First musical at Canton Performing Arts Center

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CANTON, S.D. — (KELO) The curtain rises Friday night on a new musical milestone for the Canton Performing Arts Center.   The new $12-million facility is hosting its first high school musical.

The Canton Performing Arts Center debuted last fall with a Veterans Day program.  Since then, its hosted concerts, recitals, one-act plays, and other school programs.  

But this weekend marks the first musical and the performers are singing the facility’s praises.

The Roaring Twenties have found a 21st-Century home at the Canton Performing Arts Center.

“It’s really humbling to me that I’m able to be part of this awesome show with this many great people,” Canton junior Sterling Hillmer, who plays “Billy Flynn,” said.

Canton High School’s Theater Department is putting on Chicago: High School Edition, an age-appropriate adaptation of the popular Tony Award-winning musical.

“A little bit of murder, a little bit of adultery, topics not typically associated with high school, but it is a high version of the show,” Spring Musical Director Erica Stahl said.

The Performing Arts Center seats nearly 1,000 people, that’s more than three-times the capacity had this production be held, instead, next-door at the high school.

“It’s so awesome being in there because you feel like you’re in a Broadway show almost, it’s just so much different than I’ve ever been a part of, so it inspires me to be the best performance I can be and every performance is the best that I can be,” Canton senior Madeline Baldwin, who plays “Velma Kelly,” said.

But a bigger venue presents bigger theatrical challenges for the students.  This dress rehearsal allows them to fine-tune all aspects of the show, from the choreography to the technology.

“Learning how to project in a different space, learning how to use new lights, they’re exciting challenges, not challenges that prevent us from finding success,” Stahl said.

Some 70 students, more than a third of the the entire student body, are involved in the production. Whether they’re on-stage, or behind the scenes, the students are inspired by the roles they play in making musical history in Canton.

“Just being 100-percent committed to everything that you do here, putting in the time, the effort, and just making sure to have fun with it, too,”  Hillmer said.

The performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:00 p.m.   Sunday’s matinee is at 2 p.m.   Tickets are $4 for adults, $2 for students.

To see a schedule of other shows, click here

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