The Ohio Valley is ripe with entertainment this time of the year, as area high school drama departments are preparing to present a variety of musicals, showcasing the talent of many students.
There have been many musicals to choose from in our area through the years, and this year's lineup is no different.
The Weirton Madonna High School Drama Club is gearing up to present is spring musical, "Beauty and the Beast" today, Saturday and Sunday in the high school's theater.
And for true "Beauty" fans, Toronto High School also will present that musical April 11-13 in the high school auditorium.
Students in the Indian Creek Local School District are preparing for their production of "Young Frankenstein" set May 15-17 at the high school. And for musical fans throughout the Tri-State Area, Brooke High School will present two full-length plays in just two weeks. "Anatomy of Gray" will be presented at 7 p.m. today and "Wild Dust" will be presented at 7 p.m. April 11-12.
There's also the Jefferson County Christian School's performances of "Annie" set for 7 p.m. April 10-11 and 2 p.m. April 12 in the school's Royal Theatre on Fernwood Road. And, Catholic Central High School students will offer "Tarzan, the Stage Musical" at 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday in the school's Louis Berkman Theater in Lanman Hall.
Steubenville High School recently presented its musicals "Sweeney Todd: The Demon of Fleet Street," which was director Scott Wolodkin's 51st production with the school. Now that's dedication.
These productions, taking place in their respective high school auditoriums, represent the culmination of months and months of hard work and sweat from students who learned lines and songs, as well as dance routines.
The shows represent the patience and hard work of the teacher/directors, of support staff including students and parents and other teachers who get the stages ready and the sets prepared and the costumes just so.
It's a chance to laugh, to ponder and to simply enjoy a variety of talent available in our area high schools.
If you doubt that today's youth are capable of much beyond video games, erase those doubts by attending one of these productions.
You'll see talent on display from young people dedicated enough to have put in the time it takes to perform in a production.
It is a credit to these schools, these instructors and especially these students.
And when the lights come up and the applause rise, we hope it's full houses that the performers see.