GREEN BAY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Brown County

Green Bay Preble High School presents ‘Sister Act,’ performing on stage and on-demand

High School Theater

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Green Bay Preble High School is putting on a disco-tastic show for those who want to watch it in-person or at home this fall season.

The school is bringing Sister Act, a musical based on the 1992 movie featuring Whoopi Goldberg, to life on stage Nov. 12, 13 & 19, 20 at 7 p.m. at the high school on 2222 Deckner Ave.

“I’m just really excited to see everybody back on stage again after being online for so long. It’s really nice to just be back in person and be able to do everything together,” said student director Jenessa Vancalster.

Masks are required indoors for those looking to get out of the house. The musical’s director, Megan Sweeney, tells Local 5 the show is also available on-demand through the end of Thanksgiving weekend, up to Nov. 28. Tickets and more information on showings can be found here.

Jenessa Vancalster, Dane Bergstrom, Megan Sweeney.

Before they performed in front of a live audience Friday night, Local 5 was able to meet up with some crew members and ask a few questions. Dane Bergstrom, who plays Curtis Jackson, says he is looking forward to being back on stage, just like Vancalster.

“I’m excited to feel the rush of performing – that adrenaline rush you get and to see all your friends and family watching you,” explained Bergstrom.

“It’s just great to have our music department family back together and to see the looks on these kids’ faces when they get to perform and then to be able to share that with the community,” added Sweeney.

Vancalster agrees, saying the crew does feel like a family. “I’ve been in all of the musicals that my school had to offer, except for last years, and all of them are so much fun. It’s just a huge family,” she said. “There’s not really a lot of downtime so it’s just so much fun the entire show.”

“So I took over this position after we lost our choir director last spring, and it’s been an amazing experience,” explained Sweeney. “But I just love working as a team and it’s a really fun, collaborative experience with the other directors and the directing team, Jenessa as student director, crew heads, and all the students and the cast members. We work together and everybody is pretty much on equal playing field to put on this production.”

The crew has had to overcome a few challenges this season as well. “One of the biggest struggles probably has been just being flexible, especially this year with getting back together again. We have to be super flexible with practice changes and anything that gets thrown our way,” said Bergstrom.

“It has been a lot more work than I’m used to when it comes to musicals,” added Vancalster. “Usually, I’m just in the ensemble so I learn the dances and I act in the background but this has been a lot more hands-on – a lot of making copies and helping people. But I really enjoy it.”

But both students agree that it was great to be able to rehearse in person this season. “My favorite memory has been some of the rehearsals where they’re learning the dances and you can kind of see the character come out of them. It’s a lot of fun to see that happen,” said Vancalster.

“[Mine] has been our first dress rehearsal. Getting to throw everything together and really feeling like you’re performing for the first time,” explained Bergstrom.

Green Bay Preble High School and their production of Sister Act is also taking part in the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center Stage program this year, which provides helpful critiques on performances.

“[The program is] very exciting and it’s also super neat because you’re able to support not only your own school and cast and crew and all of that – but you’re able to kind of learn more about other schools and really kind of all come together as one state,” said Bergstrom.

“They do a lot to support the students through different seminars and workshops, and things like that. Same for the directors and pit orchestra. And it’s cool because we can reach out to all the other directors and the other shows and pick their brains. It’s kind of a cool group to be a part of,” added Sweeney. “I’m really happy to be a part of the program.”

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