TMCC Performing Arts Presents Green Day’s American Idiot

Kathy Berry

American Idiot Show Logo

Student actors and singers are in the midst of their exciting dress rehearsals before opening night of "Green Day’s American Idiot", set to open on Apr. 8 at Truckee Meadows Community College.

“The show is a lot of hard work, but the students are very enthusiastic about the musical,” said Rick Bullis, PhD, Theater Instructor. “When we announced the production title, there were cheers and applause from students. The show includes a live rock band on stage, directed by Ted Owens, along with rock concert lighting.”

TMCC Performing Arts presents the Tony Award-winning hit musical show from Apr. 8-24 at the Nell J. Redfield Foundation Performing Arts Center at 505 Keystone Ave., in Reno. Parking is free.

The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. for performances on:

  • Friday, Apr. 8
  • Saturday, Apr. 9
  • Friday, Apr. 15
  • Saturday, Apr. 16
  • Thursday, Apr. 21
  • Friday, Apr. 22
  • Saturday, Apr. 23

Matinees are at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Apr. 17 and Sunday, Apr. 24. Show admission prices range from $10 for students to $17 general admission at the door. Tickets are available online or by phone at the Theater Program’s box office, 775-673-7291.

  • General Admission: pre-sale $15, at the door $17
  • Students/Seniors: pre-sale $13, at the door $15
  • TMCC Students: pre-sale $10, at the door $10

This production contains strong language and adult topics, and children should not attend, Bullis said. The TMCC Theater Department asks that anyone under the age of 16 is accompanied by an adult.

“We don't want children coming to the show,” he said. “It's got a lot of profanity, sexual content, and simulated drug use.”

Music for the show is by alternative rock band Green Day, with lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong. It is based on a book by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer.

About the music

“Ted Owens, Mig O'Hara and I are all fans of Green Day, and when we found out that the show rights were available, we jumped at the chance to produce it,” Bullis said. “It's a gritty cultural critique of our media-driven culture and the weird environment that the younger generation has inherited. The music is faithful to the Green Day album — hard-driving punk rock mixed with several unforgettable ballads. Because it is a rock opera, there is very little dialogue and a lot of choreography. The show is light on plot and character development, but it is heavy on emotion and action.”

The rock opera features the music of the band’s Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum album, and songs from a follow-up album released five years later, “21st Century Breakdown.”

“An energy-fueled rock opera, ‘American Idiot’ features little dialogue and instead relies on the lyrics from Green Day's groundbreaking album to execute the story line,” according to Music Theatre International on

Rolling Stone magazine published a biography of Green Day, noting the band’s innovative evolution from punk, to pushing the boundaries of rock with long-form narrative storytelling. “American Idiot” contains politically-charged statements about a U.S. President.

“Released four years into the administration of George W. Bush … and two months before the 2004 ballot in which he won re-election, the album depicts an American dream thwarted,” according to “'Jesus of Suburbia', a nine-minute, five-part suite, is the centerpiece, moving seamlessly from thrash to balladry to delicate harmonies and country shuffles while maintaining a narrative.”

TMCC Theater and Performing Arts program

Performing Arts classes in music, theater and dance are offered at TMCC. Students may explore acting, directing and technical theater, and the College produces four to five public performances each year. Associate of Arts degrees are offered with a Music Emphasis; in Fine Arts with Theater Emphasis; and in Fine Arts with Dance Emphasis. Certificates of Achievement are available in Music and Theater.

For more information about the TMCC Performing Arts' production of "Green Day’s American Idiot", please contact Rick Bullis at 775-789-5673.