Tag Archives: CYT

CYT-East Presents ‘Snoopy’

Recently CYT-East County presented the musical “Snoopy” at Lakeside Middle School.  The play follows the “Peanuts” gang and the beloved beagle as they take on life’s difficult questions.  Several of the lead actors were from Santee, along with a number of supporting cast members.  This was the second production at the Lakeside school after several years performing at the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC) in El Cajon.  The program was forced to relocate after the El Cajon City Council closed the theater for renovations in December,  2009.

I have covered a few of the performances before, and am always amazed at the talent of these young actors.  It is always difficult to single out anyone in these casts, but two young ladies who stood out in this performance were Jenna Wille, who played Peppermint Patty, and Jesi Perry, who played Sally Brown.

Ms. Wille, who played one of Ariel’s sisters in the CYT-East production of “The Little Mermaid,” is perhaps as opposite to the tomboy character as possible, but she was totally convincing.  As the tough girl who has a not-so secret crush on Charlie Brown, she had the combination of attitude and curiosity that mark Patty.  The crowning scene was her conversation with Charlie Brown (played by Bobby Albright) which includes the song “Poor Sweet Baby.”  Rather than being all gushy and romantic in the song, which can easily happen, Ms. Wille battered her unwilling companion in a hilarious and true-to-character scene.

After playing minor and second-rank characters for many performances, Ms. Perry came into her own as the ditzy Sally Brown.  As director Kim Messina noted, people were coming up and asking “Where has she been?” after performances.  Ms. Perry not only captured the personality of Charlie Brown’s little sister, but she managed to carry a little girl voice through the show that added immensely to her portrayal.

This season is over for CYT, but the new season of shows and classes will start back up in September.  If  you have children ages 6-18 who would be interested in getting involved in theater, you can sign them up for classes at Lakeside Middle School or any of seven other locations around San Diego County.  Children from 8-18 can audition for any of the area shows if they are signed up for a class.  CYT is also available in several other locations around the country.  For more information, visit the CYT website.

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2009, A Santee Review – Part 4

We have gone back over 2009 in chunks: first January through April, then May and June, and last July through September. And now, at long last, we reach the final months of the year.

The first event I covered in October was the monthly Chamber of Commerce After-5 Mixer, this time at Pinnacle Peak Steak House. This restaurant has been in Santee for many years, and has built a reputation on their food – which is quite delicious. For the Mixer they set out some of their pork ribs and signature baked beans, along with other goodies. It was one of the best-attended Mixers I’ve seen.

The main event for the month was the annual Chamber Awards Night, this year held at Barona Resort and Casino. This is an opportunity to recognize the people and businesses that help make Santee a special place to live. Among the recipients in 2009 were Ronn Hall Insurance as Small Business of the Year, GTM General Discount Store as Medium Business of the Year, and Barona Resort and Casino as Large Business of the Year. There was also special recognition for Santee’s two adopted USMC units: 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines from Camp Pendleton and Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462 from Miramar MCAS.

Other posts for October included previews and promotions for the CYT East production of Bridge to Terebithia, a Chamber Business Partnership presentation, Grossmont Center’s Shop for a Cure to support the Sharp Grossmont Hospital Breast Health Navigator Program, and the Auction Stampede 2009 fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Clubs of East County.

November featured two grand openings. The first was Aloha Pet Grooming, located on the west side of Santee; the second opening was Nutrition Zone in the Vons Center. Both are on Mission Gorge Road. Both of these were very well attended, and showed the feeling of community and support Santee has for new businesses. A very special event, although I didn’t get a post up until December, was a fundraiser held at Philippi’s Pizza for a young Santee girl severely injured in an auto accident.

Also in November was the annual Santee Pancake Breakfast to support Santee Santas. This event is held at Fire Station 4 and is hosted by the Santee Firefighters and the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. The Firefighters cook, the Deputies serve, and the community gets involved both as donors and sponsors and as hungry guests. All proceeds go toward helping struggling families in Santee.

December kicked off with a preview of the annual Taste of Santee Mixer, then went back to cover two important November events. The first of these was the fundraiser at Philippi’s Pizza Grotto to help the family of Jordyn Niemiec, who was severely inured in an auto accident in October. The event was coordinated by a wonderful group of family and friends who call themselves Team Jordyn, Philippi’s donated a room and a percentage of proceeds, and host duties were shared by local radio personality Clint August and businessman/DJ Thomas Hootman. People came literally from all over East County to help this little girl and her family, donating a total of nearly $8,000.

