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‘American Roulette’ postponed a week due to recent suicide by CMR student

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Kody Ray LaValley
Kody Ray LaValley

C.M. Russell High School drama department director Chris Evans said tonight that they would be postponing the showing of “American Roulette” until next week due to a recent tragedy that took place involving one of the school’s students.

Last week, 15-year-old Kody Ray LaValley ended his own life. In his obituary on KRTV.com, it states, “Kody Ray LaValley, 15, of Great Falls, went to be with his creator on April 30. The inhabitants of Heaven will see and hear him riding the trails on his snowmobiles and dirt bikes rollin’ coal with his 7.3 Power Stroke. His bright shining face, large smile with amazing dimples and incredibly huge heart will be greatly missed by his family and friends.”

On LaValley’s Facebook page, several of his friends and family have written tributes to the teen, with his friend Nick O’Toole writing,

“To the one who couldn’t be there with us tonight rest easy buddy and RIP I know we’ll meet again someday and we’ll be raising hell when we do I just want you to know you were like a brother to me and all of us and I just want you to know that I’m gonna really miss you because I loved you like a brother as well but for now this is good bye RIP Kody.”

Evans said due to the suicide, the school asked Evans to postpone the play, which deals with teen depression and bullying.

“Folks asked us to give it (the show and the suicide) some distance between the two so we said yes,” Evans said. “Cancellation was never an option I was told today.  They were hoping for a bit of flexibility from me and they got it.”

The play will be shown at Bill Williamson Hall at CMR on May 14-16 and 21-23 at 7:30 p.m., with matinees on Saturdays at 2 p.m.

Evans added that while some people wanted them to cancel the show entirely, he said the show does not glorify suicide or violence and is ultimately about hope.

“Some folks were pretty hot about us doing the show at all after this,” Evans said. “But I keep saying that ‘Roulette’ is about hope, strength and healing at the end.”

For more on the show, check back next week at Bigskystatebuzz.com for a full preview including photos and a full interview with Evans.

If you’d like to donate to help offset funeral costs for LaValley’s family, visit the GoFundMe site here.


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