We Are CYT: Working Hard and Removing Limits

CYT isn’t just having an impact on students, but on the whole family! Sunday, November 5, CYT Fredericksburg mom Heather O. posted on her facebook how much hard work CYT can be, but how the end results are worth every moment. CYT Fredericksburg closed one of their fall shows, The Little Mermaid, that afternoon. Check out her story!

As we close The Little Mermaid (and look forward to Super Saturday for James and the Giant Peach), I’m sitting here relatively exhausted, eating dinner after bedtime, first I’ve really been still since before 9AM.

My feet are tired, but my heart is full. So for those of you closing a show, for those of you about to open, those of you “taking a (well-deserved) break,” and those of you just starting to consider this whole Theater Life Thing…

CYT requires hard work, mental and emotional effort, late nights and early mornings (sometimes back to back!), doing of homework in moving cars, emergency trips to walmart and CVS, sore muscles, stubbed toes, blisters, parent committees, crock pot dinners and fast food dinners, lots and LOTS of family teamwork AND committee teamwork, class fees, production fees, ticket block activation, bruised (no, let’s say, ‘adjusted’) egos, bruised elbows, learning new skill sets, carpools, trips to urgent care, and going outside of comfort zones! (And that’s just in the first two years!!)

But what CYT GIVES… CYT gives friendships forged in a common purpose, laughter, tears, triumphs, watching my introvert daughter SHINE on stage in the most hideous dress I could create, other people’s children who I now love as my own, a common ground for siblings no matter their age difference, role models in a wide variety of ages, watching my introvert husband make connections and even friends, finding purposes for odd combinations of God-given skills and talents, watching the work of God in the lives of the children youth and adults, hearing grade-school children lead an audience of strangers in prayer, watching a group of inexperienced strangers morph into a capable and unified team, watching my youngest walk into school still sporting yesterday’s stage makeup without a care about what others think of it, watching children grow into teens, watching ensemble members become featured dancers and leads, friends who know just when to walk behind you activating their fart noise app, seeing kids who are viewed as quirky in other places find this place where their “weird” is not only accepted but CELEBRATED, having at least 20 people a day ask how my ankle is doing, trusting the director to pull the best out of your child in an empowering and supportive way, having someone who knows you well enough to know when to tell you to shut up and walk away (you know who you are!), having friendships so strong that one of you can screw up (ahem, me!) and you both yell at each other and then when you’re done yelling you still love each other (you know who you are, too!), friends who see your untapped potential and challenge you to do something you’ve never done before. CYT gives confidence AND humility. It gives kids (and adults!) the chance to find their limits, and then remove them! And THAT’S just in the first two years…

Thank you, Heather, for sharing from your heart! CYT truly is a place where kids and adults can grow individually, build valuable relationships, find and then remove each of their limits them one by one, setting the bar higher each time.



In the Fredericksburg area? Check out their next show, James and the Giant Peach! They open Friday, November 17, and run for two weekends! Get your tickets today!

How has CYT affected YOUR life? Share your story with us!

My CYT Story: Shoot for the moon

The following story was submitted by Emily M. from CYT Fredericksburg for our 2017 My CYT Story Contest.

The story starts out like this, I’m sitting in row R, left section, we were seeing Fiddler on the Roof. I was with my mom, aunt, and grandmother. When the show started I was completely mesmerized. At intermission we looked around because I’d never seen a CYT show before but I’d taken a fall class earlier that year. I ran into kids from my class and my old teacher. Then at the end of intermission we returned to our seats and got ready for awesomeness that was act two. The second act was even better than the first and I whispered to my grandmother, “This is what I want to do,” and she told me to go for it. Flash forward a few years later, I auditioned for my first show, White Christmas. I didn’t do so hot on my audition but I made the show. The first show experience was like a baby taking it first steps, clueless yet amazed. Then tech week hit, I had heard the horror stories and was kinda nervous but it wasn’t horrible at all. After my first show I was filled with excitement and I was like “I’ve done a show, and it’s amazing”. I’m now in my second production and I couldn’t be happier. Even if you don’t get a lead role, the minor parts are just as cool. Finally, for all of you reading this and thinking about auditioning, just go for it and shoot for the moon for you’ll always land among the stars!

Do you have a CYT story to share? Submit it here! 

DISCLAIMER: Though all complete stories submitted will be judged by their affiliate as part of the 2017 My CYT Story Competition, not all stories will be published on this blog. Likewise, having your story published on the blog does not guarantee that your story has been selected as a Regional Winner. 

