Nevada Proud: Silver State takes center stage in school play

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Updated: 7/24/2014 9:15 pm
RENO, Nev. ( & KRNV) -- Local theatre students are taking the story of the Silver State to the world's biggest arts festival in Scotland.

When News 4 first introduced you to the kids of Sage Ridge School in January, they still needed to raise more than $40,000 for the trip. The play did not even have a name then.

Six months later, the money is raised, they are just a few days from opening night, and there is a memorable name: "Nevada: It Ain't Just Vegas, Baby!"

"Everyone knows about Vegas outside of Nevada," said Sage Ridge School Director of Theatre Cameron Crain. "They have this image of Nevada that it's Vegas, Vegas, Vegas. We're saying, 'Hey, it ain't just Vegas, Baby!'"

Crain's students are celebrating Nevada's history with an original play.

Jasmine Brazelton said it is like nothing she has done before. "It's been really, really unique getting to come together with these [students] of all ages. [To] really learn to build the characters, our own unique characters."

Characters who tell the story of Nevada. You will hear from Abraham Lincoln, Gilligan's Mary Ann, Elvis and Ulysses S. Grant. "It has its dark parts, but it also has its great moments," Noah Columbo said.

Oliver Page graduated from Sage Ridge this year. He cannot wait to perform at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. He said it is a great way to end high school. "I'm just really excited to be able to go and represent northern Nevada at this huge festival."

"Wow," Brazelton said. "We did all this fundraising and now we get to go on a plane and fly and perform."

Crain is seeing his dream become reality. "This was an idea that I had a year ago. Seeing that idea finally come to life, finally take shape, is the best thing."

Crain is also thrilled by his students' dedication, and how much they are taking away from it all.

"Not only did you learn lots of history, it was a really great team building experience," Brazelton said.

"I think I'm going to rember most just bonding with the group of people that we have," Columbo said.

"At no point in this did this feel like really hard work," Page said. "This has always been a really fun, really good experience."

But they did work hard. Now all their effort is paying off as they put the finishing touches on the show.

"It's not just a boring old history show," Columbo said. "It's actually really funny."

"It's cheesy, but it's a fun kind of cheese," Page said.

"It's fantastic," Crain said. "It's entertaining. They're going to be proud that they're a Nevadan. If they have a sense of humor they're going to really be rewarded."

Crain would not give away his favorite part. "The end. The ending, which you have to come here to see because I can't tell you what the ending is. But let me just give you a little hint: Area 51."

If you would like to see the play and find out that surprise ending, the show opens this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. It's the only performance before the students leave for the UK. "Nevada: It Aint' Just Vegas, Baby!" is free and it is at the school on Crossbow Stage.

They will also have more local shows after their trip. For more information, click here.
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