Cast dedicating ‘Tarzan’ performances to lead actor who died tragically

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OLATHE, Kan. -- The show will go on. Seventeen-year-old Houston St. John died in a cross-over crash Tuesday afternoon on his way to a dress rehearsal for ‘Tarzan.’ He was playing the lead in a production put on by Christian Youth Theatre. Houston's parents talked with the show director and they decided to go on with the show to honor him.

Wednesday night’s dress rehearsal was very emotional, but everyone was ready to do their best when the curtains go up on Thursday.

"Bunch of us met and decided we needed to be strong for the rest of the cast," Dylan Martin, Christian Youth actor, said.

Dozens of actors aged eight-to-18 had the difficult task of remembering a friend and their lines. They decided as a group, and with the blessing of Houston's parents, to prepare for the show’s opening night.

"We need to continue," Mackenna Milbourne, Christian Youth actor said. "Really think he'd want us to continue. I don't think he'd want us to stop."

After months of preparation, the cast of the Christian Youth Theatre decided to go ahead with its final rehearsal, a dress rehearsal without its lead actor.

"I was amazed at how much it worked to heal me -- just to see those kids do the things they know to do," Alan Manning, director, said. "We're taking first step. The curtain goes up  at the Bell Cultural Events center on Thursday night. The cast is dedicating every performance to their friend and fellow actor, Houston St. John."

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