Annual CYPT Benefit Reunion a ‘Totally
was like, totally, rad. The 2012 Cincinnati Young People’s Theatre (CYPT)
Benefit Reunion was held on December 27 at the Covedale Center for the
Performing Arts and was an unqualified success – on-stage and off.
annual event is equal parts fundraiser, entertainment and social mixer for
alumni of the venerable 30-year program. This year, in honor of the summer
production of The Wedding Singer, the event included a salute to the 80s.
Recognition for distinguished alumni and friends of the program were given in
the form of the annual CYPT awards. The CYPT Founder’s Award – given to someone
who fundamentally ensured CYPT’s success over its 30 years – was presented to
Nicola Burgun for her commitment and dedication as stage manager for the summer
show for more than 10 years.
Local teacher and theater instructor Tara Tuttle was awarded the 2012
Distinguished Alumni Life Achievement Award for inspiring the next generation of
CYPTers all across the region.
The 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award for Performing Arts was presented to Aaron
LaVigne. LaVigne is an accomplished musical theater performer based in New York
City. He is currently on Broadway in the musical Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark
and has toured nationally in Rent and was a member of the New York cast after
The CYPT Hall of Fame Award – recognizing the work during a participant’s years
in the program – was presented to Jeni Bayer Schwiers. A mainstay in the
“middle” years of CYPT history, Schwiers appeared in Joseph and the Amazing
Technicolor Dreamcoat (1989), Lil Abner (1990), Mack and Mabel, then as Dorothy
in 1992’s Wizard of Oz and the title role in 1993’s Cinderella. She seamlessly
transitioned to off-stage work by helping costume and then choreographing many
CYPT shows after her teen participation.
Each year, two “graduating” participants of the program are presented with
honorary Big Guys scholarships, named after the informal graduate club from
CYPT’s early years. For their dedication to CYPT, Megan Anderson and Kelsey
Steele were given $500 awards to use toward college expenses this fall.
annual Name-the-Dressing Rooms promotion generated over $700. The two winners
Denny Reed and Eric Bricking once again won the annual Name-the-Restrooms
auction. And the auction winners of the Walk-on Roles for CYPT 2013 were Paula
Gerhardt and Jeff Tuttle.
Through ticket sales, live auctions
and other fundraisers during the event, the 2012 CYPT Benefit Reunion Concert
raised over $9,700. The proceeds will offset the rising costs of the summer
production and help to ensure that anyone who wants to participate in CYPT in
the future can afford to.
CYPT alumni and friends should mark their calendars for Friday, December 27,
2013 for the next edition of the CYPT Benefit Reunion.