Theater is hard

Theater is hard. It’s an emotional rollercoaster of nerves, excitement, disappointment, joy, stress, and pride. There are highs and lows at each step of the way – from auditions to callbacks, the cast list coming out to the first rehearsal, and tech week through the final curtain call. Sometimes, you audition for a show and then have the privilege of being a part of the cast! But what happens when you nail your audition AND callback, and then are disappointed with your part, or don’t even see your name on the cast list?

Two moms from CYT Fredericksburg share what they’ve learned from watching their children go through the casting process and face disappointment. Stefanie, mother of five, wrote in the fall about two of her kids’ auditions with CYT Fredericksburg’s fall shows, “White Christmas” and “Junie B. Jones”, and Heather writes about her daughter’s audition for CYT Fredericksburg’s winter show, “Willy Wonka Jr.”. CYT really is building character one stage at a time, not only in our students, but in our parents as well!

Read through Stefanie’s and Heather’s beautifully worded stories in the links below!

The Overholtzer’s Lives: The Right Fit

Southern Mama Speaks: The Callback List

CYT Fredericksburg Hits a Home Run!

Hey guys, check this out! CYT Fredericksburg’s Marketing and Publicity Director Allison Mayberry shared this awesome news with us and we couldn’t keep it to ourselves!

fred 2

“CYT Fredericksburg, along with our Season Sponsor, SimVentions, brought over 300 people to the Richmond Flying Squirrels baseball game 2 weeks ago and got to sing ‘God Bless America’ during the 7th inning. Not only was it a great night of fellowship, hot dogs, peanuts, fireworks and baseball, but CYT raised $1000.00 from selling the baseball tickets! WAY TO GO!” – Allison MayberryFredCongratulations, CYT Fred! Keep up the good work, we can’t wait to see what you do next!

Accepting the Unreal Reality

The following story was submitted by Kendra T. from CYT Fredericksburg. for our 2016 My CYT Story Contest.

Friends through all the moments!

Friends through all the moments!

Sometimes we are forced to accept the reality of life even when it’s something that we don’t want to accept. We can try hiding or ignoring the truth but even by doing that it doesn’t change it. When I first started CYT I had hopes of pursuing a career in singing and dancing. CYT was an opportunity to develop skills that would help me toward my career. While in CYT I had hoped to perform in lead roles with lots of dancing and singing, but within the past year I have come to no longer deny, but accept my reality of living with a chronic medical condition.

Kendra getting real!

Kendra getting real!

Living with CRPS makes it really hard to do anything without pain, especially dancing. Recently I have come to terms that dancing makes the pain unbearable and nearly impossible to continue dancing. This was something I tried to deny and not accept for a while. I’ve come to realize that for me that goal is not realistic and I believe God is calling me in another direction. I continue to enjoy being part of CYT both on and off the stage.



I have made many close friends that continue to love and support me through it all. I’m learning to be content with the truth and trust in Gods plan and unfailing love for me. Throughout my experience with CYT it has been a journey that has helped me discover myself and learn to be content with where I am and where God has me. I’m learning to trust in God and leaning on him for strength to continue on.

Kendra from CYT Fred.

Kendra from CYT Fred.

Being a part of CYT and HYPE has helped me learn how to love and glorify the Lord in the ways I can. No matter where we are in life, we should learn to be content because He has us there for a reason, even if it’s beyond our understanding! His plan for us is greater than anything we can imagine!

Do you have a CYT story to share? Submit it here!

*NOTE: DEADLINE for the 2016 My CYT Story Competition has passed. All submissions received after this point will be held for the 2017 My CYT Story Competition. 

DISCLAIMER: Though, all complete stories submitted will be forwarded to their respective area’s leadership for judging as part of the 2016 My CYT Story Competition, not all stories will be published on this blog. Likewise, having your story published on the blog does not guarantee that your story has been selected as a Regional Winner. 

Peace in the Process

The following story was submitted by Morgan T. from CYT Fredericksburg. for our 2016 My CYT Story Contest.


Peace, CYT Fred!



Through CYT I have been able to feel God’s presence in my life. Thought out the whole process of Mary Poppins (our Fall show) one of the things we turned to a lot was prayer. Anytime we didn’t know how to handle a situation we prayed; and this showed me that there is nothing we can’t do without God!


Asking for blessing.

It was very nerve wracking that we never did a full run through until the third day of tech week and many thought “how would this ever come together”? After all the worrying and praying our show turned into a miracle that touched many people’s lives and is one of our best shows we’ve done. I truly believe that It was only by the grace of God that we pulled it off. At the end of this whole process It was beautiful to watch the cast and crew members pray on stage and over the seats of the auditorium on the last Sunday.

