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Crystal Lake, Cary-Grove students selected for state theater production

Published: Monday, Dec. 19, 2016 1:03 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Dec. 19, 2016 1:21 a.m. CDT

CRYSTAL LAKE – Four Community High School District 155 students and a teacher were selected to be part of the 2017 All-State musical “Sweeney Todd.”

The All-State cast, crew and pit orchestra consist of top student performers, musicians and technicians from across Illinois.

More than 375 students from 73 high schools auditioned for this year’s production. There were 109 selected for the final production company.

The following D155 students were chosen:

• Corey Barlow – Cary-Grove High School – Actor

• Juniper Beatty – Crystal Lake South High School – Tech crew

• Melissa Marable – Crystal Lake South High School – Orchestra

• Alec Strickland – Crystal Lake South High School – Tech crew

“Corey is one of the finest singers and most focused musicians we’ve ever had at Cary-Grove, and he is tremendously deserving of this honor,” Cary-Grove choir director Kristine Hester said.

School officials said rehearsals take place one full weekend each month from August through December. Final rehearsals are scheduled just days before the performances in January.

Kristine Hester, a Cary-Grove choir teacher, also is serving as one of the two vocal directors/accompanists for the show.

“As a staff member, I’m honored to have been asked to join the production team this year. As in District 155, these teachers from across the state are consummate professionals who are not only accomplished educators but incredibly skilled artists, and I’ve so enjoyed being a part of the team,” Hester said.

“Sweeney Todd” runs from Jan. 5 to 7 at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

This is a closed event for participants of the Illinois High School Theatre Festival. Public tickets are not available.

“It is an incredible privilege for our students to be selected to represent our community at this elite level. The Illinois Theatre Festival is the largest of its kind in the world, and the experience that the All-State Company gain is beyond compare for young theater artists,” said Crystal Lake South English teacher Ben Stoner, who was a 2012 All-State director.

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