The other big November event I wrote about in December was the annual Holiday Lighting Celebration at Santee Trolley Square. The Celebration always includes music, community booths, carriage rides, and the lighting of the tree on the amphitheater stage. This year’s entertainment featured Singing Solo and the U.S. Navy Band Southwest Brass Quintet. Even though the overall event was a bit lower-key than the previous year’s, everyone seemed to have a lot of fun.

December’s big event was the annual Taste of Santee Mixer, which raises funds, food, and toys for Santee Santas. Union Bank in the CVS/Best Buy Center hosts this evening, which brings together restaurants and other food businesses with Chamber members and other community members. Among the dignitaries attending were Mayor Randy Voepel, Councilmember John Minto, Chamber CEO Warren Savage, and incoming Chamber President John Olsen.

Just before the holiday school break, the Lakeside Middle School Show Choir performed a selection of holiday songs at the Trolley Square Amphitheater. The Lakeside Farms Elementary School choir joined the older kids in sharing the musical fun. Other stories I covered in December were a DUI checkpoint conducted by the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, the planned closure of SR-67 for construction, and the demolition of the old Edgemoor Hospital facilities. Finally, I started off a new Business Spotlight with a post on Prestige Beauty Supply.

This brings us to the end of 2009 – a year with its share of bad news, but still a lot of positives for Santee. January 2010 will bring us new challenges as well as new opportunities to show just what it is that makes this city special. The first event of the year will be the annual Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner for the new officers. I also plan to continue On Food Patrol and Business Spotlight, and I plan to kick off a Meet Your Neighbor series to introduce you to some of the people who make Santee special.

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CYT East Presents “Bridge to Terebithia”

Ashley Fishman as Leslie and Dallas Perry as Jesse

Ashley Fishman plays Leslie Burke and Dallas Perry is Jesse Aarons in the CYT East production of ‘Bridge to Terebithia”

This weekend Christian Youth Theater, East County, presents the musical version of “Bridge to Terebithia” at the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC). This is a heartwarming story of friendship, discovery, and loss with a backing of great songs including “Ain’t No Mountain,” “You Didn’t Have to Be so Nice,” and “Rhythm of the Rain.” The production features 20 Santee youth among the over 60 young people in the cast and crew.

Because the El Cajon City Council has decided to close ECPAC for “renovations,” this will be the last CYT production there. In addition, the run has had to be cut from the usual two weekends to just one. To partially make up for that, there will be a special discount “Preview Night” on Thursday in addition to the regular Friday/Saturday night and Saturday/Sunday afternoon performances. This is a show you will enjoy and remember for a long time, and is a great family activity. Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for children and can be purchased at the door.

Performances: Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:00 pm; Saturday, Sunday at 2:00 pm.

For more information: CYT Presents “Bridge to Terebithia”


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The Prince is Having a Ball – and So Will You!

The Prince is Giving a Ball

Beginning this weekend, Christian Youth Theater (CYT) East presents one of Rogers & Hammerstein’s beloved musicals, “Cinderella.”  Now this is not the Disney version with talking mice (although there are mice), but the version that featured Julie Andrews in the title role when it first appeared on television in 1957.  The show features some great songs, including “The Prince is Giving a Ball,” “Impossible/It’s Possible,” “A Lovely Night,” and “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?”

Meagan Flint as Cinderella

CYT has its own version of Julie Andrews in the person of the multi-talented Meagan Flint, who most recently played the part of Ida, the mother duck in “Honk!,” and last season portrayed The White Witch in “Narnia” and Jasmine in “Aladdin.”  This will be Meagan’s final performance with CYT, as she turns 18 and “graduates” from the youth program, and it promises to be one of her best.  Other “Honk!” actors returning include Sean Cabuchola (Ugly – now playing Lionel, the Steward), Patrick Gates (Drake/Bullfrog – now The King), Sara Wright (Henrietta – now The Queen), and Ashley Melton (Maureen – now Stepsister Portia)

The show opens Friday night at 7:00 pm, and continues Saturday at 7:00 pm and Sunday at 2:00 pm.  The following weekend peformances are the same times, plus Saturday at 2:00 pm.  CYT is having a special deal on May 10, Mothers Day – all mothers get in FREE.  For more information check out the CYT website.

These pictures are from the second dress rehearsal, thus the mix of costume and street clothes.

