By Lena Rodriguez
Halloween did not end Nov. 1, but instead on Nov. 15 as members of the Christian Youth Theatre (CYT), an arts training program, performed their final show of the Broadway musical Addams Family at Mater Dei High School.
“I love Halloween and anything spooky. With it being fall, it worked out really well as far as the timeline went. The storyline is funny, the idea of family being really important is awesome and the music is great. I just really enjoyed the story content,” director of the Addams Family play Michael Oakley said.
According to the CYT official website, young people from ages 4 -18 are eligible and can take classes as an after-school activity over the course of ten weeks per session. The classes are offered three times throughout the school year. According to Oakley, approximately 85 performers auditioned over the course of two days, but only those that had registered and taken the theatre classes provided by the CYT were able to audition. Rehearsal lasted for a total of two months, the creation of props and costumes was done two weeks prior to the first showing on Nov. 7 and was made by approximately 150-200 CYT students and parents.
“For this show in particular there was a lot of talent, our call back process lasted 6 hours… but just because you are let go from callbacks doesn’t mean you aren’t in the show…a lot of the people that didn’t make it chose to be a part of our stage crew… there is really an opportunity for anybody to be in the show,” Oakley said.
The Addams Family play was a first time production for Oakley, but the show was done a year ago in Escondido by CYT under another director. This show was different in that it had 63 cast members, while typically shows have 20.
“The challenge wasn’t picking the show, it was finding a great way to utilize and showcase all 63 of the cast members,” Oakley said.
Among the cast, seniors Evan Beck, Mia Apalategui and sophomore Kaede Muller were some of the many Bonita students who were a part of this production as returning members of the CYT.
“I had actually taken a break from CYT for about six years and this is my first show [since]…Acting as a child was harder for me because I was distracted and worried about what people thought. That affected how I acted on stage, [but] I feel more comfortable now that I’m older,” Beck said.
Apalategui has been a part of approximately 16 different productions, and in the Addams Family played the lead, Wednesday Addams. Muller, who played Uncle Fester, has participated in multiple productions as well and first learned of CYT through a church friend. According to him, CYT is “a second family”, because although based on Christian ideals, the CYT is open to young people from all faiths.
“It’s really interesting because you get to see and hear how other schools and people react. You just kind of all become friends like ‘Hey I know people from Eastlake or Chula’ and that’s really cool thing to be a part of,” Muller said.