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Authors: Lisa Fiedler

Curtain Up

BOOK: Curtain Up
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the authors' imagination or, if real, are used fictitiously.

Copyright © 2015 Lisa Fiedler

Copyright © 2015 Anya Wallach

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in an information retrieval system in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, taping, and recording, without prior written permission from the publisher.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Fiedler, Lisa. Curtain up / written by Lisa Fiedler and Anya Wallach. pages cm. -- (Stagestruck ; book 1) Summary: After twelve-year-old Anya fails to make the soccer team, she decides to pursue her true passion, musical theater, and, with the help of her sister and new friend Austin, pulls together a summer theater troupe. ISBN 978-1-58536-923-2 (hard cover) -- ISBN 978-1-58536-924-9 (paperback) [1. Theater--Fiction. 2. Musicals--Fiction. 3. Friendship--Fiction. 4. Sisters--Fiction. 5. Community life--Fiction.] I. Wallach, Anya. II. Title.

PZ7.F457Cs 2015



ISBN 978-1-58536-923-2 (case)

1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

ISBN 978-1-58536-924-9

1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2

Cover design by Jeanine Henderson

Printed in the United States.

Sleeping Bear Press

2395 South Huron Parkway, Suite 200

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

© 2015 Sleeping Bear Press

Visit us at

To Shannon, my favorite theater kid.

Always a star!


For Lisa Pitliuk—

it wouldn't have been possible without you.



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20


About the Authors


The story you are about to read really did happen. Well, not everything exactly the way it's written, but in 1995, I did create the Random Farms Kids' Theater. And it's still around today! Only now it's become this internationally recognized organization. If you had asked my younger self if I ever could have imagined that happening, well, I probably would have said that I could imagine it, but I'd never have believed it would

You'll read in this book how it all worked out, but let me skip to something you won't read about.

In a local newspaper article that was printed a few weeks after our first show, it said “Though her directorial debut was a success, Anya said she is unlikely to again take on such a responsibility in the near future.” Of course, reading that now makes me laugh. Running Random Farms became my
career. And now I see Random Farms kids everywhere—when I turn on the TV, see a movie, or (my favorite) go to a Broadway show. They make me proud, and it gives me the chills when I remember our humble beginnings.

When I was growing up, I wasn't the smartest or the fastest or the most popular. I didn't have any special skills, besides just really loving theater. I just made stuff up as I went along, even when people thought I was kind of crazy or told me it was impossible. I hope you will be inspired when you read this—inspired to do whatever it is that
imagine. Because that's how things do happen.

Curtain Up!


“Anya, look out!”

I spun around just in time to see the black-and-white comet barreling toward my head.

I dropped to the ground, hearing the whoosh of the soccer ball as it zoomed over my ponytail. A split second later it landed with a thud in the grass about ten yards beyond me.

, I thought,
I may have avoided a concussion, but I just made a total fool out of myself in front of the entire soccer team!

As if to confirm it, someone from the sidelines started to giggle; then someone else said, “Shhh,” but I could tell the shusher herself was trying not to giggle. That would be Daria Benson, the rising team captain and without a doubt the coolest girl at Chappaqua Middle School. Daria was one of those girls who matched her lip gloss and eye shadow to
her soccer uniform. Meanwhile, I didn't even know it was acceptable to wear lip gloss and eye shadow with a soccer uniform.

What am I doing here?
I wondered. Because seriously, I had absolutely no delusions about my athletic ability. I liked sports, and I wasn't completely uncoordinated, but I was definitely not a natural-born jock. The only reason I'd agreed to try out for the soccer team in the first place was because my best friend, Becky Mezan (who
a natural-born jock, maybe even a natural-born
jock), had talked me into it. And to be honest, if a person were going to be stuck in middle school with the Daria Bensons of the world, wouldn't it better to be on their team . . . literally?

But as I reached up to remove a clump of dirt from my hair, I realized there were about a zillion other places I'd rather be right now. My first choice would be New York City, at a Broadway theater, watching
or even
again (I'd already seen it twice, but so what? I would go again in a heartbeat!).

Across the field, somebody asked, “Is she alive?”

I opened my eyes and saw Becky staring down at me, looking pretty concerned. She was the one who'd shouted the warning that had kept me from being decapitated by the speeding soccer bomb. As she reached down to help me
to my feet, I could feel everyone's eyes on me. I suppose I should have been thanking Becky for saving my life, but at the moment, with all the other sixth- and seventh-grade soccer hopefuls (not to mention Daria and the rest of the returning players) staring at me, being decapitated suddenly didn't seem like such a bad thing after all.

“Are you okay?” Becky whispered, and then grimaced. “Um, you've got some grass stuck . . . right there . . .” Mortified, I sputtered the grass pieces from my lip.

“Okay, everybody,” said Daria, swinging her thick auburn braid and smiling around at the twenty-two of us who'd come to try out for the team. “Coach says we can wrap it up. Awesome job today! As you know, we can pick only six new girls for next year. The new team members will be posted outside the gym first thing tomorrow morning. Good luck, you guys!”

With that, Daria and her glittering circle of athletically gifted besties turned and sauntered back to the school building. The other candidates broke into groups and pairs and walked off, chattering excitedly about what they thought their chances were of making the team. A couple of girls turned to peek at me over their shoulders and chuckle.

BOOK: Curtain Up
12.11Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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