Clayton Youth Theater to perform ‘Aida’

ndunn@newsobserver.comJuly 14, 2014 

Clayton Youth Theater director Nikki Dyke isn’t overselling “Aida” when she says, “It’s a powerhouse of a show.”

The student actors who make the musical go can really belt out the high notes. Well, any and all notes, really.

Audiences can see the youth theater troupe perform Elton John and Tim Rice’s love story at 7:30 p.m. July 25, 26 and 31 and Aug. 1-2 at The Clayton Center, 111 E. Second St. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. They’re available by calling 919-553-1737.

“Aida” tells the story of a Nubian princess, Aida, and an Egyptian soldier, Radames, who fall in love while their nations are at war. The “Romeo and Juliet”-style story also takes the shape of a love triangle as Radames is betrothed to the pharaoh’s daughter, Amneris.

“They are torn between each other and their countries,” said Jordan Monk, who plays Aida. Monk, a recent graduate of Corinth-Holders High School who will attend Meredith College this fall, is one of 29 student actors and crew putting on the show.

Monk, who will study music education and theater in college, is joined by fellow leads Ty Myatt as Radames and Morgan Abdalla as Amneris. During a July 7 rehearsal in the green room at The Clayton Center, the voices of Monk, Myatt and Abdalla rose softly into a delightful, soothing melody.

After the song, Myatt said Clayton Youth Theater productions are the highlight of his year. “There’s always a moment in a show when everyone is dancing or singing, and you look around and say, ‘That was really great,’” he said.

The three lead actors have all been with Clayton Youth Theater since at least the start of high school. Abdalla said the love of performing keeps the students coming back.

“Everyone shares that same love that we have,” Abdalla said. “We always put on good shows.”

Dyke founded Clayton Youth Theater in 2007. The troupe, open to students in grades 7-12, is the lone youth-only theater group in Johnston County.

Dyke said the theater group has students from throughout Johnston County and some from the Triangle.

“We’ve really seen the program blossom,” Dyke said. “It’s become something families in the community have come to count on.”

For more information, go to www.claytonyouththeater.com.

Other actors not mentioned above are Eric Gotelli as Mereb, Charlie Putnam as Zoser, Braxton Brewington as Amonasro, Brick Ingle as Pharoah, tenor Tyler Ellis, bass Jawon Gathers, bass Markeese King, tenor Jacob McCain, bass Andrew Mullins, bass Tanner Stone, soprano and alto Kacie Bagley, alto Alex Christie, alto Meghan Chung, Alexus Cox as Nehebka, soprano Rebecca Douthart, soprano Reilly Garnish, alto Tess Kirk, soprano Taylor Outlaw and soprano and alto Allie Pezza.

Crew members are Delaney Aiello on lights, Madison Haase, Ragan Keefer, Ellen Littler, Olivia Martin, Gillian Morgan and stage manager Haleigh Scheffler.

The musical director is Jessica Albright, the rehearsal accompanist is Dara Edwards, and the choreographer is Lormarev Jones.

Dunn: 919-553-7234, Ext. 104

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