Back on stage

THE DANCE ENSEMBLE for the Coal City Theatre Department’s middle school production of “Descendants, The Musical” spent their Sunday night in rehearsal with choreographer Kim Scerine. The musical will be presented in the Coal City Performing Arts Center, 655 W. Division St., at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 12 and Saturday, Nov. 13 and Sunday, Nov. 14 at 2 p.m. Advanced reserved seat tickets are available at

Ann Gill

For the first time in what seems like forever, the doors to the Coal City Performing Arts Center will open for a school production.
In two weeks a cast of 49 Coal City Middle School students and their high school mentors will take the stage for the first full scale school production inside the facility since March 2020.
Last year’s middle school production, “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” was recorded in various locations and streamed for home viewing, and the last three high school productions have all taken place outdoors in order to comply with COVID mitigations.
While this fall’s musical production might look a little different than prior stage shows, the students are excited to be back on stage singing, dancing and acting, and invite the community to be their guest for “Descendants, The Musical,” a new musical comedy.
Based on the popular Disney Channel original movies, “Descendants” tells the story of Mal, Evie, Carlos and Jay—the offspring of villains Maleficent, Grimhilde, Cruella and Jafar who have been sent to the Isle of the Lost due to their capacity for evil.
In fact, all of the villains and sidekicks have been placed in the Isle of the Lost by King Beast. But when his son turns 16 and takes over as King of Auradon, his first proclamation is to offer the four evil offspring a chance to get off the island and study with him and his friends at Auradon Prep.
Although the King and his Queen Belle are skeptical, they allow the magic barrier keeping the evils on the Isle of the Lost to open up for the kids to come over.
Although reluctant, the evil teens head out on a mission to help their parents and the other villains get off the island, but will they follow through with the plan? The questions will be answered on the performing arts center stage during the 7 p.m. performances on Friday, Nov. 11 and Saturday, Nov. 12, with one final show at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13. The Coal City Performing Arts Center is located at Coal City High School, 655 W. Division St.
Cast as the evils’ offspring are Katie Huston as Mal, Bella Byers as Evie, Dane Noffsinger will play Jay and Bobby Stoudt will appear as Carlos. Their high school mentors—Chloe Peacock, Izzy Kostbade, Aidan Kostbade and Elaina Patten—will fill the roles of the villainous parents.
The role of the benevolent Ben will be played by Brody D’Orazio, his parents for the show are Mason Hamilton and Evelyn Wills as King Beast and Queen Belle, and high school mentor Eli Fritz takes the role of Maurice—Ben’s grandfather and Belle’s dad.
Among those appearing in some well know roles are Gianna Savarino as the Fairy Godmother and Lilith McCants as Snow White.
Additional characters for this production include Audrey, Isabella Bartholomew; Jane, Olivia Sage; Chad, Gavin Clubb; Doug, Chris Grove; Coach, Julian Micetich and Austin Harding as the royal page/guard.
This production has two ensemble groups that include Jordon Olson, Brady Pierson, Theo Fritz, Ethan Donnelly, Brody Promis, Tyler Phillips, Alex Carlson, Gabriel Hamilton, Maxx Kramer, Kyah Hawkins, Joshua Kosch, Bridget Feeney, Caroline Childers, Amelia Kramer, Victoria Morales, Keirsten Gabehart, Anastasia Papach, Cora Armstong and Charlotte Banks.
And, members of the dance ensemble are Adalyn Muhlenbruch, Nettie Connor, Morgan Schunckel, Maddie Hutchings, Gianna Carver, Cambree Davidson, Ava Garrelts, Maggie Carlson, Lexi Dearth, Kennedy Larson, Mackenzie Lovell, Vanna Lieberman, Savannah Templet, Lilly Miller and Lillian Aguirie
Tickets are $5 for children, students and senior citizens and $7 for adults—everyone attending is required to have a ticket. Reserved seat tickets can be purchase at Any remaining seats will be available for purchase beginning one hour prior to each scheduled performance.
Face coverings are required for entry and must be worn for the duration of the performance.