SOLA Giving Day: Christian Youth Theater

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – Christian Youth Theater is a musical theater company that has been in Lafayette for the past 10 years.

Thousands of students have been through this program. Right now the kids are doing rehearsals for the musical “Newsies” which will be performed next week.

“Newsies” is a musical inspired by the 1899 newsboys strike in New York City. Eighty-five kids from ages 8 to 18 are in this production.

“We use theater as a tool to help kids get better in life,” said Lafayette’s Christian Youth Theater founder Gerald Broussard.

Broussard and his wife, Patti, brought Christian Youth Theater to Lafayette after seeing a CYT performance in Houston.

“It was just something special and we knew it was special and from that moment we thought this would be an amazing program for Lafayette,” Broussard sad.

The actors have been rehearsing in the old sanctuary at St. Pius Church.

Ben Tyrrell plays “Jack Kelly,” one of the newsies.

He’s been with Christian Youth Theater for seven years and is planning to study musical theater at the University of Arizona.

“Doing CYT really taught me to be more confident in myself,” Tyrrell said.

Virgina Foshee plays “Katherine Plummer,” a young journalist who helps the newsies.

She said she got involved with CYT about a year ago.

“I’ve become more self confident, I’ve become a better person through this organization and so have other people. It’s just a wonderful place,” Foshee said.

CYT puts on three to five musicals a year. The productions are family affairs. Parents are making about 120 costumes for “Newsies.” Another group of parents is building sets for the production.

For South Louisiana Giving Day, the Christian Youth Theater wants to raise $60,000. The Pinhook Foundation will match up to $30,000.

“We really depend on giving to make the program what it is, from costumes, to set pieces to microphone systems to facilities,” Broussard explained.

If you would like to see the young actors in action, there will be five public performances of “Newsies” at UL’s Angelle Hall from May 16 through May 19.

Each production can cost $50,000 to put on.

Around 280 kids are in the program. Classes are held every week in Lafayette and Abbeville. They would eventually like to have a rehearsal place to call their own.

Click here if you would like to donate to Christian Youth Theater.

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