BELTON — On a Monday night in February, the lights went out in the Belton High School auditorium, a hush fell over the crowd and the opening strains of a melody began to play.
Just as the audience settled in to watch the musical presented by Belton Middle School students, theater teacher Brittany Roberts stopped the music and told the narrators to exit stage left.
“That was a little sneak peek,” she said, as the audience chuckled over the show’s false start.
Before long, the music began again for real and the show was off and running.
With that production of Disney’s “Aladdin Jr.” Belton Middle School became the first middle school in the district to organize and perform a musical. Roberts teamed with choir teacher Aleisha Martinez to produce the show.
“‘Make it work’ has been our slogan through this whole process,” Martinez said. “This has been a learning process but it has also been an adventure.”
The production had a full cast of 140 students, including seventh-grader Corrine Moore, who played the Magic Carpet.
“I am so excited we get to do this, especially because no other school is doing this,” Moore said.
Keith Foxx, father of Maizie Mahlstedt who played Jasmine, said the musical was a great experience for the students.
“This is an exposure to the arts which is different than their norm of sports and cheerleading,” he said.
The show ran for two nights and garnered praise from parents, teachers and students. Roberts and Martinez said they plan to produce a musical again next year.