Christian Youth Theater

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Christian Youth Theater (CYT) is an American after-school theater arts program for children ages 4–18. CYT offers classes in areas such as drama, dance, and singing and performs 3-9 productions a year, in each region of the country. Some CYT also have advanced classes offered to those who have done at least one of each standered class. Many regions have Summer Touring Groups too, including improv teams. CYT is an arts educational organization and not affiliated with any church, nor are participants required to be members of any particular church, denomination, or religion (although participants are expected to adhere to several basic behavioral requirements while participating, such as refraining from use of illegal drugs, alcohol, and tobacco products). Related group Christian Community Theater (CCT) is a program of CYT, for performers of all ages.

According to CYT's mission statement, "CYT is dedicated to developing character in children and adults through training in the arts and by producing wholesome family entertainment, all of which reflect Judeo-Christian values."

CYT/CCT performs many popular musicals, such as Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Annie, The Music Man, and Les Miserables: School Edition. The group also performs original musicals, some of them musical versions of drama. For example, the group has performed a musical versions of A Little Princess. The group has also adapted popular stories such as "Pocahontas," "Alice in Wonderland," and "The Jungle Book" into original musicals.

Numerous classes are offered each session at each branch, as well as summer camps throughout the summer. Classes are typically 10 weeks long. In addition to covering areas such as dance, drama, and voice, more unusual topics are often covered such as improv, makeup, set building, accents and dialects, stunts, special effects and theatre criticism.

In CYT, at least one parent is typically expected to serve on a committee. These committees perform tasks such as building sets and props, supervising the backstage crew, and supervising the lights/sound technical team in the booth (which is composed of both adult committee members and non-adults, typically with a minimum age of 10 and ranging in age up to 18). Children from 8-18 participate in character/acting roles on stage in each production.


CCT was founded by Paul and Sheryl Russell and Marjorie Blyth in San Diego, California. CYT was later founded in 1981 as an after-school performing arts program.

CYT has grown significantly since being started. Today there are over 20 CYT Affiliates across the United States, including: Spokane, WA, Anderson, SC, Denver, CO, Kansas City, MO, Atlanta, GA, Vancouver, WA, Fredericksburg, Virginia, Tucson, AZ and Phoenix, AZ, North Idaho and New York, NY. CYT has also done outreaches to Japan and hopes to start a location in Japan soon. CYT is widely recognized as the largest youth theater organization in the country.


Christian Youth Theater can currently be found in the following cities:

Notable alumni[edit]

Further reading[edit]