Broadway star spotted at Ayala’s ‘Steel Magnolias’


Madeline Khoo

Celebrity Guest Ryan McCartan and Samantha Fekete took a picture alongside the cast of ‘Steel Magnolias’. Pictured (left to right): Milan Bonilla, Alyssa Cerezo, Rhylee Smith, Samantha Fekete, Ryan McCartan, Piper Lord, Abby Lane, Janelle Medina, Hailee Walker.

Madeline Khoo

As Ayala’s theater department introduced their second show of the year with ‘Steel Magnolias,’ the production advertised through posters on campus, extra credit opportunities for certain classes with attendance, and hinting at a special guest. Just this past Saturday, on February 18th, the third show of ‘Steel Magnolias’ during the 2pm matinee featured a celebrity guest in the audience with none other than Ryan McCartan and Samantha Fekete. 

Currently having their content put on the Youtube channel “Sam&Ryan,” McCartan and Fekete have discussed their love for the theater while posting vlogs about their daily life. 

“Actually, one of the members of the cast, Haliee [Walker], reached out to us,” Fekete said. “Anytime we get the opportunity to actually connect with our fan base in-person and do what we always talk about…we always want to take them up on that offer.”

Especially with his background in the entertainment and broadway industry, McCartan has been seen on Broadway with his roles in big name titles such as Disney’s Frozen on Broadway and Wicked. Despite this, most people might also recognize him from his recurring role of Diggie in the 2013 Disney Channel Show Liv and Maddie.

“As a person who has watched Liv and Maddie, seeing him at the show was extremely surreal so seeing a successful Hollywood actor come and support a local theater was crazy for the entire crew and cast,” backstage crew member Kate Lin (10) said. 

With his background in high school theater playing a large role in what he does today, McCartan reflects back on gaining support in these small productions and its importance as aspiring actors and singers continue to rise. 

“It’s about the support. It’s about the passion. It’s about the fact that you never know if you’re looking at the next Broadway star or the next  big Marvel superhero or whatever because they all come from programs like this,” McCartan said. “[We] have to support local theater. It’s so important.”

Being able to see someone who was able to succeed himself, students in the audience and members of the cast and crew were inspired by the success standing in front of them. 

“I definitely think Ryan is an inspiration to a lot of people. I was actually thinking of probably auditioning for one of the plays next year, but I think being a part of the sound design for Ayala’s productions is where my home is,” Tech Crew member CJ Marquez (10) said. “Maybe I will try pursuing something like this in the future because if Ryan can do it, I can do it too.”

In reference to his role as Diggie, the question of “Team Diggie or Team Josh” was finally able to be answered from the one and only Diggie himself. 

“I am unapologetically team Josh,” said McCartan. “If I went to that high school, I would not have been friends with Diggie I don’t find him interesting. I don’t find him charismatic. I played him so I get to say this. Josh is sexy. He’s charming. He’s cute. Him and Maddie have a lot in common. Like, they’re a better fit.”