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Go-betweens go the distance

| Monday, Feb. 26, 2007

Tickets still available

Tickets for CAHS' "Guys and Dolls" are available for all shows: Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.). The ticket office will be open at the high school every day this week from noon to 4 p.m., except Wednesday, when the box office will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets also can be purchased at the door, starting one hour before the performances.

The show must go on.

Mother Nature covered the area in a large blanket of snow, causing the closure or delays at local schools.

But the weather isn't going to stop the annual Connellsville Area High School musical production set for Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

"We have had to miss a lot of practice because of school cancellations and then the water main broke," student stage manager McKenzie Wildey said. "But we'll practice out in the snow if we don't have a stage."

This year's CAHS production is "Guys and Dolls."

"We already missed about five practices," head student stage manager Erica Ritenour said. "We are trying to make up for that. We need to practice.'

The three student stage managers, known formerly as student directors -- Wildey, Ritenour and Lindsay Zur -- have been working hard as liaisons between head director Henry Molinaro and the cast.

"We are pretty much the go-between for the cast and Mr. Molinaro," Ritenour said. "We close the link between the director and the cast."

The managers are master jugglers.

"We do everything," Ritenour said. "We do whatever needs done."

One of the most important jobs is keeping the lines of communication open between the cast and Molinaro.

'They come to us a lot because we are the same age," Ritenour said. "They'll tell us a lot of times when they have to miss practice or when they have problems with something."

"You have to make sure that you always have all the kids' information and their phones numbers," Zur said, a junior who is in her first year as stage manager. "And you have to make certain that you have that chain of communication in case you have to notify them."

Ritenour, who is a senior, and Wildey, a junior, both worked on last year's "The Wizard of Oz." Last year there were five student stage managers.

"There is more work for us this year because there is less of us but we are a lot better this year because we understand what needs to be done," Wildey said.

"I really wanted to be a stage manager last year, but he already had enough," Zur said. "I approached him again this year, and he said that he would consider me for the position."

Zur is enjoying the experience and hopes to continue it into her senior year.

"I love music and I love musicals, and I really like this year's show," Zur said. "It's a great show for people more our age. I have really enjoyed being a student director and I hope to be able to do it again next year."

Both of the veterans and the rookie have combined to create a set of student stage managers that Molinaro is pleased to work with.

"They all have different talents," Molinaro said. "And with this being Erica and Kensie's second year, they know how to be organized and how to get the cast organized. They have all brought to the production their skills, and this really helps to make a difference and bring it to a different level."

The three student stage mangers have invested long hours in the production. Molinaro admires them and appreciates all their dedication.

"They are willing to give their time and put in the hours, and it's all volunteer on their part," Molinaro said.

Mother Nature has stepped in to help hinder ticket sales. Molinaro hopes that the weather's inconvenience won't keep the community from attending this year's production.

"If people don't come to see this show, they will be missing a really talented group of kids," he said.

Tickets for the show are being sold at the high school from noon to 4 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesdays.

"Guys and Dolls" will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the high school auditorium. Tickets are $8 for the Thursday show and $10 for all others.

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