Christian Youth Theater North Idaho is crossing the border for its summer production.
“Oliver! The Musical” will be staged in Spokane Valley at the University High School theater, 12420 E. 32nd Ave.
“It’s a beloved show to many,” said Bliss Lanier, executive director of CYT-North Idaho.
The move is a result of scheduling conflicts at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Coeur d’Alene.
CYT-North Idaho looked at other places in Coeur d’Alene to stage the show, but kept running into dead ends. George Green of the Lake City Playhouse referred the group to his wife, Briane Green, director of the drama department at U-Hi.
“This is a beautiful, beautiful theater,” Lanier said of University’s facility. “We are very, very lucky that they were willing to stay open this summer.”
She said it is good for the children in the group to perform in different theaters if they are thinking of pursuing drama. They learn about making sure they are hitting their marks so they don’t fall into the orchestra pit and they learn about being respectful of someone else’s theater.
CYT-North Idaho performs four plays a year, all musicals so they can use big casts.
“Oliver!” has a cast of about 70, both children and adults. Lanier said there are 15 to 20 crew members and a live orchestra.
Oliver, played by 11-year-old Jameson Elton, is an orphan boy who runs away to live with a group of pickpockets on the streets of London.
Lanier said the musical has inspired the group to hold its first food drive during performances. Donations will benefit Lake City Community Church Food Bank, Spokane Valley Partners and Community Action Partners Association.
“As a nonprofit, CYT believes it is important to work together with other nonprofits to not only help boost donations but also to raise public awareness of the needs of our community,” Lanier said.
Everyone who works on the production is a volunteer.
“We are so blessed,” Lanier said.