LaSalle musicals inspire students, audiences

Many elements come together in theater experience

By Jill Kruse

Witness Editorial Assistant

CEDAR RAPIDS — To turn a middle school student into a “teacup, an evil octopus or a long-necked giraffe,” all it takes, according to Barb DeMeulenaere, is the right combination of fabric and everyday objects, along with a healthy dose of “outside the box” thinking. DeMeulenaere has created costumes for musical productions at LaSalle Middle School and Holy Family Catholic Schools in Cedar Rapids for the last 23 years, working closely during that time with Lynn Mann, who’s been directing musicals in the school system for nearly four decades. Together, Mann and DeMeulenaere have helped the students of LaSalle to establish a strong tradition of high quality musical theater.

As the music director at LaSalle Middle School, Mann teaches vocal music classes, band and choir, but has said one of her “favorite extra-curricular activities is the production of the annual school musical.” “Each year, the musical is a new and unique adventure; many special memories are made,” Mann said of the 39 musicals she’s directed during her tenure with Cedar Rapids’ Catholic schools

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