Christian Youth Theater adds Play in a Day camps


By necessity, Christian Youth Theater began conducting plays in the past several months.

“We’re mostly a musical theater, but since the (COVID-19) pandemic, (experts) are saying singing is one of the most contagious things you can do indoors when in close proximity,” CYT Executive Director Laura Baltz said. “We just ceased all musicals since the pandemic. What we did instead is a smaller cast play with no singing, just a straight play with no singing. Instead of a cast of 100, we had a cast (of) around 20. We’ve had much smaller audiences.”

CYT held two plays in October 2020 and a Christmas show, followed by “Radium Girls,” which ends Feb. 28. The fact that students enjoyed the plays gave Baltz and the staff the idea to hold Play in a Day Camps for ages 8-12 set for June 22 or July 15 and ages 12-18 for June 10 or June 30. All four camps are at The Cat in Carmel.

“There are a lot of kids who thought they really wouldn’t like a play. They wanted to be in Broadway musicals,” Baltz said. “But they have found they love being in a play. The way you act on the stage is very different when you are acting in a play from when you are acting in a musical. I think their theater skills have really grown over the last year as a result of having to do blocking and expressions and not everything so choreographed. If there is a silver lining to the pandemic, that’s it. We now have a ton of our students who love plays.”

Baltz said Play in a Day will be fast paced with campers arriving at 9:30 a.m.

“We’ll rehearse it and we’ll talk about characterization,” Baltz said. “At 4 in the afternoon, they will have family members there to come and watch the play.”

From ages of 4 to 12, students will immerse themselves in the world of Mary Poppins. Younger students enjoy a half-day of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious camp, while older students will participate in a full-day program.  Acting, dancing and singing in small groups highlight the popular offering.

The Musical Theatre day camps for ages 4-12 are June 14-18 at Carmel United Methodist and June 28-July 12 at St. Alphonsus Liguori Catholic Church, Zionsville.

For the past few years, CYT has staged a Teen Musical in a Week, where students arrive Monday morning, then spend the week auditioning, learning lines and vocals, rehearsing, then performing a musical on Friday. Baltz said CYT is expanding the Musical in a Week to include younger students between the ages of 8 and 12. Both age groups will perform “Mary Poppins” in keeping with the summer’s theme.

The Musicals in a Week camps for ages 8-12 are July 12-16 and July 19-23 at CrossRoads Church, Westfield, and for ages 13-18 June 21-25 at Emmanuel United Methodist Church, Noblesville.

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