Forever and Always

“Enjoy it while it lasts, it’ll go by in the snap of a finger.” – Cameron Jeters (12)


Cast and crew pose for a silly picture.

This year’s fall musical was a huge success! With a loud crowd almost every night, the performers were extremely grateful to be back on the stage. After a year with no live show, Mrs. Simmons and her crew were pumped to see an audience in the house. This year’s show was co-directed by Miss Grace, a new music teacher in the Herrin school district.


Seniors Luke Hileman, Cameron Jeters, Kira Brewer, Alyssa Stallman, Alysah Charlet, Ashtyn Pierce, and Rylie Patrick had a blast in their last musical with Mrs. Simmons. After the last show, a matinee on Sunday the 14th, Mrs. Simmons and Miss Grace gave all of the seniors flowers and a framed picture of the cast. Mrs. Simmons and Miss Grace were in return, given pictures of the seniors signed by the graduating crew. A Herrin graduate, Gabby Johnson, created a painting to remember this show. Also given to the directors was an acclaimed “Thankie Award” as made up by Alysah Charlet, Rylie Patrick, and Ashtyn Pierce.


In addition to the seniors, Danielle Hall performed on stage as the only Junior in the cast. Sophomores Mads Labotte, Jaci Bethal, Kat Weaver, and Kadie Dunfee were all excited to perform their first live Herrin High School musical after the virtual show last year showcased their talent as freshmen. No freshman participated in the show. To add more talent to the mix, Mrs. Simmons enlisted the Early Bird and first-hour chorus kids who didn’t audition to add more sound into the performances.


Musical Theatre International’s “All Together Now!” was a worldwide production done by thousands of other schools and theatre companies. Group numbers included “Be our Guest” with Luke Hileman as Lumiere, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” with Alyssa Stallman as Mary Poppins, and “You Can’t Stop the Beat” with Alysah Charlet starring as Tracy Turnblad. The show also included solo’s throughout. “Gimme, Gimme” performed by Ashtyn Pierce, “She Used to be Mine” by Jaci Bethal, and “Astonishing” by Kat Weaver were just a few of the awesome solos.


Since the show is a fundraiser, each night donations were made towards the musical theatre department and for next year’s show. As an incentive to donate, if the cast could reach $500 in donations, Mrs. Simmons and Miss Grace would do the acclaimed “hoedown” with the cast in front of Sunday’s audience. At the end of the show, they had only reached almost $450, so Mrs. Simmons announced that, if they reached $450, they’d dance. Audience members quickly drew more cash out of their pockets and the goal of $500 was broken!


The 7 seniors (and the 5 backstage) were absolutely delighted by the show’s turnout and how great their last show went. “Enjoy it while it lasts, it’ll go by in the snap of a finger,” says Cameron Jeters when asked to advise the underclassmen. Ashtyn Pierce commented that the cast became one big family, always having each other’s backs. I, Rylie Patrick, can say, as one of the seniors, we’ll miss all of the underclassmen who made our last show go the best it could be.


We’ll be forever and always, all together now.