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Billings teachers get acting parts on big stage

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Posted at 4:00 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 18:00:38-04

BILLINGS - The Billings Symphony finished its third of three shows on Sunday, for "Guys And Dolls: A Musical Fable of Broadway" at the Lockwood Performing Arts Center.

The show included some big city actors and two teachers from Billings.

"Absolutely having a blast," said Q Staton who played Rusty Charlie. "It's my symphony debut, and I get to do it on the Lockwood Performing Arts Center stage. "

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Staton is the Lockwood schools choir director and the high school theater director,

"I have been working backstage with the symphony this year," Staton said. "Now, it's really neat that I get to come and do what I actually do."

Darren Small played Arvide Abernathy and has performed in several shows.

He just returned from the University of Cincinnati where he received his PhD.

Now, he is back in School District 2 teaching remote classes in choir, band and orchestra.

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"It's such an honor to sing for my hometown crowd," Small said. "And there are so many people that I know and love that get to come and see me in person. And it's an honor to be on the stage with such wonderful musicians."

Mr small said he and Mr Staton are not the only teachers on that stage.

"There are teachers in the symphony," Small said. "There are teachers that are singers around. So it's an honor to be sharing the stage with my colleagues."

They say the Lockwood Performing Arts Center, which is part of the high school, provides a great place for learning.

"Actually reminds me of Sadler Wells (Theatre), in London," said Jessica Soza, an actress from San Diego.

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"It's pretty similar to a lot of the theaters, which is actually pretty amazing," said Robert Ariza, an actor from New York.

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"It's better than some of the theaters in New York," said Nicholas Dromard, a New York actor.

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"We were so amazed when we walked in," said Desiree Dromard, Nicholas's wife and a New York actress.

The teachers have some inspiring words for their students.

"They can see that you know it doesn't just stop with you know high school choir or anything like that," Staton said. "You can do things throughout throughout your life."

"I used to say that to my classes all the time, no matter where they end up, you have the opportunity to make music," Small said. "You just sometimes have to seek it out. But it's out there."