BGSU Firelands' Caryl Crane Youth Theatre awarded "Best in acting" at 2021 Junior Theatre Festival, new productions in the works

HURON, Ohio — BGSU Firelands’ Caryl Crane Youth Theatre was recently awarded "Best In Acting" at the 2021 Junior Theatre Festival Online Extravaganza for its performance of Oliver Jr.

Elijah Routh (Huron High School) received the "Best Actor" award, and Joshua Higgins (Bellevue High School) was awarded "Best Student Director" with Kelsey Swain (Huron High School) being named "Best Student Choreographer." In addition, Joshua Higgins and Marisa Graybill (Huron High School) were chosen to sing the National Anthem at the event, which was held virtually from Jan. 15-17, 2021.

Zavier Alterio (Pioneer School for the Performing Arts), Claire Daugherty (McCormick Junior High), and Fiona Shella (Edison High School) were cast in the Junior Theatre Festival production of the new Disney musical, The Descendants Jr., based on the popular Disney Channel Movie series.

The group has also enjoyed success at the Junior Theatre Festival in the past. At the 2018 festival, Caryl Crane Youth Theatre won the Freddie G. "Outstanding Production" award for Disney’s "The Lion King," which was performed for all 6,000 festival attendees. At the 2020, 2019 and 2017 festivals, Caryl Crane Youth Theatre was awarded the Freddie G. group award for "Best In Music."

About Caryl Crane Youth Theatre

Caryl Crane Youth Theatre, in its 31st year partnering with BGSU Firelands, exists to create revolutionary theatre experiences and advance theatre as a means of educating, challenging and inspiring youth in the community.

The program offers tuition-free productions, theatrical training and leadership opportunities for youth from all over Erie County. Each school year, the theatre produces six shows, which includes a junior production (ages 6-12), a competition team production, an all-ages production, a holiday show, a summer day-camp production and a combined production with the theatre program at BGSU Firelands.

While greatly affected by the pandemic, Caryl Crane Youth Theatre is one of the only theaters in the state to have successfully produced a full season while providing safe theatrical training opportunities for local youth. With guidance from Bowling Green State University, the State of Ohio and our local health department, the theatre is offering in-person rehearsals and filming productions for future release.

Earlier this season, CCYT produced "Something Rotten Jr." and its annual "Mickey Mouse Club Christmas Concert." Following "Oliver Jr.," CCYT will workshop a new musical, written by the CCYT Teen Board, musical theatre bootcamp and will present a spring production.

The group will premier the entirety of their award-winning show, "Oliver Jr.," for free at 7 p.m. March 14 on the Caryl Crane Youth Theatre YouTube channel. Caryl Crane Youth Theatre relies on the support of the community and is grateful for sponsors and donations that support continued opportunities for youth.

About "Oliver Jr."

Theater lovers everywhere are invited to experience Caryl Crane Youth Theatre’s lively production of Lionel Bart’s "Oliver Jr.," premiering March 14, 2021 at 7 p.m. on the CCYT YouTube channel.

Charles Dickens’ beloved orphan makes his Caryl Crane Youth Theatre debut in the hope-filled musical set in the dark shadows of Victorian London. Bounced from workhouse to forced labor, Oliver Twist escapes to the streets where he meets Fagin, the Artful Dodger and a band of child pickpockets. Featuring an award-winning cast (2021 Junior Theatre Festival Best In Acting) of 49 students from 18 area schools, "Oliver Jr." premieres exactly one year after the last live performance in the McBride Auditorium at BGSU Firelands. 

Experience the moving, crowd-pleasing score of "Oliver Jr." at Caryl Crane Youth Theatre at 7 p.m. March 14. Viewing is free on YouTube with donations greatly appreciated.

For more information contact:

Brian Marshall, Director of Theatre
BGSU Firelands College
(419) 372-0732,

At A Glance:

What: Caryl Crane Youth Theatre and Bignoli Enterprises present "Oliver Jr." (Rated G)

When: Premiering at 7 p.m. March 14

Where: Caryl Crane Youth Theatre YouTube channel                   

COST: Free, with donations greatly appreciated

Media Contact | Michael Bratton | | 419-372-6349

Updated: 12/05/2022 05:06PM