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Students to perform in Marion Civic Center production

Anastasia premiers at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center on February 2, and ends on February 4.

Graphic courtesy of
Anastasia premiers at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center on February 2, and ends on February 4. Graphic courtesy of

Harrisburg Unit #3 is no stranger to musicals. Harrisburg High School puts on two musicals per year, one in the fall, and one in the spring. Harrisburg Middle School has one show per year, and the fifth-grade class at East Side Intermediate has one show every year. 

For some, however, two shows aren’t enough, and students from grades 6-12 have volunteered their time to help produce Anastasia The Musical at Marion Cultural and Civic Center.

“There are cast members from all over Southern Illinois from as far west as Cobden all the way to Harrisburg, and we only meet two to three times a week for a few hours, so practices are very fast-paced and intense,” sixth grader Bradley Lehman said. 

According to, the stage production of Anastasia premiered in 2016 and is based on the 1997 animated film.  The plot follows teenage Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, as she is found by two Russian con men, Dimitri and Vladimir, who seek the reward that her grandmother, the Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna, promised to the ones who’ll find her. But the evil mystic of the Czar family, Grigori Rasputin, still wants the Romanov family to be destroyed forever.

“The show starts and rushes like a train until it ends,” said senior Kylan Jerrell who is playing trombone with the pit orchestra. “I would have to say that Anastasia has definitely been one of my favorite pit orchestras to be a part of. It is pretty much nonstop playing for two and a half hours,” Jerrell said.

The show is produced by Kre8ive Fine Arts Academy ( and is for acting students in Southern Illinois from grades 6-12. The show started rehearsals at the end of November. The show premiers on Feb. 2 and the last show is on Sunday, Feb. 4. 

“For those who want to attend, I would say do it. It’s great for people to come to the shows, not just to support the fine arts and their friends and families, but to hear beautiful music and see an exceptional performance that is as heartwarming as it is heartbreaking. Who knows – that cello may make them cry,” Jerrell said. 

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Gavinn Swann
Gavinn Swann, Staff Writer
Gavinn Swann is a senior at Harrisburg High School. This is his first year on the Purple Clarion Staff. He participates in History Club, Future Educators Club and plays trumpet in Concert Band, Jazz Band and Marching band. He cares about the arts and the finer details in life.  Gavinn also cares about education and aviation. In his spare time he is always learning, and aspires to be a commercial pilot.  “Student journalism is important to me because it helps develop your writing skills while giving your work a platform to be judged upon.” 

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