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Community gathers to christen new CHS theater

A veritable Who’s Who of the Claremont Unified School District and the Claremont community at large descended on Claremont High School on Thursday, March 28 to celebrate the grand opening of the newly renovated Don P. Fruechte Theatre for the Performing Arts.

“It’s such an honor. Not many people living get to have a building named after them. It doesn’t even resemble the building it used to be,” Don Freuchte said.

After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which featured remarks by CHS Principal Brett O’Connor and local luminaries such as CUSD Superintendent Jim Elsasser and Claremont Mayor Opanyi Nasiali, the crowd was allowed to descend on the theater department’s expanded digs.

The gleaming new theater—with its theater-style seats, a handsome lobby graced by a portrait of former CHS theater teacher Mr. Freuchte and capacious backstage area—received a seal of approval from ceremony attendees, including numerous former CHS thespians.

After touring the theater, guests were welcome to enjoy a slice of carrot or chocolate cake in acknowledgement of the celebratory nature of unveiling a project that was so long in the making.

“This is the perfect example of what Claremont does,” Mr. Elsasser said. “The community has assisted the district in providing the school with this beautiful venue.”

A second ribbon-cutting and tour will be held tomorrow, Saturday, March 30 at 1 p.m. at the high school. An evening performance by both alumni and current thespians will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door for $20 or may be purchased today, Friday, at the high school.

A full story on the ribbon-cutting ceremony will be included in the Friday print edition of the COURIER.

—Sarah Torribio

storribio@claremont-courier.com

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