Over 2,000 experience Summer Nights in Abbeyfeale
BY HANNAH MCAULEY AND KEELY WHITE
On Thursday and Friday the 9th and 10th of March, all 75 Transition Year pupils of Coláiste Íde agus Iosef came together to present their musical ‘Summer Nights’ based off the hit movie ‘Grease’ . The musical was directed and choreographed by Honor Hurley of Siamsa Tíre while Nan Howard directed the music. The show took place in the specially transformed school gym hall. Over the course of four performances, including two matinées for local primary school children and a sold-out Friday night show, the Transition Years performed for over two thousand people.
Auditions for lead roles took place in mid-October with the cast being announced in late November. Intense rehearsals began in January, directly after the Christmas break. Following months of dedicated rehearsals, which included sacrificing a day of mid-term, spending countless classes practicing songs and dances, and staying well past school hours, the cast and crew put on their musical to rave reviews from both the school and wider community of Abbeyfeale and the surrounding townlands.
Most students performed onstage while others worked hard backstage to prepare the sets and props. These students were also instrumental in the success of the production, as was the many teachers who helped with putting the production together.
When asked about their experience, all students were enthusiastic about the play:
“[The play was] definitely the highlight of Transition Year. I wish I could do it all over again,” said Rosie Connelly who played Sandy.
“The show was the highlight of T.Y., it was a great experience,” Nick Cotter, who portrayed Danny, added.
“It was something that we never thought we would have been able to do, but we did it together and it was so much fun!” Ava Roche, who played Frenchy, told us.
“The best experience of the year by far,” Aoife Foley, a dancer, added.
“The musical was been the highlight of the year so far. Everybody had a great time and I am so happy to have been involved in it,” Hannah McAuley, who played Ms. Lynch, said.
“It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had, you got the best buzz from it,” Cillian Pegley, who portrayed Roger, exclaimed.
The Transition Year co-ordinator, Con Healy, was also very enthusiastic about the production and complimentary of the students involved;
“The Transition Year production of ‘Summer Nights’ was a wonderful occasion for all 75 students involved along with their school community,” he said. “The commitment and work rate of each student was second to none and was clearly evident in their performances in two matinées and two evening shows.”
“This entire process has proved to be a great bonding experience for all students, where self-confidence and leadership skills have very clearly been enhanced. It is very rewarding to see students mature, learn and grow in an educational environment which they enjoy.