High School musical combines drama with devotion


by MEG COYLE / KING 5 News


Posted on January 12, 2010 at 7:06 PM

It's a high school musical that combines drama with devotion. Students at Kentlake High School are putting on a production for their longtime drama teacher who right now is fighting for her own happy ending.

Opening night is just one day away. The actors are full of butterflies and anticipation, praying they don't forget the lyrics and that they sing on key. They're nervous not so much because of the show, they want it to be right because of whom they're honoring - their drama teacher Pam Cressey.

They love her so much, they even named the show after her. It's called "Pamalot - 10 years of Pam Cressey's best work celebrated in a revue, featuring students both present and past.

"It's just to show that we love her and show her that we care," said Kentlake junior Jacob Axelson.

"It's a darn awful cancer, it's not easy to fight," said Cressey.

For Pam Cressey, pancreatic cancer has become her real life drama. But today she got to escape that reality and celebrate her life's philosophy, to always look on the bright side of life. Today she heard her students perform it for the first time.

"That's my song," said Cressey.

And as you watch the rehearsals, it's hard to know who's getting more out of this - the students or their director.

"I just want to thank you for doing it for me. And I really know that you did it for me and I don't even know what to say except thank you. But I do feel loved and it's better than any chemo you can get," said Cressey.

"Us actors, we like to think the show is always about ourselves and our moment of glory, but this show, I definitely feel it's not about us and it's bonded us closer together as a group as a whole, because we know we're doing this for someone and there are no egos or anything else involved," said senior Craig Heffner.

But Pam Cressey says don't feel sorry for her. Once on a path to a life on the big stage, she found true stardom behind the scenes.

"Now I know it was the right choice because I am famous, and I am loved. And if you've had that, you've lived!" she said.

For as much as the cancer has taken away, as strange as it sounds, it has actually given her more.

"I've made my peace with God and he's definitely given me this cancer to teach me how much teaching means to me. I hope they get it. I hope they get it from me that it's not over. It's every minute is just a privilege to be alive," she said.

Pamaot opens Wednesday, January 13, and runs through Saturday, January 23. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door at Kentlake High School, or you can buy tickets online at www.brownpapertickets.com.