Top 15 Semi-Finalists in Theater for OC Varsity Artist of the Year

Seniors Logan Masters and Caitlyn Yu advance to the semifinals for the OC Varsity Artist of the Year in Theater.

Seniors Logan Masters and Caitlyn Yu advance to the semifinals for the OC Varsity Artist of the Year in Theater.

Arpi Gharadaghian, Staff Writer 

Each year, the OC Register recognizes the best high school artists in Orange County. Their competition includes seven different art categories, including theater. Many of the talented artists at UHS were nominated in the seven categories of the competition listed at the bottom of the article. UHS seniors Caitlyn Yu and Logan Masters have both advanced to the semi-finalist round in theater, where they stand amongst 15 other amazing artists. The competition initially had over 150 applicants from various schools in Orange County. 

Both Yu and Masters have played integral roles on the Uni Theater Arts production team for all four years of their high school experience and were nominated by drama teacher Miss Bettger

When it came to applying, Masters showcased the design process from Uni Theater Arts’ production of “Ride the Cyclone,” which was the department’s summer intensive. 

“I love to dive deep into the world of the show I’m working on to find cool bits of information that inspire my design,” Masters said. “I read all these historical documents about the town in the show, and as I read, I could feel the set coming together in my mind.”

From a young age, Masters drew creative inspiration from video games and movies to create his props and toys. Attending theatrical shows with his sister throughout his childhood, Masters was intrigued by the different components of drama that came together on stage. More than the live performances, Masters gravitated towards set design. 

“I could never really focus on the stage and instead let my eyes wander and catch on all of the lights and sound equipment,” Masters said. “I always thought it was cool to see how everything worked together to make one, unified product.”

Yu, too, reflected on the formative years of her acting and playwriting career. Her application for Artist of the Year drew on years of experience.

The process to apply for actors consisted of filming monologues and writing about their performances. Yu expressed her appreciation for how the panel asked about her acting process and the background work that went into her presentation. 

Yu wants to have an active voice in her work as she focuses on creating an experience that reveals unique and diverse human experiences and stories. 

“Representation is always something that will be important to me, so that is something I want to continue to address in the future,” Yu said. “With whatever I do, I want to present diverse and unique stories about the human experience.”

Her journey started when her parents put her in an acting course at SCR (South Coast Repertory) when she was little. She quickly fell in love with the art of storytelling. By attending this course at just seven years old, Yu was able to gain confidence as an actress.

“I’ve always loved stories, so being able to tell those stories in a different medium was really inspiring to me at a young age,” Yu said. 

Yu’s love for the arts has gotten her through the ups and downs of her journey. Instead of getting caught up in the comparison of talents, Yu focuses on the art she’s creating and grows as an artist by reflecting on her past works. Yu’s experience acting, playwriting and directing has shaped her into the artist she is today.

Yu and Masters’ artistic success is a testament to the effort and time they put into their artwork and their application. Yu and Masters plan to take their career in theater beyond the UHS stage, with Masters planning to work in stage management and set design in college and Yu studying drama and pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts at New York University. 

If you’d like to see the artwork submitted by Yu, Masters and other prominent high school artists, the OC Register has an article dedicated to each art category.