MSYT celebrates 20 years with musical retrospective

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It's a big year for Main Street Youth Theatre. The organization is celebrating its 20th anniversary of bringing family-centered theatre to the stage on Hilton Head Island.

The organization began as The Hilton Head Community and Youth Theater in the 1997. It was founded with a goal to create a community-based theatre where the performers are local children, parents and community adults.

Productions were originally staged at the Community Playhouse located on Dunnagan's Alley, as well as at Hilton Head Prep.

In 2006, the name was changed to Main Street Youth Theatre.

The mission has always included an objective to educate young local performers in all aspects of the theater, and to encourage family involvement in this activity. By exposing youth to a true theatrical experience, the MSYT would provide an avenue to increase their self-esteem as well as enlighten and educate them through the power of live performance. Twenty years later, with more than 50 production credits, that goal and mission remains in tact.

With 2017 bringing this milestone anniversary, MSYT board members have been charged with creating a celebration that will include past alumni and current cast members.

They are planning a spectacular 20th anniversary show entitled "This Is Our Story: Celebrating 20 Years." Auditions are scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 18-19 at the Seahawk Cultural Center.

The show will run Nov. 30-Dec. 3. This musical revue will pay homage to some of the favorite past shows and include special appearances from MSYT alumni.

"The Main Street Youth Theatre has had such a positive impact on so many young lives," said Cinda Seamon, board chair. "So many alumni remain involved in some aspect of theatre, whether community-based or otherwise, and we have numerous alumni that have gone on to embrace the arts as a career. Either way, the theatre has left such a positive mark and we have so much to celebrate."

The widespread impact has been with adults as well. From parents of the young thespians to volunteers as well as board members, countless hours and endless encouragement have been invested. Many, many adults have played key roles in the success of the organization.

One adult in particular, whose legacy continues and is given special honor this year, is the late Judy Gallagher. Her love of theatre - and in particular Main Street Youth Theatre - was evident in the numerous productions she performed in as well as her dedication to the organization off the stage.

Her contribution has been significant in many ways, and no 20th anniversary celebration would be complete without a special thank you to Judy.

Congratulations Main Street Youth Theatre on 20 beautiful years. Judy would be proud.

MSYT is a nonprofit organization established in 1997 and is the only youth theatre in Southern Beaufort County. For more information, visit www.MSYT.org, Facebook.com/MSYouthTheatre or email infomsyt@gmail.com.

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