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Old CHS Production/Video

'If Halls Could Talk'
Published: Tuesday, May 5, 2009, C-T
C-T Photos / Catherine Stortz Ripley

CAPTION: Community members gather in front of the former Chillicothe High School on Calhoun Street to reminisce about old CHS and the time they spent there. Monday night marked the first showing of "If Halls Could Talk," a production by City Stage which provided a narrative history of the building as well as featured interviews of past teachers and administrators. The grand building, which has long been a Chillicothe landmark, has fallen into disrepair and will be demolished this summer. The program will be offered each night through Saturday beginning at 8 p.m. and features live speakers and vocal performances. Guests may tour the main floor of the high school before the program.

The movie, shown on an inflatable screen, begins at dusk. Various items commemorating the building, including exterior bricks and wooden planks from the old basketball floor, T-shirts and old Cresset year books are available for purchase each night as well as snacks. Tickets to the program may be purchased in advance at Lauhoff Jewelry and the Martin House. Seating is provided.

CAPTION: Attendees of the production "If Halls Could Talk" spend a few minutes before the program's start to sort through old Cresset yearbooks available for sale.

The production began Monday and will continue nightly through Saturday in front of the old CHS building. The building, constructed in 1924, is slated for demolition this summer.

If Halls Could Talk
Published: Friday, May 1, 2009, C-T

CAPTION: Bill Shaffer, Lisa Rule, and Mark Warren of Sharp Focus Video put the finishing touches on the vocal narrative for "If Halls Could Talk" the movie illustrating the old Chillicothe High School history. The movie and program will be presented on the lawn of the old high school at 1535 Calhoun Monday through Friday, May 4-9, each evening at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5.

Submitted Photo

Production to Bid Farewell to Old CHS
Published: Wednesday, April 15, 2009, C-T

CAPTION: Memories of Chillicothe High School are being recalled in the City Stage production of "If Halls Could Talk," a tribute to the 1924 former high school building which will be demolished this summer. The production will take place in front of the school each evening from May 4 through May 9 and will involve the use of screen measuring 30 feet wide and 21 feet tall. This photograph from the 1927 Cresset yearbook shows the east and north sides of the building.

Photo/ 1927 Cresset Yearbook

Tickets are now on sale for next month's production of "If Halls Could Talk," a farewell tribute to the 1924 Chillicothe High School building at 1535 Calhoun which will be razed this summer. The production, taking place at 8 p.m. each evening from Monday, May 4, through Saturday, May 9, is being presented by the local acting guild, City Stage. Each evening's production will include a 45-minute movie about the high school's existence as well as a live presentation.

The movie "will tell the story of the building from its inception to the present and will include lots of photographs," said Lisa Rule, artistic consultant for City Stage. It will be shown on a projection screen measuring 21 feet tall and 30 feet wide and will include interviews from individuals as well as re-enactments of notable events in high school history. CHS Assistant Principal Bill Shaffer is doing the voice-over for the movie.

The structure of the production is based on historical documents and largely influenced by community members, former CHS students and administrators who provided recollections of CHS. Through the course of developing the production, Rule solicited public input about CHS experiences. "We had a good response," she said.

Rule noted that there is still time to submit reflections. She can be reached by phone 646-0135 or by email at

In addition to the movie, the farewell production will include about 20 to 30 minutes of a live presentation of speakers and/or musical entertainment each night. The live portion of the production will vary from night to night, Rule said. Seating will be on the lawn in front of the old high school. In case of inclement weather, the production will be moved inside the field house. To help alleviate parking concerns, Rule hopes to have a shuttle service available for transporting attendees to and from the production each night.

A number of souvenirs commemorating the high school will also be available during each night of the production. Among the souvenirs will be T-shirts, stationery, old CHS year books, and HMC Auxiliary-sponsored Christmas ornaments. Refreshments will also be available.

Tickets are available at Lauhoff Jewelry and The Martin House. They may also be obtained by mailing a check to City Stage, in care of Chillicothe High School, 2801 Hornet Drive, Chillicothe, MO 64601. Checks should be made payable to City Stage and a self-addressed stamped envelope should be included in which the tickets may be sent. Tickets are $5 each.

There will be no reserved seating for each night's performance; however, those buying tickets should designate which performance they want to attend. Rule suggests attending early in the week as the most popular nights will likely be during the weekend. She said large quantities of tickets for the Friday and Saturday productions have already been sold to a few classes from the 1950s and 1960s. Seating will be limited to 300 each night.

'If Halls Could Talk'
Published: Friday, January 23, 2009
by Catherine Stortz-Ripley, C-T

CAPTION: This summer, the old Chillicothe High School building will be reduced to nothing more than a pile of rubble. However, before demolition begins, City Stage, Inc., a local acting guild, in cooperation with Chillicothe High School, will present a lasting tribute to this building with evening presentations conducted in front of the building May 4-9. The presentations give the public an opportunity to bid farewell to the institution which has been in place since 1924.

Chillicothe R-2 Schools Photo / 1933 Cresset

How does one bid farewell to a bricks and mortar building that has been the cornerstone of high school education in Chillicothe for more than 80 years? Oh, consider the memories carved deep into the walls of old Chillicothe High School. Take, for example, the time when the ag classes built a tractor on top of the building; or, perhaps, when pigs got loose inside the school. How vivid those stories may be for those who lived them. But, how clear will they be once the academic edifice no longer exists? Soon, memories will be all that's left as the structure at 1529 Calhoun Street tumbles to the ground this summer.

But, before the building gracefully bows out of existence, the institution will get a last hooray - a grand one, at that - which will give friends an opportunity to pay their last respects as well as memorialize its existence for generations to come. A week-long tribute to the 1924 building is planned for this spring by local acting guild City Stage, Inc., in cooperation with Chillicothe High School. The presentations will be made nightly Monday, May 4, through Saturday, May 9. "If Halls Could Talk," will be a multi-media presentation highlighting some of the stories that helped shaped Chillicothe High School. Each night will include a combination of live speakers, a video presentation of historical and present-day photographs, as well as re-enactments.

The idea for the farewell presentations came from Lisa Sappington Rule, artistic consultant for City Stage, Inc., who is also an English/drama teacher at the high school, and a 1985 CHS graduate.

CAPTION: Lisa Rule (artistic consultant for City Stage, Inc., and English/drama teacher at Chillicothe High School, and 1985 CHS graduate) shows several students old yearbooks from which pictures will be scanned to use in the farewell presentation of "If Halls Could Talk."

Photo by Submitted Photo

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