It is a common saying in show business that—even faced with adversity—the show must go on.
Students who have gotten accustomed to using the Turlock High School Performing Arts building have embodied this saying as they continue to carry on their performances elsewhere in response to the facility’s ongoing construction.
For Julien Elementary School fifth grader Arriana Orozco, the mere possibility of her school not hosting its talent show—which is usually held at the THS PA building—was enough for concern.
“I think it’s important to have a talent show, especially for the sixth graders who wanted to try out because this is their last year at Julien,” said Orozco.
“I’ve talked to the PTA and the principal,” continued Orozco. “They said that they are trying to get the talent show, but they need parents and a location.”
Parent Teacher Association member Allie Jeffery reported that all the school needs is an event coordinator and a venue, since the talent show is usually held in the THS PA building.
Principal Jeff Persons echoed Jeffery’s comments, emphasizing that the talent show has not been officially cancelled since the school still has a couple of months to appoint a coordinator and find a location.
“We still have a lot of opportunities to figure it out,” said Persons. “It’s just a matter of putting nuts and bolts together. We have not made any declaration that the talent show isn’t happening.”
Jeffery added that in the event that the school is unable to put on a talent show this year, students will potentially still have an opportunity to showcase their talents during open mic events during lunch breaks instead.
“I think there is going to be a talent something this year,” said Jeffery. “We are looking at all sorts of options to make sure they get a chance to showcase their talent.”
The talent show at Julien Elementary is not the only event affected by construction currently taking over the high school’s PA building—performances by the THS Drama program have also undergone necessary adjustments.
For their fall performance “The Big Meal”, students rehearsed in classrooms up until the week prior to the show, where they relocated to the Carnegie Arts Center.
“The Carnegie was wonderful to work with and they were really accommodating,” said THS Drama teacher Michelle VanNieuwenhuyzen. “However, students had to drive from the high school to a different performance area and get used to a new space right before the show.”
VanNieuwenhuyzen reports that the THS Drama program’s spring performance, “Happy Anniversary Angel, Love Gino,” will also have to find a new stage.
“It’s tough, tricky trying to figure this all out,” said VanNieuwenhuyzen. “This year has been difficult as we haven’t been able to organize a way for students to see how the lighting and sound will work in the classroom until the final rehearsal week.”
Performances are not the only things that have been affected by the PA building closure. Included in the modernization of the PA building is the renovation of the four adjacent classrooms—rooms that are usually used to host Drama students for their class time.
“I have pretty full classes and the PA building would hold us generously and there would be space for all students,” said VanNieuwenhuyzen. “Now we are cramped in a single space, but the kids are managing and I am managing.”
“We are just looking forward to the PA building being completed and being back on track,” continued VanNieuwenhuyzen.
Workers report that the building is still in its rough framing stage. According to Maintenance Operations Director Scott Richardson, the PA building is still on schedule for completion in August.