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The Show Must (Eventually) Go On: Cast Of High School’s Canceled 2020 Musical Perform

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Yankton High School canceled its spring play last year due to COVID-19. But over a year later, the cast is finally getting a chance to perform. 

Students were over a month into rehearsals for the musical Xanadu, and they were excited.?Amy Miner is a teacher at Yankton High School and directs the spring play every year.? 

“Then Friday, the 13th happens. That's what we all keep saying it was Friday the 13th of 2020 that the governor said no school next week,” she said.? 

Miner the students were disappointed they couldn’t perform the play, but Miner stayed optimistic.? 

“But it didn't cost us anything to sit on it,” she said. “So I sat on it, and we have a little window of opportunity to perform, so that’s what we’re going to do.” 

When the opportunity came to perform at the Yankton Art Association’s Summer Concert Series, Miner jumped. She called the cast. About a quarter of them were available, including a few former students. 

Claire Kouri graduated in 2020. She plays Kira, the lead female part originally played by actress Olivia Newton-John in the 1980 film. Kouri said it’s a unique opportunity. 

“You don't typically get a look back at the show after a whole year of your life, and having personal changes and growth and just being able to portray characters differently,” she said.? 

And Kouri adds that last year wasn’t all bad. The Xanadu cast got a big surprise.? 

Newton-John was more than happy to record the message after Amy Miner reached out when the play was canceled.?Claire Kouri was thrilled. 

“I don't think I'll ever fully wrap my head around the fact that Olivia Newton-John, recognized me in at least some minute way,” she laughed. 

The performance is free. Kouri says they are just doing it for the love of theater.