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Group puts out a Play in a Day in CdA | Arts & Culture

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Group puts out a Play in a Day in CdA
Group puts out a Play in a Day in CdA


Most play productions feature about 12 to 20 speaking roles, this play features 53. Most casting directors have days to select their cast, this production has an hour.

The degree of difficulty is at an all-time high when the Christian Youth Theater of North Idaho puts on its 4th annual Play in a Day – a children's theater production that spans just over 24 hours from casting to performance.

According to director Jeff Rocco, 117 kids between 8 and 18 signed up to perform in this year's play, which will be at 7:30 p.m. in the theater at the Ray and Joan Kroc Center in Coeur d'Alene. There are also 23 kids who signed up to be on the crew, which has to build a set overnight.

“It's no fun if you don't use them (the children) all,” Rocco said.

After the cast list is posted at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, the actors get their scripts to review over night, and the crew gets to work building the set. The talent reconvenes at 7:30 a.m. Friday to start rehearsing. As they are rehearsing the crew catches up on sleep they passed up the night before. At lunch the crew returns to start implementing props and costumes, and the curtains raise again at 7:30 p.m. for the performance.

Rocco wrote the script for this year's show – Villain Idol – with a mind for dividing lines in a way that more actors get a chance to speak.

All the funds raised by the production will go to CYT.

Another challenge to the production of the play is providing 24 hours of activity for kids free of charge.

“Local businesses have really been amazing,” Bliss Lanier, director of CYT, said. “The community has really backed us.”

Lanier said that Pizza Hut and Del Taco provided lunches for participants.

Tickets are $10, and if you buy three you get the fourth free.

Children participate for a number of reasons: Something to do during the holiday break, love of theater and others have been involved for years.

Paul Connelly, 17, of Rathdrum has been involved with CYT since he was 11. He said he's excited for this year's Play in a Day, and that he was hoping for a sellout.

“I'm here because all I want to do is glorify God,” Connelly said. “That's why I'm here, and that's why I keep coming.”

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