Final act for John Deaderick in Colfax |

Final act for John Deaderick in Colfax

John Deaderick in the Colfax Performing Arts Center. Deaderick's final production with the Colfax High School Theater program, "The Wizard of Oz" opens this weekend,
Submitted photo |


WHO: Creators of Riveting Entertainment and Colfax High School Music

Department present “The Wizard of Oz”

Directed by John Deaderick, Music Direction by Todd Wilkinson

WHEN: 7 p.m. April 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25 and 2 p.m. April 18, 25

WHERE: Colfax Performing Arts Center, 24995 Ben Taylor Road, Colfax, CA

TICKETS: $5 Students, $10 Adults, Visit our website or call to reserve

your tickets or 530-346-2284 x 2142

To say he will be a tough act to follow would be a bit of an understatement. After 14 years at the helm of the Colfax High School Theater program, John Deaderick has announced he will retire at the end of the school year.

And he is going out in a big way. His last production there, “The Wizard of Oz,” features a cast of 68, a crew of 25, 19 scene changes, flying monkeys, high tech video projections, smoke and more. The play opens Thursday (April 16) and runs through April 25 at the Colfax Performing Arts Center.

Deaderick, a veteran actor, director and longtime Nevada County resident, took over what was then a theater club at Colfax High School 14 years ago. The school’s philosophy and focus quality is what drew him to work there, Deaderick said.

In the years since he built the club “pretty much from scratch” in to a full-fledged community theater program, with a well equipped venue and many theater program alumni that have gone on to bigger and better things in the arts world.

Deaderick says he is most proud of the alumni who successfully pursued theater in to college and the entertainment industry. He is also proud, and a little amazed, that he contributed an original musical in addition to a few other scripts. In the spring of 2014, Deaderick produced “The Trial of Juanita,” which featured his original script and music.

After doing heavier material for the past few shows, Deaderick decided end his tenure on a fun, family friendly production.

“The Wizard of Oz is not an easy show, but the students think it’s fun,” said Deaderick.

As for retirement, Deaderick said it just felt like the right time. Although he is stepping away from school theater, he already has a few things in the works — including the continuation of his previews in Prospector for The Metropolitan Opera Live series presented by Sierra Cinemas, Music in the Mountains and InConcert Sierra. Deaderick has published a book on opera, “Make Sweet the Minds of Men: Early Opera and Tragic Catharsis,” available at He is also working on revising the opera, “The St. Adolf Ring,” with famed composer Terry Riley. Deaderick said he prepared the libretto and Riley wrote and performed the score for a tour in 1992. The duo toured Europe with it in 1995 and Riley has received an offer to perform it again in 2016.

Deaderick hasn’t made many plans beyond that for his newfound free time.

“I’m going to take a long, deep breath and see what comes up,” he said.

Features Editor Brett Bentley can be reached at or by calling 530-477-4219.

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