A total of 147 young performers from the Drama Club of the Holy Cross Academy Catholic Schools took to the stage at the Canton Palace Theatre Oct. 26.

A total of 147 young performers from the Drama Club of the Holy Cross Academy Catholic Schools took to the stage at the Canton Palace Theatre Oct. 26.

This talented group was going through the dress rehearsal for their first Fall Showcase to be performed Oct. 27. The students sang together as one big group and then each school was highlighted in its own songs and dances.  

The performers were mostly students in the kindergarten through sixth grades, with the addition of some seventh- and eighth-graders.

 The students stayed after school one day a week for six weeks to rehearse for the showcase with drama coaches Lisa Knight and Taylor Scott splitting up to visit four schools each to teach the songs and dances. A website was available for the children to go to the rest of the week where they could hear their song and watch demos of their dance.

"It was a neat way to bring in-person art together with the 21st century," said Kristie Cramer, marketing director for the schools.

Jackie Zufall, president of Holy Cross Academy said, "We have never done this with all of our Holy Cross kids. Some schools do have drama, but we want to keep this going and grow it."

At the dress rehearsal the students stayed the entire three hours to watch each school perform. Pizza and drinks were provided for the kids to keep the energy flowing.

The dress rehearsal was the first time they took to the stage together to perform the Disney-themed songs that were selected for the show. Students from each school were dressed in different colored Holy Cross Drama Club T-shirts making the stage a flurry of bright colors.

Eight schools participated: St. Paul, St. Louis, St. Barbara, St. Mary, Regina Coeli, Sts. Phillip and James, St. Michael and St. Peter.

The opening song was "A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes" with the entire cast performing. Songs throughout the evening included "Be Our Guest," "Do You Wanna build a Snowman?," "In Summer," "I Wanna Be Like You," "I Just Can't Wait to be King," "Under the Sea," "Friend Like Me" and "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious." The finale with all eight groups was "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah," choreographed by Mary Vaccani of MAX Dance Pro.

"We wanted to find a few things to do outside of the box," Cramer said. "We have had a really great response to this. The parents have been super-enthusiastic, the schools have been enthusiastic and the kids love it."

Some of the students from the different schools already know each other because they play sports together as well.

"If a school has its own team that is fine, but if there are not enough we will combine two schools that are close in proximity together to form teams," Cramer said.

Cramer also said that the schools have 160 students doing band and debate will be introduced in the school this winter.

"We are very excited that we can provide these kinds of activities. We have small schools with a big system advantage," said  Zufall.

She said they are thankful to the Holy Cross Academy principals, parents and families who helped and encouraged all of the actors. She thanked Knight and Scott for inspiring in the students' creative expression through song and dance.