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Off to see the Wizard

Abby Hutchison, Sierra Sun

There’s no place like Truckee to show off youth talent.

As the curtain call gets draws closer for the Truckee-Tahoe Youth Theater’s (TTYT) fall musical – The Wizard of Oz – the demand for tickets increases. The show has sold out of seats.

Preparing for opening night is an intense task. For Sturtevant, TTYT’s executive director, this production is a challenge with it being the largest show the group has performed yet. For the young actors and actresses, lines must be memorized, dance steps must be honed and an almost nightly rehearsal schedule must be juggled with all other activities.

Truckee youth will show off their talent in The Wizard of Oz, which runs Friday, Nov. 10 and Saturday, Nov. 11 at the Community Center on Church Street. All shows sold out earlier this week.

The performance features 46 local children ages 6 to 16 and will be uniquely staged as a theater-in-the-round production. This classic film version features all the familiar characters and songs is directed by Sturtevant. TTYT’s tech crew will be running the sound and lighting equipment. Assistant director is Whitney Prosor, a 15-year-old Tahoe-Truckee High School student, and technical director Doug Adams will oversee the tech crew.

“All of our equipment will be run by TTYT’s own technical crew of kids ages 8 to 15,” Sturtevant said. “The support this year for this production has been wonderful. First of all, this is the largest production TTYT has ever put together, and the format of theater-in-the-round is more challenging than a regularly staged presentation. There are more seats to build, scenes need to be reworked to accommodate an audience that will be sitting around an entire stage, and just working with 50 cast members can be overwhelming. I’m so thankful for the dedication of our other volunteers.”

The large crew of volunteers include parents of participating TTYT students and TTYT board members, all who input their individual talents and backgrounds. Choreography is created by Sherrie Peterson of Sierra Nevada Dance, who conducts dance rehearsals and trains the cast at her studio in Truckee. Costuming is handled by a crew of parents and volunteers: Beverly Kennedy, Sandy Horn, Kris Norris and Lesley Kings. Professional video production is being scheduled and arranged by parent Joyce Bove.

Support from local businesses allowed for such a large production, said production coordinator Kris Norris.

“The lack of any kind of decent performance space or public theater and working around all of the other important Truckee events makes scheduling a production a Herculean task – we started planning for this production in April,” Norris said.

Evening performances begin at 7 p.m. and a special matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday rounds out the schedule.

TTYT is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a full spectrum of education in the theater arts to the youth of Truckee and North Tahoe.

The Program includes workshops and stage productions to fulfill the needs of children ages 5 to 18. TTYT has received generous support from U.S. Bank, The Truckee-Tahoe Community Foundation, Truckee Rotary and Fred and Barbara Ilfeld.


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