Courtesy of the Record Herald

TIPP CITY – Vandalia Youth Theatre (VYT) pulls from all over the Dayton area, even up to Tipp City, for its summer production of “Ragtime.”

Maria Baldasare of Tipp City is one of more than 50 student actors in “Ragtime,” taking place July 19, 20, 26 and 27 at 7 p.m. and July 28 at 2 p.m. at Northridge High School, 2251 Timber Lane.

Set in New York City, Ragtime (winner of four Tony Awards in 1998) focuses on the lives of three families who are finding their way during the tumultuous early 20th century. Historical figures, including Harry Houdini, Henry Ford and Booker T. Washington, make cameo appearances in the telling of the story. Among the songs in this production are “Wheels of a Dream” and “Make Them Hear You.”

Ragtime is Vandalia Youth Theatre’s senior show and one of three productions in July. The other two productions include “The Trial of the Big, Bad Wolf,” which features performers from kindergarten to grade three, and “Fiddler on the Roof,” with a cast of fourth through eighth graders. These shows opened the weekend of July 12 and continue with performances on July 20 and 21 at 2 p.m. at Northridge High School.

Rehearsals for all three shows began in April under the direction of seasoned creative staff and volunteers who provide musical and theatrical training, as well as a lot of fun.

“I’ve grown up through VYT. It’s been my family for 11 years and I wouldn’t trade this experience for the world. I’ve grown so close to these people over the years and I’m glad I got the chance to know all of these wonderful individuals. VYT has not only molded me as a thespian, but as a person,” Baldasare said.

Local students from Troy who were cast in the 2013 Senior show include Ian Cheatwood and Sean Cheatwood.
Ian said, “VYT has shaped me as a person. It will always be part of who I am and I will never forget it.

Vandalia Youth Theatre Company is now in its 22nd year of production. About 15 school districts are represented in the Ragtime cast, with more than 50 actors in all.

Tickets for “Ragtime” are $15 (adults) and $12 (seniors and students). Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at