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Original Musical Highlights Women Of Utah, Gives Young Girls Lead Roles

BOUNTIFUL, Utah — Nearly 150 students at Valley View Elementary are set to take the stage to highlight influential women in Utah in an original musical.

The production is a year in the making and it aims to give all students participating an opportunity to learn about how these women helped shape our state.

“We have always said our mission is to educate, entertain, and inspire,” said Jenny Gerrard, the play’s producer. “There is something different that happens when a girl gets to play that lead role.”

The play is called “Blaze the Way” and focuses on Utah’s first female politicians and doctors: Martha Hughes Cannon, Romania Pratt, and Ellis Shipp.

“The influence these three women had on politics and medicine in Utah and the entire nation cannot be overstated. This may be a story about women, but it is a story, and an example, for everyone,” Gerrard said.

Fifth grader, Neve Bawden, was cast as Romania Pratt and said preparation for her part has been a real-life history lesson.

“You have to put yourself in the women’s shoes in order for you to accurately act it,” Bawden said. “So you can feel a lot of the inspiration.”

That inspiration is what teachers and parents hope these students, portraying the lead characters, remember.

“When she can really feel how it feels to be a woman who helped shape the state, it means a lot more than just reading it out of a book, Gerrard said. “There nothing else that can match this scope or in the effect that it has on these kids.”

Valley View will perform “Blaze the Way” at 6 p.m. from Tuesday, March 5 to Friday March 8, and at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, March 9.

Tickets are available online for $5 starting February 16, and at the door.

Valley View Elementary is located at 1395 South 600 East, Bountiful.



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