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'Schools Need Musicals': Rival Schools Team Up On Stage

By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4)- In the theater at North High School in Denver, it's starting to come together. The set, the costumes, and the music. It's the final countdown until opening night for the student production of "Rock of Ages."

Student Anda Marshall says, "I'm trying not to be nervous."

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It's a large production, and it took more than just one school to pull this off. In fact it took two rivals coming together to make it happen. Charter School STRIVE Prep-Excel and Denver North High School share a campus, so a little bit of a rivalry has emerged between the two.

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When North's drama teacher Megen Gilman and STRIVE's music teacher Edwina Lucero started talking they realized they had a special opportunity on their hands.

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Gilman says, "I didn't have a music director to run a musical and she didn't have a drama director, and we knew schools need musicals."

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She adds, "We wanted to make sure that kids in this neighborhood had a quality arts education."

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Even though their students were a little bit apprehensive at first, now they consider themselves one big family.

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Marshall says, "Sometimes there's this feud between STRIVE and North but really I feel like this play helps take that all away."

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Talking about her new friends from STRIVE, North High Student Alix Gonzalez says through giggles, "They're just kids!"

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The two schools hope they can share a spirit of unity they've found between each other with the rest of the Northwest Denver community.

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Marshall says, "I feel like this theatre program has allowed us to be a lot closer to each other and build a more stronger community."

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Rock of Ages: High School Edition runs from Thursday through Saturday at North High School in Denver. Tickets are between $5 and $13 and can be purchased online or at the door.

LINK: Rock of Ages: High School Edition

Michael Abeyta is a 4th generation Coloradan and a Multimedia Journalist for CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 5 & 6. He is on Twitter! Follow him @AbeytaCBS4.

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