AT BLUFFTON YOUTH THEATRE By Allyson Jones
This local theater company inspires children to be their best — both on and off the stage.
inds in the east, there’s a mist coming in, like something is brewing, about to begin.” —Bert/Mr. Dawes, Sr., “Mary Poppins”
When Cyndy Ford’s father became seriously ill with Parkinson’s, she left her family and performing arts school behind in New York and headed to the Lowcountry to care for him for a “few weeks.” A year later, the school was closed, everything except her piano and a few other instruments were in storage, and her husband Greg and youngest daughter Jennifer joined Cyndy in Bluffton. Miraculously, her father managed to live another two years, and now Cyndy is a full-time caregiver for her mother, as well as her sister with special needs, in addition to running the nonprofit Bluffton Youth Theatre, serving as the Children’s Director at church, tutoring children with special needs and actively supporting the Special Olympics.
those, which was ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.’ It was very successful. We had about 15 kids try out for that.”
That show was followed by “Pilgrim’s Pride,” another musical written by Cyndy, then “Annie,” “Beauty and the Beast” and a one-night Mystery Dinner “Every kid that Theater held at Sigler’s Rotisserie & Seafood this past January. On March 15-17, nearly 40 kids auditions, we give will perform in the Bluffton Youth Theatre’s production of “Mary Poppins, Jr.” at Main Street a part to. Youth Theatre.
We don’t turn
– Cyndy Ford,
“I want to have an all-youth theater here in Bluffton,” said Cyndy. “I believe it’s something that’s needed. I’m primarily an education center—I want to teach youth up to age 18 all aspects of the theater. They do everything. I’m teaching them about the lighting, the sound and acting.”
Cyndy is dedicated to ensuring that children of all ages and abilities enjoy access to theatrical productions in Bluffton.
away any kids.” Bluffton Youth
A 40-year theater veteran who once worked at Main Street Youth Theatre on Hilton Head Island, Cyndy soon realized there was nothing similar in Bluffton and rushed to fill the void. “I basically did rehearsals in my home because it was kind of difficult to find places to rehearse,” she recalled. “I have written several musicals, so I decided to just use one of
“We use all youth,” she continued. “We are also allinclusive, meaning that we have kids with special needs who are incorporated into our shows. Every kid that auditions, we give a part to. We don’t turn away any kids.” To challenge each child and provide growth opportunities, shows usually have two casts that alternate during The Bluffton Breeze