Welcome to CYT!

Christian Youth Theater (CYT) is an after-school theater arts training program for students ages 4-18. 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 sessions involve 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.

What does CYT offer?


Classes
CYT offers classes for students ages 4-18 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 4-18. 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.

Mission & Values


Mission
Christian Youth Theater develops character and creativity through quality theater arts training that brings families and communities together while reflecting Jesus.

Values
  • Character over competition: Our intentional focus is on knowing Jesus and becoming more like Him. We earnestly desire growth in love for God, in the knowledge of His love for us, and in a humble life that pours out love towards others.
  • People over programs: We exist for our communities: those we know and those we have yet to meet. The people. We were created for companionship, and at CYT we long to see strangers become neighbors and neighbors become community. This is our calling. We love God, and we love and value His people. We see and welcome people for who they uniquely are and not just what they can do for our organization.
  • Service over spotlight: We believe in serving others in sacrificial and tangible ways. CYT exists for opportunities to know and see needs, and to meet them as the body of Christ. We see leadership through the lens of servant leadership, as best demonstrated in the person and work of Jesus. We aim to work slowly and mindfully to see the needs that walk through our doors. We would take servanthood over spotlights any day.
  • Excellence over ego: We value giving God our first and our best. Excellence is our simplest expression of giving the gifts and talents God has blessed us with back to Him. We don’t seek perfection as a means of outward praise, but excellence as a form of worship from a heart of gratitude and diligence. Being excellent in all we say and do is a way we can be faithful to God’s calling on our lives and in our work.

Our Triple Threat
  • Character - We look to the person of Jesus Christ as the perfect and ultimate example of character. At CYT we want to grow in Christlike character through all that we do. This is our foundation as an organization.
  • Culture- Our culture is vibrant, imaginative, inclusive, and uplifting. Though CYT may not be for everyone, everyone is invited, and all are welcome.
  • Craft -We produce quality productions, classes, and camps holding a high standard of excellence in everything that we do.
Statement of Inclusion
Our CYT community includes diverse cultures, creeds, political beliefs and positions on social issues. CYT is the common ground where we work towards a common goal, treating all with respect, understanding, and love. 

CYT leaders, families, and students must be able to hold to their personal convictions while simultaneously demonstrating grace and compassion to all those they encounter regardless of gender, faith, race, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. While we are passionate about making CYT a place where everyone is welcomed, we understand that it is not for everyone. No one will ever be turned away from CYT because of a disagreement concerning personal or political convictions. At the same time, CYT does not demand adoption of any specific religious doctrine or personal convictions and will not permit any leader, student, or family to disrupt the core mission of CYT by promoting any individual political or social issue while participating in CYT programs.

Our personal convictions regarding politics, social issues, and doctrine should be left as personal convictions while at CYT. While we support churches and organizations who specialize in these conversations, we understand our lane and our calling to our mission.

Colossians 3:12-16
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called into one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as in all wisdom you teach and admonish one another, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”

I truly believe that God sent me to CYT as a kind of a Guardian Angel to help me with my task of overcoming anxiety.


Katie Gilchrist, CYT Student

Our CYT Staff

Our Teaching Artists, Production Staff, and Administrators are dedicated to CYT mission and values, and are committed to providing an educational experience that: 
  • Inspires young people to value the study of theater arts.
  • Meets parent expectations for their students to gain valuable skills from theater education.
  • Supports the success of the CYT affiliate as a whole.
Our staff is supported by our Board of Directors:
  • Dave Matas, Chair
  • Will Hutcheson, Vice Chair
  • Kristin (KW) Baer-Werder, President
  • Heidi Maher, Secretary
  • Curtis Cady, Treasurer
  • Genoa Sperske
  • Tracy Whitney
  • David Co