(BERLIN, Md.) - Twenty shows, two separate casts, and 9,000 children from 60 schools all across Delmarva - that's who got to see the Fantastic Mr. Fox play at Stephen Decatur High School in Berlin over the past few weeks.

The director says it's a 40-year long tradition at the school. Cast members say their drama department may just be the biggest in the area.

"I would have to say we have the biggest, we definitely perform for the most kids out of everyone. I'm a little biased, but I would have to say we have the best as well," says Rodney Murray who played Mr. Fox.

Today, students from Ocean City packed the auditorium for one of two final performances.

"And especially children's theatre. It's a great experience to share with the kids. Today's our last day, so it's bittersweet for everyone, but it was a great run, and we had a great time," adds Rodney.

Rodney plays Mr. Fox. Mr. Fox tries to save his family and friends from being captured by farmers digging into the ground, their home.

Brandon Cater is the show's director and the school's drama teacher who just took over the program. He says the children's theatre is just a small part of the 40-year growing drama program at Stephen Decatur.

"And that's all the result of one woman putting the groundwork in place to make sure we have a very production heavy year and that the kids are very actively involved in the performing arts," says Mr. Cater.

The woman he is talking about is Gwen Lehman, who retired after 46 years. Mr. Cater says theatre helps students better communicate. "Communication is just one of those tools that is so important and that is understated, and it's the thing that this subject matter teaches my kids."

The cast will take down the set, but the laughter will linger until next year when the theater is once again packed with children, bright eyed and ready for a show.