Not acting her age on stage
Cypress resident Mackenzie Bitz knows a thing or two about acting, but suffice it to say that she’s acting much older than her age would suggest.
The budding actress was recently cast as the female lead in Lone Star College’s production of “The Phantom of the Opera,” a demanding role for the most any actor. But this 16-year-old is anything but any ordinary actor.
Bitz, a sophomore at Cy Ranch High School, competes as a member of the Cy Ranch Region Choir, and routinely rates number one rating scores. “I started singing for fun,” she recalled recently, “and in eighth grade, I started going to a vocal teacher to see if I was singing correctly.” As it turned out, her teacher not only assured her that her pitch was perfect, but encouraged Bitz to join the high school choir. “And I realized that I loved it and it was what I really wanted to do,” she said.
Despite her superior vocal skills, auditioning for “Phantom” was something of a last-minute decision. “I have been obsessed with the show for a long time,” she said, “and when a friend of mine mentioned that they were going to be producing it, she talked me into auditioning.” Bitz showed up on the final day of auditions, hoping for a bit part in the chorus. Landing the lead role of Catherine was far from her mind, but her singing skills matched perfectly, and a star was born. “It feels amazing,” Bitz said of her reaction to getting the role.
Bitz is joined by fellow Cypress residents Asia and Keiana Kreitz in the cast, a freshman at Cy Ranch High School and a fifth grader at Swenke Elementary in Fairfield, respectively. All three young ladies said it was a thrill to be working with the college-age actors in the cast, and added that they’re learning a lot from their older cast mates.
“The Phantom of the Opera” will be showing May 4 -6, with Friday and Saturday night performances at 7:30, and a Sunday matinee at 3:00. To catch these young starlets on the stage, contact the box office at 281.290.5201.
Andrew Spencer is a freelance writer and the author of Tower of Thieves: Inside AIG's Corporate Culture of Greed
Name: Mackenzie Bitz
Community Connection: Resident of Cypress
Profession: Student at Cy Ranch High School
Fast Fact: When she’s not singing – or busy with her school work – Bitz is active in her church, and enjoys spending time with the youth group there.
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