The Prince (Michael Sanchez) and Cinderella (Meagan Flint) “bump” into each other in the market

The Prince and Cinderella meet

The Prince and Lionel (Sean Cabuchola) discuss the upcoming ball

The Prince and Lionel Discuss the Ball

The Stepmother (Brittany Hopkins) and Stepsisters Portia (Ashley Melton) and Joy (Jenna Wille) mock Cinderella’s wish to go to the ball

Stepmother and Stepsisters

Cinderella is comforted by her mouse friends (Joanne Barber, Jennie Melton, Sammi Fortin, and Emma Riley)

Cinderella and the Mice

Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother (Kat Brown) discuss the “Impossible” as the mice listen

Cinderella and the Fairy Godmother

The Queen (Sara Wright), King (Patrick Gates), and Lionel (in back) listen to the Prince lament the girl who ran away

Prince, Queen, King

Don’t miss this delightful production.


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Update: Preview of CYT’s “Honk!”

The first weekend of “Honk!” – Christian Youth Theater’s presentation of the musical version of “The Ugly Duckling” – is over, but there is still one more weekend of performances left.  If you enjoy watching young people singing, dancing, and putting some of the Hollywood types to shame, you should get to the show.  The remaining shows are Friday at 7:00 pm, Saturday at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm, and Sunday at 2:00 pm at the East County Performing Arts Center in El Cajon.  As a little preview, I’m posting a link to a YouTube video of the show’s opening number.  Also posted is a link for more information.

A Poultry Tale

CYT: Honk!

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CYT East Presents “Honk”

A Scene from "Honk"

Christian Youth Theater (CYT) is presenting “Honk” – the musical version of Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Ugly Duckling” – this weekend and next at the East County Performing Arts Center.  The production includes several Santee children onstage and in backstage crew.  It’s full of toe-tapping music, great dancing, and lots of fun – plus the age-old story of being who you are.

For more information, or to order tickets, go to CYT.  You can also find out about the 4 other shows playing in the area.

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Willy Wonka Update

The Cast of East County CYT's "Willy Wonka"

The Cast of East County CYT’s “Willy Wonka”


This Saturday and Sunday will be the final three performances of East County CYT’s production of “Willy Wonka” at the East County Performing Arts Center (ECPAC).  Because Friday is Halloween the theater will be dark while the kids hit the trick-or-treat road.  Saturday’s performances will be at 2:00 and 7:00 and Sunday’s will be at 2:00.  This is a very entertaining show with some extremely talented kids – and not one is over 18!  CYT is the ultimate example of Family Entertainment.

Information on CYT’s “Willy Wonka”

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CYT Presents “Willy Wonka”

Just a quick update on things happening.  This weekend was the opening of the CYT East County production of “Willy Wonka” at the East County Performing Arts Center.  Once again we have several Santee kids involved both on stage and as part of the backstage crew.  The show is a delightful recreation of the classic movie with Gene Wilder, and is well worth seeing. 

Click here for a clip from rehearsals for the show.

If you want some information on show times, click on the link below

CYT – Willy Wonka

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Ramona CYT Presents “Narnia”

We have just completed the first weekend of performances on “Narnia” by the Ramona Christian Youth Theater (CYT) group.  For those of you who don’t know what it is, CYT is a non-profit Christian organization that teaches children theater arts and then produces plays.  Adults are involved as directors, choreographers, and in other leadership positions, but all of the actors are ages 8-18, as are most of the crew (lights, sound, props, etc.).  Because the Ramona group is fairly new and doesn’t have a lot of kids involved yet, and there are heavy items to move, most of the set work has been done by adults for this production.  I had planned to be involved only in the writing and editing of the show program, but ended up being recruited into the backstage team.  It has been fun, but I haven’t seen the show yet, except for little glimpses as the kids go on or off stage.  You may remember that three Santee kids are in the play as Mr. and Mrs. Beaver and Mr. Tumnus.  I was planning on sharing some pictures from the dress rehearsals, but I’ve been having some technical problems and they won’t post.  If I get things working I’ll have them up.

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CYT Presents “Narnia” in Ramona

CYT – Christian Youth Theater – will be presenting “Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” at the Ramona Mainstage Theater the two weekends after Memorial Day.  I’m aware that Ramona is not Santee, but I wanted to put up a quick blurb about the production because there will be three young Santee residents in major supporting roles.  Stephen Moore will be playing the faun Tumnus, and Josh Moore and Shannon Prendergast will be sharing the roles of Mr. and Mrs. Beaver.  For more information, check out CYTs’ Narnia.

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