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Community rallies around valley high school, putting on its first musical in 20 years

FOWLER, Calif. - Posters seen on store windows around Fowler, and a line out the door of Fowler High School's cafeteria.

Inside, the hustle and bustle of performance.

"We officially researched it, and it's been 20 years since Fowler High has put on a musical," Fowler High School Principal Rick Romero said. 

20 years, until this past November, when theater teacher Kris Cadieux made a decision, that could give some stage-fright. He decided to try a musical.

"Doing a non-musical is like, you know, doing a 100-piece puzzle," Cadieux said. "And then a musical, has got to be a 5,000-piece puzzle."

There's singing and of course, dancing. All of which takes an army of time and effort, and requires a significant amount of talent.

"When I heard that this year they were doing Beauty and The Beast, I was like, you know, I got to try out, I got to be there," student Rachel Axt said.

But Axt, who'd only had a small part in a play before, came out of the woodwork and performed.

"I have kids in my classes that were super quiet, barely ever talked," Cadieux said. "They're some of the best singers we have, and we had no idea."

Romero says, an after-school programs-grant through the Fresno County Office of Education helps with some of the costs. 

The school and community are proud.

"We know we have talent, but we just were able to now showcase that talent," Romero said.

One show bringing dozens of kids, from different paths, to the same stage.

"If it wasn't for this show, I wouldn't have met them," Axt said.

"These kids have just stepped up and are showing, like always, they're capable of amazing things," Cadieux said. "If you give them the chance to do it."

School officials say, there are still a few tickets left. To reserve those, visit: fowler.brownpapertickets.com. 

Reporting in Fowler, Megan Rupe. 


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