Welcome To Christian Youth Theater!

Christian Youth Theater (CYT) is an after-school theater arts training program for students ages 6-18. Since its founding in 1980, CYT has grown to be the largest youth theater program in the nation, with Branches across the country training thousands of students a year.
 
Each Branch’s yearly calendar is made up of three ten-week sessions: Fall, Winter, and Spring. These session involves after-school classes in theater arts and the opportunity to audition and perform in a Broadway-style musical or work behind-the-scenes. Additionally, CYT offers a Summer session consisting of camps, workshops, and performance opportunities.
 
CYT stands in the forefront in its commitment to the highest ethical, moral, technical, and artistic standards of excellence. Instructors are professionals, qualified in teaching and/or performing, who understand our mission statement, values, objectives, and goals.

Mission Statement

Christian Youth Theater develops character and creativity in kids of all ages through quality theater arts training that brings families and communities together while reflecting the Creator.

Values

  • Treat each individual with respect and significance
  • Develop character traits including discipline, self-confidence, and integrity
  • Bring families together through the use of individual talents and abilities
  • Share the love of Christ in word and deed

"I visited Waco from CYT's home in San Diego. I was so impressed with the directors, parents, and the kids because of all of their talent and passion. But most of all, they focus on keeping the 'C' in CYT!"


- CYT Waco Patron

Method

CYT is an after-school theater arts training program for students ages 5 – 18. CYT is funded primarily through tuition, ticket sales, and outside contributions. CYT works through the local community by utilizing classrooms and stages in churches, schools, and other public venues. CYT is not affiliated with a church body, and people of all faiths are welcome.

Each local area conducts three ten-week sessions throughout the school year. Drama, voice, dance, and a broad spectrum of specialty theatrical workshops are available at weekly two-hour classes. Each local area also offers production opportunities and camps throughout the summer.

Since its inception in 1980, CYT has grown to be the largest youth theater program in the nation, and we’re just starting!

What Does CYT Offer?

Classes
CYT offers classes for students ages 6-18 throughout the school year. Classes include drama, voice, dance, and behind-the-scenes training in makeup, costumes, tech, and more. Classes are held for two hours once a week and run for ten consecutive weeks in Fall, Winter, and Spring sessions. Class sizes are small and offer supervision both inside and outside the classroom. Each session culminates in a high-energy showcase to demonstrate to family, friends, and fellow students the skills acquired.
 
Parents send their children to CYT classes to learn, and that’s exactly what they will do! At the end of a CYT session, your student will come away with a new or improved skill in the area of emphasis. During the last week of class, a high-energy Showcase is presented by each class to show other students, family, and friends all they’ve learned.

Shows
Enrollment in CYT classes provides students ages 8-18 the opportunity to audition for the current production. CYT Chapters produce one Broadway-style musical each session (Fall, Winter, and Spring). Students who want to be part of the show without performing can participate on the backstage crew, technical team, or as an usher.
 
CYT shows are always appropriate for the entire family and are an excellent way to introduce children to the arts at a young age!

Camps
During the summer, CYT Branches put on week-long musical theater day camps for students ages 6-18. Camps are designed to be a fun and energetic immersion into the world of musical theater. Camps are jam-packed with games, activities, and interactive workshops that build performance skills, self-confidence, and teamwork. Typical camps include team competitions; rotations through drama, dance, and music workshops; and a concluding showcase for family and friends. Some Branches host overnight camps for older students. Through praise, worship, prayer, and daily devotions, CYT teen camps are particularly focused on spiritual growth.
 
CYT Summer Camps are all about fun, friendships, and theatrics. Camps are great yearly tradition for your child!

Programs
There are many ways to be part of CYT beyond the stage! CYT programs consist of everything that is not a class, camp, or show. Some of the available programs include CYT@school, HYPE, Improvathon, and the yearly CYT EXPO.

History: Once Upon a Time…

Paul and Sheryl Russell were both teachers at Christian High in San Diego when they began a community theater from their family garage. It was the summer of 1980 and the show was The Sound of Music. The purpose was to provide a vehicle for talented aspiring performers in San Diego’s local churches.
 
The families involved in this newly-founded organization, Christian Community Theater (CCT), asked Paul and Sheryl to start an after-school theater arts program for their children. Paul and Sheryl, with two small children of their own and another one on the way, founded Christian Youth Theater (CYT). CYT began with 24 students producing the show You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and continued to grow throughout San Diego County.
 
In 1997 families from San Diego moved to Chicago, IL and Spokane, WA. Their desire to have CYT in their communities motivated them to start their own local branches under the CYT umbrella.
 
CYT has now grown to be the largest children’s theater organization of its kind with branches in 17 states. CYT trains more than 20,000 young people annually (as of March 2018).

CYT Waco is a licensed branch of CYT headquarters. CYT is the largest youth theater program in the nation, with programs across the country. To learn more about CYT and to find out how to start CYT in your city visit www.cyt.org

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