Peyton Trueblood, who died July 31, 2015 in a fireworks explosion at the Pioneer Amphitheatre inside Palo Duro Canyon State Park, was a vital part of the “TEXAS” Musical crew.
“She had an amazing talent for being right in the middle of the energy while dodging the dancing hooves,” said Christie Shippy, head wrangler for the musical.The 21-year-old University of Alabama student and Tuscaloosa, Ala., resident, was killed in a fireworks explosion while taking inventory in a storage unit just before 6 p.m. on July 31. Randall County Fire Department Chief James Amerson said State Fire Marshal investigators have not yet determined the cause of the explosion.
Trueblood was the right stage manager for the production. Kris Miller, executive director of the Texas Panhandle Heritage Foundation, described her as a bright, energetic, very happy young lady.
“She saw to it that everyone got their cues, that the sets went on and came off, that the props were where they needed to be,” said Miller, who portrays “Tucker” in the musical. “She made a point of seeing to it that there was always water on hand and that it was nice and cold.”
The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News said Trueblood was a rising senior in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of Alabama, where she was set to stage-manage this fall’s musical comedy, “Young Frankenstein.” She was a member of the honorary theater society, Alpha Psi Omega.
“Peyton was always a joy to be around,” said Lindsey Miller, sales and marketing manager for “TEXAS”. “Very friendly, and definitely an extrovert. She fit right into the “TEXAS” company.”
Dave Yirak, “TEXAS” artistic director, said, “She held a very responsible job at the Amphitheatre, very lively and talkative. The type of person you want around.”
The musical cancelled performances on July 31 and Aug. 1 following the explosion. However, Monday’s TEXAS Originals went on at the Branding Iron Theatre on the West Texas A&M University campus. Proceeds were donated to Trueblood’s family in Alabama.
The last night of the “TEXAS” show is Aug. 15, and the cast and crew must work through their grief during seven more performances.
“Everybody is coping in their own way, although they’re all heartbroken,” Kris Miller said. “The crew, of course, is devastated, but they’re all moving on. They’ve got each other for their support.”
He added that everybody in the musical is cross-trained in one another’s jobs, so that cast and crew members were able to fill in and do the jobs Trueblood had done previously.
“The “TEXAS” musical is an amazing creature, and the “TEXAS” family is pretty strong,” Kris Miller said. “They’re making it happen and producing physically as well as emotionally.”
Shippy added, “She (Peyton) accepted everyone she met for who they were, and I never heard her say an unkind word about anyone. I miss her smile.”
Story provided by Canyon News.
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