As the summer theater season comes to a close in the Rigby area, students at Rigby High School and Middle School will soon start gearing up for fall and spring performances.

High School students will audition at the end of September for “The Diary of Anne Frank,” which will be performed Nov. 15 through 19 at the high school. The cast list for that show is being announced this morning. Also in November, middle school students will have the opportunity to participate in an evening of one acts on the 7th and 8th.

David Crasper, a teacher at the middle school who runs the afterschool drama program, said he hopes the theater scene in the area will continue to grow and flourish. Part of that growth is spurred on by the relatively new R3 Community Theater, which Crasper said he started three years ago as an extension of his middle school program.

The organization put on “Annie” in 2018 and finished its production of Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” Aug. 30. Crasper said around 130 people participated in “Willy Wonka” on-stage and behind-the-scenes. He said the play also made enough money to sustain another year of summer theater.

“As long as we make a little bit every year, then we don’t take a step backward, we can continue the program,” he said.

Next year, he said the plan is to put on “The Sound of Music,” but said R3 Community Theater will need to first acquire the rights for the musical.

The community theater brings together groups in the community that may otherwise not have the chance to work together.

“All my students leave, go off to the high school,” Crasper said. “This is an opportunity to work with them some more.”

Lisa Cook, who is the president of the community theater’s board, said she has enjoyed performing alongside her children in the community theater’s productions. In “Willy Wonka,” her son acted as Augustus Gloop while she took on the role of his mother, Gretta Gloop.

“It’s been a really fun thing for me and my family,” Cook said.

Cook said the three Rs in R3 Community Theater stand for the Rigby community, Rigby High School and Rigby Middle School. Though the summer production is still a year away, she said the R3 board will stay busy helping with productions at the high school and middle school. She said eventually, the goal of those with the community theater is to have R3 to help the schools buy the rights for their shows. Currently, the schools assist the community theater by providing venues.

“It’s just kind of supporting one another in our endeavors,” Cook said.

In the words of Rex Butterfield, whose children participated in “Willy Wonka,” “There is something artistically significant going on in Rigby.” Crasper said he wants it to stay that way.

“I believe it’s something that can last forever,” he said. “It’s something that can be here for generations of kids.”

{span class=”m_-8277247319849944470pspdfkit-6um8mrhfmv4j3nvtw9x41bv9fb”}Anyone interested in being involved with the R3 Community Theater can contact Crasper at dcrasper@sd251.org.{/span}