Battle Ground, Prairie high theater programs set to diverge

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Drama and musicals have become so popular in Battle Ground that a combined program at Battle Ground and Prairie high schools is splitting in two.

For the past seven years, the two schools have produced musicals and plays under the name Prairie Ground Productions, which put on three shows a year.

That changed when Claire Verity, who ran the combined program, had about 80 students from Prairie audition for the fall production of "Oliver!"

"That's the largest turnout since I started in this job," Verity said. "I was able to cast 54."

Verity will continue to run the Prairie High School shows, and Stephan Henry will direct Battle Ground High School's productions.

"We have so many talented students who are excited to begin a new chapter of dramatic productions and to develop an identity of our own in theater," Henry said.