Before the Thanksgiving break, our Filmmaker-in-Residence, Randal Kleiser, presented a very exciting screening of his classic '50's musical, Grease, with a unique twist: active audience participation!

Already familiar with the event? Jump straight to the slideshow.

How does it work?  As the characters begin to sing, the song lyrics appear in brightly colored words onscreen; rather than the classic bouncing ball, the words actually light up and grow larger as the song goes on, helping the audience stay in-time (if not necessarily in-tune).  At certain points in the film, the audience is instructed to participate by mimicking the film's extras, for example by shaking their Pom-Poms during a football game onscreen, or performing the "hand jive" when the actors do. 

Randal introducing the film:


Alumni David May (BFA '05, MFA/FS'10), and Kevin Hansen (BFA/BJ '05), MC'd the event, clad in the classic "greaser" attire: rolled-up jeans, white shirts, and slicked-back hair.  They introduced the audience to the various props used throughout the film's interactive participation, such as, Pom-Poms, combs, and whistles, each tied to a scene or recurring element.  Think Rocky Horror's hotdogs, raincoats, and rice, if you're familiar with the 1970's classic which pioneered the live-action / audience participation musical genre.  Luckily, Grease is a bit less bawdy, so we were able to bring this exciting event right here to Dodge's Folino theater.


Chapman University students, dolled up in poodle skirts and leather jackets, taught the audience how to perform some of the film's dance moves, including the "Hand Jive," and bounded onstage whenever the film's characters spontaneously burst into dance.


Following the film, students were treated to a Q&A with Randal Kleiser, lead by Conservatory Chair Alex Rose.


Thanks to everyone who came out to support the film, the Filmmaker-in-Residence, and fifties culture in general!  Check out some extra shots from before, during, and after the event, from our Flickr photostream: