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The Bend Magazine

ASL Performance of "Grease" at Harbor Playhouse

06/05/2018 01:49PM ● By Rianna Turner

Words by: Rianna Turner  Photos Courtesy of Harbor Playhouse

Grease, the 1971 musical that was later adapted into the popular feature film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, is showing for its sixth consecutive weekend at the Harbor Playhouse. This weekend’s performance will differ from other weekends, however, and will be accessible to a larger audience.

According to a Harbor Playhouse press release, the performance of Grease on Saturday — June 9, 2018 — will include American Sign Language interpretation, provided by the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Center of Corpus Christi. This will be the second time the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Center and the Harbor Playhouse have collaborated, and Bob Pritchard, the the Harbor Playhouse’s managing director, appears optimistic about the future of the partnership.

 According to the aforementioned release, Pritchard said “the Harbor Playhouse brings entertainment to the Coastal Bend by and for the community. Our partnership with the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Center allows the Playhouse to reach and entertain a larger part of our community, and we could not be more excited about the opportunity.”

The theme of merging communities is present, not only in Saturday’s performance and interpretation, but in the show itself. Grease details the merging of and interactions between communities in a Rydell High School — particularly, the sub-communities of the Pink Ladies and the Burger Palace boys — and how these interactions shape the characters’ perceptions of peer pressure, exploitation, and class relations. These interactions are carried out through the lens of a romantic plot between the characters Sandra Dee and Danny Zuko, two characters with differing backgrounds who find a way to change for one another. 

The increased level of partnership between the Harbor Playhouse and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Center of Corpus Christi indicates a willingness within the Coastal Bend’s artistic community to change, just like Sandra Dee and Danny, in an attempt to increase accessibility. A strong appreciation for the arts is an indicator of a strong, successful community, and enabling those values of inclusivity to spread in the Coastal Bend community can further the presence of artistic appreciation. 

Tickets for the June 9 performance — or any of the performances of Grease — can be purchased by visiting Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for students/military/seniors, and $10 for children. A group rate of $14 is available for 10 or more people.