At Lake Ridge Elementary School, scarecrows dance, but only if the weeds have been banished from the garden.

Students at the school presented a full-scale operetta, "Scarecrow Dick," Tuesday and Wednesday, culminating a project that has involved everyone including Principal Jerry Pulsipher. (His job was to work with a stage crew to prepare scenery.) The play is by Lois Moessner.Sixth-grade teacher Johanna Gillespie directed the production, which "starred" about 50 students. Mary Jane Emrazian prepared and taped the music, and volunteers helped with costuming a variety of scarecrows and assorted other actors, including weeds, which ultimately get banished to the Marines.

In lead roles were: Brad Maddy as Scarecrow Dick; Travis Searle as his nephew; Amy Petersen as his niece; Brandie Christensen as a gossip; Michelle Wheelen as Miss Fitt; Isaac Astill as Patches; and Lori Hermann, Aaron Doutt and Michelle Smith as scarecrows.

Other parts and choruses of gardeners and of weeds filled out the cast.