This July, Los Gatos Youth Theatre (LGYT) is bringing “Sound of Music” and “Freaky Friday” back to life. The 13-year-old non-profit is fast approaching its summer performances with Artistic Director Heather Stokes at the helm. 

LGYT’s Encore group started rehearsing for “Freaky Friday,” a Disney classic, in May. The show embraces contemporary music and a quirky plot involving a body switch between mother-daughter duo Katherine and Ellie Blake. The pair try to make it through “Just One Day” of each other’s lives, failing to avoid any catastrophic disasters in the process. While they struggle to communicate at the start of the show, Ellie and Katherine learn to understand each other by the end, making “Freaky Friday” a wholesome and relatable story. 

The theater company’s older performers, aged 14-19, have embodied the modern musical to prepare for their shows: July 21 at 7pm, July 22 at 7pm, July 23 at 2pm and 7pm, and July 24 at noon and 5pm. 

Senior Riya Narain, who plays Katherine Blake in the Kitt cast, has acted in countless musicals, but feels that LGYT productions are special because of their unique ability to bring people together. Narain emphasized that “it’s wonderful to perform with people who are genuinely dedicated to theater, just like I am.” 

This summer’s Reprise production is the youth edition of the tried and true “Sound of Music,” featuring actors of ages 7-14. The show tells the story of the Von Trapp family and their postulant governess, who welcomes music back into their lives. LGYT’s younger performers are beyond excited to step onto the stage in July. 

Eight-year-old Makenna Saban, who plays Marta Von Trapp, is ready for her LGYT debut this summer. Saban shared that her favorite part of LGYT shows is “being on stage and performing.” She is thrilled about her role in “Sound of Music” because she “gets to hang out with friends and express” herself. Set just before World War II, the Sound of Music features iconic songs such as “Do-Re-Mi” and “Sixteen Going on Seventeen.” 

Performances are July 14 at 7pm, July 15 at 7pm, July 16 at 2pm and 7pm, and close on July 17 at 1pm. 

For any student looking to join the ranks of LGYT, the summer shows are a great way to make new friends and find a welcoming group. Encore performer Esme Jacques shared that “LGYT really represents community and teamwork” to her. Under the watchful eye of the artistic staff, thespians learn public speaking skills, flexibility, collaboration and gather experience for any future theater or life endeavors.

Youth performers can also try their hand at the company’s summer camps, which allow actors to hone their dancing, acting and singing skills, with a shorter time commitment of just a few weeks. LGYT’s summer camps let kids try out the theater scene and performing arts in an inclusive, playful environment. This year’s day camp put on “Disney’s Descendants the Musical,” a show with an invigorating soundtrack and entertaining characters. The camp featured LGYT’s younger actors, ages 7-14. 

Los Gatos Youth Theatre betters its members in indescribable ways, helping students find a community to be a part of and enabling them to be more independent and resourceful in their daily lives. You can find tickets for the summer productions and audition information on the LGYT website, lgyt.net, or by emailing [email protected] Join Los Gatos Youth Theatre in celebrating its talented and dedicated performers this summer!

‘Sound of Music—Youth Edition’

July 14-16 at 7pm, July 16 at 2pm and July 17 at 1pm

‘Disney Freaky Friday—A New Musical’ 

July 21-23 at 7pm, July 23 at 2pm and July 24 at noon and 5pm

Tickets are $10 for children under 10, $17 for students and $20 for adults.

All performances are at Raymond J. Fisher Middle School, 19195 Fisher Ave. Los Gatos. To purchase tickets, visit lgyt.net.

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Contributor Sonali Muthukrishnan is a 17-year-old performer who has participated in Los Gatos Youth Theatre productions since her middle school years. The Legacy Robe recipient has worked both on and off-stage at LGYT, and is thrilled to be a part of her final show with the company as Torrey in “Freaky Friday.” She was the assistant director of LGYT’s production of “Seussical” at Raymond J. Fisher Middle School earlier this year.