The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

April 15, 2010

'Back to the '80s' spring musical plays to big audiences at Grand Valley High


Star Beacon

ORWELL — The Grand Valley Drama Department has proudly completed their latest play, “Back to the ’80s: the Totally Awesome Musical.” The annual spring musical highlighted the story of a 30 year old’s perspective of his senior year of high school. Student performers presented the play to the high school student body in the morning March 26 and then to the public in the evening March 26 and 27 followed by a matinee March 28.

“There was a really good turnout; opening night we needed extra chairs,” said Kyle Chitwood, who played the character of Lionel Astley, one of the football players and school jocks.

Chitwood is a senior at Grand Valley and is new to the stage. “Back to the ’80s” is his second play, his first being M.A.S.H, the fall play earlier this year.

“I always wanted to be in drama and do plays, but I never had time to,” continued Chitwood, “I didn’t even really audition; they needed guys, and it seemed like something I would have fun doing. I really enjoyed it.”

At Grand Valley High School, senior Chris Cedar has found his calling in film making. He has taken advantage by enrolling in the new Interactive Multimedia class, and has continued to expand his horizons from there. Recently, Cedar entered a contest put on by the High School Broadcast Journalism organization and was renowned as a top national finalist for the contest theme “Five Freedoms.” This is not Cedar’s first accomplishment, as last year his video won first place at a state conference. This past year, his films have received first and second places at the Beachwood Film Festival; his documentary and short film a gold key and an honorable mention at Scholastics. He was also selected to appear in the Ohio Governors Art Show at the James A. Rhodes State Office Tower, across from the State Capitol in Columbus.

“I am currently working on a one and a half hour documentary on the school’s spring musical (‘Back to the ’80s’) which will premiere late May,” said Cedar. Next year he plans to attend Bowling Green State University and major in film production.

Five seniors were recognized for distinction and inducted in the National Honor Society this past March. Congratulations to Alyssa Baker, Austin Drenski, Brittany Hacker, Dakota Kunka and Jaclyn Miller for a well deserved honor.

Art students shined at the Henderson Library’s 10th Annual County Art Show. In the 15- to 16-year-old category, sophomore Ashley Dillion won first place and junior Jenna Rummel earned third place. In the 17- to 18-year-old category, junior John Campbell won first place; junior Zac Wilson, second place; junior Samantha McCallion, third place; and sophomore Michael Beach, honorable mention.

Maranda Carlson, Stephanie Taylor and Meagan Lawton recently competed at the Tech Prep Showcase contest at the Cuyahoga Community College and received first place.

“Our teacher, Mr. (Kris) Doran told us about the contest and we decided it sounded like something fun to try,” said Carlson.

The objective was to make an informative film involving the community. The students worked with the Rome Fire Department and the South Central Ambulance Department to make a video geared for elementary-aged children about fire safety. For the contest, they had to give a presentation and make hand-outs to go along with their video.

“This will prepare us for our other Tech Prep contest in Columbus,” added Carlson. The brainstorming, scriptwriting, filming and editing took a total of three months.