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For the last five years, the Redhouse Arts Center has partnered with a Syracuse nonprofit to expose high school students to theatrical productions with professional actors. Students are using the lessons they learn from being in "Dreamgirls" this season and applying them to the real world.

Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

Students in the Syracuse City School District are among the stars in the Redhouse Arts Center production of "The Music Man." The idea was to turn River City, Iowa into a multicultural melting pot by doing colorblind casting, and at the same time give the students real-world experience working with professional actors.

Over the past year, life has been a struggle for 16-year-old, Tajanae Lane. She has had to move from Syracuse to New Jersey then back to Syracuse after her father was arrested for robbing a bank.