School, theater team up for ‘Tom Sawyer’

Students at Lighthouse Preparatory Academy will present “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” at Stained Glass Theatre through a partnership with the theater.

Students at Lighthouse Preparatory Academy will present “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” at Stained Glass Theatre through a partnership with the theater.

  • What: “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” by Lighthouse Preparatory Academy and Stained Glass Theatre.
  • Where: Stained Glass Theatre, 830 E. High St. in Jefferson City.
  • When: April 24-26 and May 1-3. All shows at 7:30 p.m. except April 26 matinee at 2 p.m.
  • Tickets: $9, except on opening night, when tickets are $7.
  • For more information: 573-634-5313 or


Lighthouse Preparatory Academy and Stained Glass Theatre are partnering to produce the musical “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”

The show is based on the book by Mark Twain, with music and lyrics by Don Schlitz.

Set in 1840 in Missouri, it tells the tale of young Tom Sawyer and the mischief he so often finds himself a part of, whether matching wits with Aunt Polly, tricking his friends into white-washing a fence for him or narrowly escaping the clutches of a murderous villain.

Amy McFarland and Zoe Koelling are co-directoring the show.

Stained Glass Theatre is providing the theater and the technical equipment. The theater is also handling ticket sales.

Lighthouse Preparatory Academy is providing the actors and technical crew.

Koelling, who is the music appreciation and fine arts director for Lighthouse, is the musical director for the play. She approached McFarland with the idea of partnering because the academy does not have the facilities to stage a large Broadway-like musical.

Koelling said Lighthouse is using this show as a stepping stone for future endeavors by the academy. When it moves into its new facility, Koelling said that the school will be able to have a full-time art/music department with the ability to produce more shows and a place to rehearse.

Approximately 40 Lighthouse students are involved in the production both on and off stage. There is a live combo to provide the music complete with drums, mandolin, fiddle, guitar, banjo and piano, and the Art Club is working on the set for the show.

“It has become a school project,” Koelling said.

Main characters are: Tom Sawyer, played by Jared Deutsch; Huckleberry Finn, played by Samuel Sardis; Becky Thatcher, played by Della Walker; and Aunt Polly, played by Kellen Carder.

Rehearsals began in January, and since Lighthouse students do not have classes on Tuesday and Thursday, they used these days at Stained Glass for rehearsals.

Koelling said that they were lucky to have Bethany Moebes work with them for the vocal aspects of the musical. She has a doctorate in music and has performed with the local opera group and donated her time to help the students.

Choreography is by Lighthouse student Meg Alexander. There are several large musical numbers with as many as 25 students on stage at a time, so this was a nice challenge for her.

“We are using this show not only as a musical experience for the students but to teach history as well,” Koelling said. “The play is based on the state in the 1800s and the students are learning what life was like in that time.”


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