CYT Tucson Presents “Oliver!”

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Christian Youth Theater Tucson has announced their new season of family favorites beginning with Oliver!, November 1 – 3 at the Pima Community College Center for the Arts Proscenium Theatre.

Based on Dickens’ Oliver Twist, this endearing musical is full of popular songs such as “Consider Yourself,” “Food, Glorious Food,” “As Long As He Needs Me” and many more!

“The audience will fall in love with our little pick-pockets while they sing and dance their way across the stage. I know everyone will leave the show humming one of these tunes, wondering how these kids have once again pulled off such a huge classic Broadway show,” says CYT executive director Kathy Thuerbach.

CYT’s “Oliver!” will have four public performances. Tickets are just $10 and are available at cyttucson.org.

Showtimes:
Friday, November 1st at 7pm
Saturday, November 2nd at 2pm and 7pm
Sunday, November 3rd at 2pm

CYT Tucson is a local non-profit theater arts organization providing instructional classes and live musical performance opportunities for Tucson youth ages 8-18.

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Life Lessons: “Oliver” Role Impacts CYT Fredericksburg Student

Sarah Bower was interviewed for her role as Nancy in CYT Fredericksburg’s upcoming production of “Oliver,” in an article that ran over at Fredericksburg.com.

According to the article, “[Through Nancy’s character], who started stealing at age 6 and doesn’t know any other way to live, Sarah feels hopelessness and constant fear.”

“The uncertainty of what is going to happen and not having any hope or faith in anything makes that fear even bigger,” Sarah told the paper. “[I want to show the impoverished] they have hope for a better life in Christ.”

The article stated that Sarah will be traveling to Mombasa, Kenya, where she will “serve orphans and other children at the Royal Kids School. The facility is supported by e3Kids International, a Fredericksburg based nonprofit whose mission is to equip, empower, and educate impoverished children. The group sponsors 130 children ages 4-18.”

Managing Director Terry Cook told the paper that the “Oliver” cast has been collecting food for a local food pantry:

“The [students] want to have an impact in our community as well as internationally.”

You can read the complete article, here: Role in play offers life lesson for local teenager.

Show Review: CYT West Palm Beach’s Oliver Cast ‘Loud and Strong’

A couple weeks ago, Altartprojects.com posted a show review of CYT West Palm Beach’s Fall production of “Oliver.”

Here is a selection from the review:

“In November, I had the opportunity to see a children’s production of Oliver put on by Christian Youth Theatre of West Palm Beach. For those of you that may not be familiar with the story of Oliver, here’s a quick and dirty summary: Oliver is a young lad of 8 or 9 years who lives in an orphanage with other children around his age. After being mistreated and abused, he runs away from the home and makes his way to London. There he meets the Artful Dodger, Fagin, and his gang of pickpockets. Of course, Oliver gets caught, intrigue and hilarity ensue, and eventually Oliver is reunited with his mother’s sister to live in the lap of luxury and become a proper English gentleman.

The CYT production stuck very close to the story, except that instead of Oliver being played by an English lad of 8 or 9 years, Oliver was played by Indian lass of 8 or 9 years. She was fantastic.

As the lights dimmed and the overture began, I looked around and realized that these kids were performing to a packed house. When the lights went up and the music stopped, I expected to hear stuttering and stammering, the usual opening night jitters. My expectations were dashed because their voices came out loud and strong.

During the intermission, I spoke with the director, Rachel Sharpe, who told me that the kids had rehearsed for nine weeks straight, and out of a cast of 41, maybe 10 kids had been in other shows. She was amazed at the transformation so many of the kids had made in such a short time. In nine weeks they learned lines, lyrics, and choreography. They stayed up late and gave up soccer practice to paint scenery. It’s true that not all of them will be the next Idina Menzel or Joel Grey, but for that short span of time they had joy. And coming close after talent, joy is the second thing you need to succeed in theatre.”

For the latest information on CYT West Palm Beach, check out their Facebook Page.

The San Diego Union-Tribune Chats with the cast of CYT SD’s Oliver

Not too long ago the San Diego Union-Tribune interviewed the cast of CYT San Diego’s “Oliver!”

The SDUT chatted with Show Director Cody Combes, as well as several cast members. Most notable is Edgar Cortez, an autistic student from Eastlake Middle School, who, according to the article, “develop[ed] a strong stage presence [with] a minor role as a police officer.”

Here’s what Edgar had to say:

“CYT helped me become a good singer, but it helped me with other things in my life and for that, I’m really lucky….Sometimes people think they’re a horrible singer, but when they practice they get really good….[Oliver is] a very powerful story. It may be heavy material for young kids, but the ending is very different from the book.”

Director Cody Combes said the program focuses on character development,

“It drives home developing confidence and being OK with who you are. It’s about finding out the most amazing person you are without having to change.”

Emma Holley said it was fun to play a different character,

“You just think in your head and pretend you’re someone else….I feel sad for (Oliver) because he doesn’t have a family, but the story teaches you that it’s really nice to have a family.”

You can read the complete article, here: For Edgar, ‘Oliver’ has made the difference.