A Great Cast For A Good Man, Charlie Brown

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Hi, my name is Mitchell Siefker, 12 years old, and I just recently played “Charlie Brown” in CYT Indy’s FIRST EVER PRODUCTION, “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown!” I was very excited at first (at the beginning of rehearsals), but getting closer to the show, I got more and more nervous.

Opening Night was a blast! There were a few “Screw Ups” (Some made by me), but most of the other shows were fine. We did an ALMOST PERFECT Performance on the Saturday Night show. That was good timing because a few students from CYT Chicago came, thanks to Jared Updike who played Schroeder in the show. We had a blast and we were all crying before and after Sunday’s show. We had grown into the closest show family that anybody could wish for. A lot of times, we prayed behind the curtain right before it opened!

At the “Strike Party”, we all had an award ceremony, as usual for most CYT productions, and a big buffet dinner! We all had a great time doing this show and still miss each other very very much. Although the next show’s rehearsals (School House Rock Live) have almost begun, we wish “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown”, had never ended!

We all say “Hi” to you guys from CYT Indy! We all love CYT very much.

-Mitchell Siefker

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Kansas City Star: For 10 Years, CYT Has Taught Acting & Kind Actions

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CYT’s reputation is spreading through the community & media like wildfire. The Kansas City Star recently took notice of CYT Kansas City and their ten years of teaching good deeds and acting professionalism.

Story by Helen T. Gray:

“When the young teenager first came to Christian Youth Theater he couldn’t sing a note — at least not on key. For five years he worked hard, attended classes, blended into the choruses and improved with each show. Then his big chance came: the demanding lead in “Les Miserables.”

Wil Oden of Kearney pulled it off, bringing the house to its feet. He is just one story of the hundreds of young people who rush from school, fly through their homework and head off to the area’s Christian Youth Theaters.

Recently one group worked on musical parts, another practiced choreography in front of mirrored walls and others plopped on the floor to go over their parts. Often as many as 100 youths, ages 8 to 18, are involved in a production. Overseeing the controlled chaos was Jim Shelton, director of “Scrooge,” which opened Thursday and runs through Nov. 22 at the Bell Cultural Events Center at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe.

The national organization, founded in San Diego, operates in 19 cities and soon will celebrate its 30th year.

“I love these kids,” said Shelton, who works in insurance and is directing his sixth show for the youth theater. “There aren’t a lot of places like this where theater is dedicated to training kids,” he said. “And it’s a tremendous program. People who come the first time are pretty blown away at how professional it is.”

Alan Manning, the theater’s music director, said: “We are doing a professional show. We are stretching these kids and have them doing things beyond their years.”

Despite the name, “This is not Christian theater,” with Christian-themed productions, Shelton said, “but Christians doing theater. Anybody is welcome.”

Read the full article at the Kansas City Star.

Bridge to Terabithia: Crossing Paths

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Vittoria Picone, Courtney Evans, and Cassie Bowerman crossed paths at the CYT San Diego Bridge to Terabithia fall show. They have each played the character Leslie Burke, and took a moment to pose for the camera, and to reflect on the show.

The heart of the show will always be the same, and that’s why it’s so beautiful. Even though our culture is evolving from day to day, the basic struggles of growing up that each generation faces will be the same. When I was younger, the character of Leslie was a funny girl, who knew how to have a great time. But now that I’m older and I can reflect more deeply about her character, she is someone to be admired by all ages because of her love for simple things around her, ” said Vittoria.

Both Vittoria and Courtney think the characteristics of Leslie stand the test of time, although Courtney explains her character development in a more spiritual light,

“The characteristics that are most important are found inside each individual girl who gets to play the role. I think the great aspects of Leslie are in all of us. That is the key-bringing yourself into Leslie’s adventures. “

…And for future ladies who will play the part of Leslie, the girls have a plethora of advice for ya!

Courtney:  Tell the story. Be yourself. Don’t “ACT”. Do out-of-the-ordinary things like hanging out with Jesse practicing your lines… in a jungle gym while your actually playing. You will be surprised at how much it changes everything for the better. Observe your friends playing and having conversations so you have an outside perspective on how to look at your dialogue. And enjoy the ride! It was almost 10 years ago since I played the role, but I remember being so invested in telling this beautiful story and enjoying every second of it. I wish I could do this role again! (21 might be a little too old) :)

Cassie: Be ready to learn a lot from this character, and don’t be scared to jump right into it, it will be an adventure!

Vittoria: Really think about the girl you are portraying. As Christians we are called to live above the standards of this world, and instead, to the standards that God gives us in His Word. Leslie, in her own way, does that. She doesn’t listen to the criticisms of her classmates or Jesse’s family. She is so confident in the girl she is, and makes a daily effort to find Terabithia in her day to day life.

CYT Richmond Is Off To The Emerald City

CYT Richmond is off to the Emerald City and clicking their ruby slippers for a sold-out show.

Their fall production, The Wizard of Oz, will be running two weekends only (Nov 20th–22nd & Nov 27th–Nov 29th), with their opening weekend sold out. Watch CYT Richmond’s Katie Bianchi, Jacob Filegar, Davis Mercer, and Ben Taylor give a short performance of The Wizard of Oz on CBS 6.

Purchase tickets for The Wizard of Oz at CYT Richmond’s website, here.

CYT Lafayette’s Socks Blown Off With Their First Show, Godspell

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CYT Lafayette is overjoyed with the success of their first show, Godspell.

It ran for one weekend only, November 7-8th, and sold out two of the three shows. Gerald Broussard, Board Chair for CYT Lafayette, said the crowd spoke of nothing but praise,

“We just had the most amazing weekend! Everyone is just speechless. The kids did incredible, and the audience was just mesmerized! Some comments were, ‘I am coming back to every production you do’
and ‘Thank God for CYT!’ Lafayette just got its socks blown off. The cast and crew were so emotional, we started crying after the show all the way through the strike party.”

Definitely check out CYT Lafayette’s FIRST show. This is part 2 of 10, and you can watch the rest here.