Second act for Tahoe schools theater
After a $6 million renovation, North Tahoe High School drama students once again will have a school theater where they can hone their acting skills.The school will dedicate the expanded and refurbished theater in January, but the prospect of performing in the new facility has already excited the schools performing arts students.Defunct for about three years, the schools drama club is ready to be resurrected, according to Earl Wammack, superintendent of business for the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. Margie Falk of North Tahoes Career Center seconded that view.We are going to rise up like the phoenix, said Falk, who is also the drama clubs adviser. You know we have a lot of talented kids that are willing to work with nothing. The drama club is a work of love for Falk. To her, the drama club offers everything a student needs for success.We have a theater and people that are excited about the program, she said.Money to pay for student productions will depend on local fundraising, not unlike Truckee High Schools drama club, which relies on ticket sales and fund drives to support its activities, Wammack said in an e-mail.The $6 million price tag to renovate the theater was supplemented through a donation from the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, according to Ron Treabess, the associations director of community partnerships and planning. The resort group teamed up with Arts for the Schools, the Lake Tahoe Music Festival and the Tahoe Dance School to raise the contribution. The theater makeover was one of the last elements of the $43 million modernization of the North Tahoe campus.The project expanded seating from 330 to 550, and included $150,000 spent to beef up the theaters sound, lighting, curtain and other equipment. With the improvement, the theater is an ideal venue for community performances, something that was welcomed by the resort associations Treabess.Overall one of the things that is very common in communities, and especially in resort communities, like ours are the [need for] arts and cultural endeavors, Treabess said.Community-based groups and performing art troupes from outside the area have shown interest in the upgraded facility, according to district Director of Facilities and Maintenance John Britto. Nonprofit groups would be among those eligible to use the new asset, he said.One of the first community groups to use the new theater will be the Tahoe Dance School, which will perform the Toy Shop and The Iceskaters at 7:30 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Sunday. The Truckee Community Chorus is always looking for a suitable venue, said Executive Director Chris Nelson.We always feel that we dont have a place, Nelson said.He said the 60-member choral group will benefit from the new professional sound and lighting system.The drama club will sponsor a grand opening event at the theater in January, said Falk. And several theatrical companies have booked the new theater for performances in March and April. All of which make Falk confident the new theater will allow the school to pursue an ambitious performing arts curriculum.Hopefully, we will have a theater arts program Id like to see a dance program too, Falk said. We [also] want to have fundraising performances to help the community utilize the theater to improve the community, she said.