CYT friends!

CYT friends!

It was something that brought many to tears and in the end it brought us all closer together.

My CYT Story: Saved by HYPE!

The following story was submitted by Grace G. from CYT Fredericksburg. for our 2016 My CYT Story Contest.

A HYPE retreat helped Grace find her path again. *photo courtesy of CYT Fred's webpage

A HYPE retreat helped Grace find her path again. *photo courtesy of CYT Fred’s webpage

My CYT story could go on for ages, as would be expected for someone who is going into their 13th show and has basically grown up at CYT. My life has pretty much been God, Family, School, CYT. Period. To say my family life is CYT isn’t a figure of speech, everyone in my family is involved or has been involved with it at some point, and CYT has grown my family so much closer. My CYT life started a little differently than most. My older sister joined CYT when she was 14, and I was the typical shy 9 year old little sister that was on a swim team and thought that all those crazy theater kids were way too loud. I would just hang out in the makeup room bored out of my mind. But my mom dragged me to every show my sister was in, and I slowly started to adapt to the crazy people I now call my best friends. Yeah they were crazy, and awkward, and extremely loud, but they were pretty cool.

I remember one publicity event CYT had when my sister was playing Jasmine (in Aladdin). I was sitting in the corner booth of the Chick-Fil-A with my brother, when the magic carpet came over to give us a flyer for the show. We had a laugh and explained our sister was in the show, we talked for a while and then she asked if I wanted to come with her and help hand out flyers. I remember how much fun I had hanging out with her all night, and to this day she is still one of my best friends.

Well a season of shows later I had miraculously become friends with a bunch of these crazy theater people! And they convinced me to do a show! Me, my two brothers Nathan and James, and my sister Sarah all auditioned for CYT’s 2010 Production of A Christmas Carol and enrolled in CYT classes. I was enrolled in a “So You Think You Can Dance!” class and discovered that I wasn’t too bad at the whole dancing thing, I was super clumsy and fell a lot! But I absolutely loved it! At 10 years old, I decided that this was my thing. I dropped out of the swim team I was on and joined as a full time crazy dancing theater kid!

I continued to do every show I could and took CYT classes every season, all which were dance classes, for two years. And then CYT Fredericksburg opened their dance studio, Dance in the Light! I was so excited! It had dance classes of all styles Monday-Thursday, and a Competition dance team. I auditioned for the team as soon as I could! I was on the dance team for the next 4 years, and absolutely loved it, and some of my closest friends are from being on the team.

Fast forward a couple years, I’m starting high school. Which at the time I didn’t know would be one of the hardest years of my life so far. I found myself in a very bad place, I was surrounded by girls who were not good role models, and were pressuring me to try, do, and say things that I knew were not right. But I didn’t think much about it, and I just thought it would fade with time. Unfortunately it didn’t and I found myself giving into the pressure at some points and falling farther away from my relationships with my parents, my siblings, and Christ. There were about 6 month of my life that I didn’t talk about it. I made myself believe that it was okay, that there wasn’t anything to talk about, and I didn’t need help from anyone, not even God. But then our CYT started a HYPE. And I joined. Our HYPE went on a retreat for a three day weekend, and that’s when I found it, the need for Christ again, the need for help, the need for a change in my life. I vividly remember the first time HYPE lead worship before rehearsal the weekend after our retreat. Because that was the day I asked God to help me again. And He did. He changed my life, He flipped it back around, and the people in our HYPE helped. I now have a very strong relationship with Christ, my mom is my best friend and I tell her absolutely everything, and I have the best friends a girl could ask for! Sure my life isn’t perfect, no one’s is. But I’m in a very good place, and the people of CYT helped me to get there, and I couldn’t be more thankful! I’ve danced in many CYT productions, I have been Assistant Choreographer for two productions, and CYT has helped me find my passion for teaching and choreographing dance, which I plan to attend college for in the years to come. CYT is my family, and my home. I couldn’t be more thankful for the people of CYT and am blessed to call them my big, crazy, awkward family.

Do you have a CYT story to share? Submit it here!

*NOTE: DEADLINE for the 2016 My CYT Story Competition has passed. All submissions received after this point will be held for the 2017 My CYT Story Competition. 

DISCLAIMER: Though, all complete stories submitted will be forwarded to their respective area’s leadership for judging as part of the 2016 My CYT Story Competition, not all stories will be published on this blog. Likewise, having your story published on the blog does not guarantee that your story has been selected as a Regional Winner.