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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

“In the Heights” highlights local youth

For two weekends, March 8-10 and March 14-17, junior Nina Jayashankar performed in the  Children’s Musical Theatre’s adaptation of the Tony Award winning musical “In the Heights.” 
The performers were split into two casts, the Bodega and Dispatch casts, with Jayashankar in the Dispatch cast. The production included young actors from all over the Bay Area.
The musical tells the story of the Latin American community that lives in Washington Heights in present-day New York City. 
“The music and storyline are fun and fresh and the community is very family oriented, making the entire show a heartwarming experience,” Jayashankar said. 
Jayashankar was part of the Parcha group, which was the principal dance role of the show. 
Jayashankar has been a part of CMT musical productions since fifth grade. Her familiarity with the program encouraged her to become apart of the production of “In the Heights.”
“I was already a big fan of the music in ‘In the Heights,’ so when I received a note from the director encouraging me to audition, I decide to try out,” Jayashankar said.
CMT has been providing a home for young actors for 45 years. The program aims to use musical theatre to educate youth and help young adults achieve their personal and artistic goals.
The art of performing is taught in each production of the CMT, but the performers are also educated on the background and context of the play and its historical significance. 
Jayshankar learned about the Latin American culture and the emphasis they put on family community, which was an important aspect of the show. 
“The difficulties that immigrants faced in the workplace were often discussed in AP U.S. History and ‘In the Heights’ displayed these difficulties through the characters' daily lives,” Jayashankar said.
Jayashankar has grown to love performing at the theatre after taking part in the program for so long. 
“I'm particularly fond of the company because they manage to put together a professional quality production in only six weeks,” Jayashankar said. “It's the closest a non-profit company can get to professional theater.”
Through her experience at CMT, Jayashankar has found a home that she shares with others in the program
“The directors and performers there are also very experienced and fun to work with,” said Jayashankar. “After performing once with them, I couldn't leave.”
 
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