.

(From Left) Director Kimberly Harris, Garret Ferris and Melissa Southard. Harris discusses blocking with the two leads during rehersals.

“I balance my time pretty well between work, school, and rehearsal,” Boyd said.

Boyd is so dedicated to her craft that she even works on her homework during her breaks at rehearsal.

Boyd, who is also a chorus member and hand jive dancer enjoys performing the “hand jive dance” in the show. “It is so fun and full of energy, I enjoy it a lot,” she inquired.

Freshmen Mary Wetherbee and Bonnie Gunter are also involved in the exciting musical. Even though they are freshman they have still managed to focus on the stage life as well as their school life.

“School work hasn’t been a struggle until tech week [the week before the show],” Bonnie Gunter explained.

Gunter, who is a management major at MSU has really enjoyed being a part of the cast.

“This experience has been fun because I’m getting to act for the first time and dance, she noted. “Acting is enjoyable because you get to be this other person for a time”.

Mary Wetherbee plays the role of Cha-cha.

“As Cha-cha, Danny and I get to do the dance off during the hand jive scene,” she stated. “Everyone remembers that scene.”

The Sociology major, who’s been in 7 shows looks to the cast when she needs help with school work.

“The people in the cast have become a family, and when one of us has problems with homework, they are more than willing to help out,” Wetherbee explained.

Regardless of the roles these Mustangs have, they are all clearly excited for some Grease Lighting.

Grease tickets can be purchased online at or by phone at (940) 723-9037.

Grease will be running at the Wichita Theatre until March 9.

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