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‘And a Child Shall Lead’ to hit the DMS stage

Discovery Middle School (DMS) students will perform the school’s last 9th grade play, And a Child Shall Lead, on Friday and Saturday, December 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the DMS auditorium. Members of the cast include (back) Winston Anderson, (middle) Brandon Highdale, Sylina Hertel, Jack Wieberdink and (front) Kylee Johnson. (Contributed)

For the last 9th grade play at Discovery Middle School (DMS) in Alexandria, students will perform And a Child Shall Lead, written by Michael Slade and produced by special arrangement with Playscripts, Inc.

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Performances are Friday and Saturday, December 6 and 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the DMS auditorium. Admission is free.

And a Child Shall Lead shows how the tragedy of the Holocaust is evident in the struggles of the children of Terezin, a Jewish city that was established by the Nazis near Prague as a way station before the death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau.

In the face of horror, the children of Terezin play, perform, sing, write an underground newspaper and sketch to leave a legacy to commemorate their short lives. The play weaves their actual poems, stories and artwork into an artistic account of the tragedy.

The play is directed by Caroline Petefish, assisted by Alyssa Petefish. Music is by David Lawrence, with lyrics by Faye Greenberg.

This year signals the last 9th grade play for DMS, as 9th graders will be part of Alexandria Area High School in 2014. The first 9th grade play was presented 22 years ago, starting with a group of 9th graders grappling with the issue of domestic violence. The 9th grade play continued to be issues-oriented.

Each year, the play addressed issues such as chemical dependency, social justice, intolerance, disability, cultural diversity, role models and gender equity. 

Linda Capistrant directed the first show, followed by Chris Kragenbring. Caroline Petefish began directing the play in 1997.

“It has been my distinct pleasure to work with the talented casts of these plays for the past 17 years,” Petefish said. “We have...worked very hard together to present performances that both entertain and educate.”

CAST Winston Anderson

Emily Buggert

Alia Clark

Erin Doyle

Felicia Greene

Anaka Hansen

Sylina Hertel

Ian Heseltine

Brandon Highdale

Amanda Johnson

Kylee Johnson

Stevie Kaczor

Rachel Kriese

Paige Mackedanz

Gabby Palmer

Cynthia Pitman

Amanda Reese

Seth Ross

Mari Senstad

Alicia Siira

Trevor Strandskev

Ellie Wallace

Jack Wieberdink

Claire Wilmesmeier