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Five decades of drama

While the cost of admission is reasonable, the group still manages to produce its shows using proceeds from the door. Anything left over is usually put into improving the high school auditorium.

"We donate toward things that need to be improved," said Lynch. "Over the years, we've done many things " curtains, floor, risers " it's about trying to make a little difference."

Having an improved performance space also help keeps the tradition of live theater going in an age where "going to see a show" almost universally involves a motion picture. Though children fill bit roles in the performances (teens and upwards handle the speaking and singing), the organizers hope that the annual play makes an impression on youngsters who attend or help put it on.

"The kids are exposed to so much high-tech stuff, it's nice to have theater," said Lynch. "They get an opportunity to work with adults in a different context than usual. It levels the playing field a little bit."

The children also delight in seeing the district's three elementary school principals and the district superintendent appear on stage, either in cameos or full roles. The long-running tradition will continue this year, though organizers were tight-lipped on how Superintendent Jim Schultz will be participating.

There will be a reunion for participants of the program, past and present, to celebrate the 50th anniversary on Saturday, March 21, at Ballston Town Hall from 2 to 5 p.m.

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