Extra! Extra! Truckee High presents ‘Newsies the Musical’ in May | SierraSun.com

Extra! Extra! Truckee High presents ‘Newsies the Musical’ in May

Students in Truckee High School's theater program received professional direction on their upcoming musical, Newsies, from two Truckee High graduates.
Jeff Engerbretson

Truckee High School is bringing “Newsies the Musical” to the stage this May for their spring theater performance.

This year the high school has new staff in the theater department including Truckee High graduates Danny Sturtevant, who is directing the musical, and Leigh Collins, director of choreography.

“Newsies is a really technical musical and we’ve managed to get the kids to adapt and challenge them,” said Collins. “It’s nice to showcase these kids because they work really hard.”

Collins graduated from Truckee High School in 2009 and pursued a career as a professional ballerina.

“I’m really excited to be a part of it and come back to the community and share what I’ve learned throughout my professional career,” she said.

Sturtevant graduated high school the same year, after participating in the theater program all four years. He has spent the last few years as the technical director at Reno Little Theater. He said he came back to the high school because there was need and he was inspired to help the students.

“I’m bringing a more professional level to this group,” he said. “Everything from lighting, sound and the set. It’s turning into the elevated program that is used to be.”

‘Something they’re passionate about’

Using his own technical experience Sturtevant built the set himself over a period of three and a half weeks with help from Mark Brady, the drama club’s advisor, and volunteer Jeff Engerbretson. This involved rewiring the entire lighting structure in the auditorium.

Sturtevant has also brought in $8,000 worth of his own equipment to use in the production.

“It’s great to have a couple alumni come back and do such a good job,” said Engerbretson. “We just want to get the quality of show back.”

Though Engerbretson does not currently have children in the theater program, he has been volunteering since his daughter graduated from Truckee High in 2006.

“The shows used to sell out. The whole community would come watch the shows, even if they didn’t have kids in them,” he said.

Around 30 students, including all the crew members, are involved in the production.

“They’re absolutely rising to the challenge with everything I’ve thrown at them,” said Sturtevant, adding that there was initially some pushback from the students.

“I don’t treat them like kids. I treat them like professionals, because they deserve that,” said Collins. “I hope that they can take these tools that Danny and I have been instilling in them to move forward and do something they’re passionate about.”

8 opportunities to catch the show

The play will be showing the first two weekends in May at the Truckee High School auditorium.

Shows will take place at 7 p.m. on May 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11, with matinee shows on May 5 and 12, at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for students, seniors and members of the military.

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or hjones@sierrasun.com.

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