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Testing the heat
by Terry Dempsey
Apr 04, 2011 | 2804 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune/Nathan Orme - Janet Lazarus (center), director of Sierra School of Performing Arts, leads a group of auditioners through dance steps Sunday at the Methodist church on Pyramid Way in Sparks. The auditions were for a musical to be performed at this year's Hot August Nights,
Tribune/Nathan Orme - Janet Lazarus (center), director of Sierra School of Performing Arts, leads a group of auditioners through dance steps Sunday at the Methodist church on Pyramid Way in Sparks. The auditions were for a musical to be performed at this year's Hot August Nights,
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Tribune/Nathan Orme - Meghan Grant, 18, a student at the University of Nevada, Reno, auditions for a musical produced by Sierra School of Performing Arts and Desert Sound Productions and to be performed during Hot August Nights.
Tribune/Nathan Orme - Meghan Grant, 18, a student at the University of Nevada, Reno, auditions for a musical produced by Sierra School of Performing Arts and Desert Sound Productions and to be performed during Hot August Nights.
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SPARKS -- Marti Creveling stood on stage Sunday on in front of the three judges and recited her lines from the movie “Tootsie”

“So I tried to imagine what those big, purple flowers would look like … ,” Creveling recited. “On all the walls of my room ... I made a million plans looking at this wallpaper … I was always waiting for these rosebuds to open … .”

The 47-year-old mammography technologist then received a positive response from the directors and stepped off of the stage with a beaming smile.

Creveling was auditioning for a 1950s-style musical production by the Sierra School of Performing Arts (SSPA) and Desert Sound Productions (DPS) at the Sparks United Methodist Church.

“Acting is something that isn’t work, it’s relaxing and fun for me,” said Creveling, who has been acting for 35 years. “It takes my mind off of the rush of everyday life.

The nonprofit SSPA and for-profit DPS are planning to perform the yet-to-be-named musical based on the 1970s works of actor and director Garry Marshall about youth culture in the 1950s, said Judy Davis Rounds, production manager for SSPA.

“It’s about some kids who are trying to save their favorite burger shop from demolition,” Davis Rounds said. “There will be several chances for the actors to get in some dance numbers.”

Describing the play as a cross between the movies “Grease” and “American Graffiti,” Davis said the producers plan to debut the play during Hot August Nights (HAN), Aug. 12 and 13.

The producers are looking for 22 to 30 people of all ages, though most of cast will be made up of young adults, Davis Rounds said.

“We’re looking for what they call ‘triple threats’, performers who can act, sing and dance well.” Davis Round said. “We have some real good talent in the area, we want to bring that to the forefront with this production.”

SSPA was founded in 2005 by four parents who wanted more opportunities for children and adults in the area. The company recently wrapped up its production of “Broadway Bits,” which highlighted several dozen local actors performing segments from four well-known Broadway plays, Davis Rounds said.

Rick Haney, a resident of Sparks, said he started DPS two years ago, getting back into theater after being inactive for years. He approached SSPA with the idea of doing a show after DPS had done several productions of its own.

“I was in ‘Fiddler On The Roof’ in high school in the 1970s, then in 2009 I came back,” Haney said. “I guess you can say that I was in hibernation for 30 years. Performing is unbelievable for me. It’s like a high. I’ll be on a natural high for three days after a performance.”

The producers will be holding another audition on April 17 from 4 to7 p.m. at the Sparks United Methodist Church at 1231 Pyramid Way.

Potential cast members should bring a headshot, resume and a calendar with any conflicting dates this summer, according to the DPS website.

“We really need some strong dancers who are in their teens to young adult years,” Davis Rounds said.

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