Houston On the Mend With Help From Friends

In one of our last posts, we shared how CYT’s across the nation were banding together to support those affected by the Houston flood in August. CYT families donated funds, sent cards, and offered encouragement and prayer for those who lost their homes. At the time of the hurricane, CYT Houston was in the middle of auditions for one of their area’s fall shows. Now they’re resting and recovering after two full weekends of performances.

Shrek the Musical Jr. opened on Friday, October 27, with about 60 students performing! With set pieces from CYT Lafayette and some costumes from CYT San Antonio, Houston is on the mend. Houses are still being repaired and things aren’t quite back to “normal”, but CYT families were going to rehearsals, pushed through tech, and had a fabulous run!

It’s amazing how, time and time again, everything always comes together. CYT Houston’s other area is getting ready to open their second fall show, Tarzan, this weekend! The show has 4 performances – one Friday, November 10, two Saturday, November 11, and one Sunday, November 12. If you’re in the area, get your tickets today!! Way to go, CYT Houston! We Are CYT!

We Are CYT: Family Across the Nation

In late August, on the same weekend as auditions for their fall show, CYT Houston families evacuated their homes when Hurricane Harvey flooded their city. Their homes were damaged, possessions lost, and lives were changed. But during their time of need, families from CYT Baton Rouge, LafayetteFront Range, New York City, Waco, and Chicago all mailed letters, made donations, and sent gift cards to CYT Houston to help. 

Less than two months later, the families are back in their homes but things have still not completely returned to normal. However, the students are back at classes and rehearsals, and the CYT Houston families are working hard to put on one of their fall shows, Shrek the Musical Jr.But they’re not doing it alone. Shrek is coming together with a little help from their neighbor, CYT Lafayette!

This weekend, on October 8, CYT Lafayette closed their own production of Shrek the Musical Jr.! Instead of tearing down the set or putting it into storage, it’s getting put to good use and sent over to CYT Houston for their production! Check out what Gerald B., the CYT Lafayette Executive Director, has to share!

“First of all it was a real privilege to have Houston visit our show and are honored that we could give back to the CYT affiliate that was the inspiration to start CYT Lafayette 9 years ago!

Many people know how devastating the flood was in Louisiana last year and how hard it was on our families and the community. The support we received from the CYT affiliates was over whelming so it was an easy decision to jump in and help. Their dads have had little time to focus on CYT with so many people needing help with their homes. It’s the least we could do to help support them.

Two Houston Dads (Ari and Richard) drove to Lafayette with the truck and arrived in Lafayette around 2:30. They got to watch the show then started load out with our dads around 5:30. The sets were a little two large for the truck so they spent an hour or so making as much fit as possible. We wrapped up around 8pm and sent them on their way. The staff also agreed to help with expenses for their trip so we included a gift card for $450.

Praying they have a great show! Blessings from Lafayette!

We are CYT!”

Act, Sing, Dance, & Live!

It’s 2015! Can you believe it? One of my fave CYT mantras is “Act, Sing, Dance, Live!” I’m gonna try to do more of all of those things in 2015 and not just in the theatre! Maybe I’ll even get myself a little mug with that slogan on there as a reminder…


Should this be your 2015 resolution, too? Grab a mug for yourself here.


What a thrill to begin a new year full of possibility and so many opportunities to Act, Sing, Dance, & Live. One of the new opportunities I’ve been presented with, is communicating with you all here on this blog. My name is Summer Moshy, and I will be just one of the voices you will be hearing from this year on the CYT Blog (I’m also the Curriculum Developer at CYT, Inc.). Another contributing voice will be Renee Kauffman (our Creative Director at Inc.), as well as a host of other magically exciting individuals (because, honestly, Renee & I can only be captivating like once a month, at most, and since this is a weekly blog, well, you can do the math). Krista, our previous blog editor, did an amazing job in this capacity and we hope to continue spreading the light & joy as she did while at the helm of our blog.

Act, Sing, Dance, & Live! Phew, that’s a lot to do all at once. (Quiet down all of you triple-threats out there…sheesh.)

Maybe I’ll start with just the Act part, first…

Act, literally means, “to do something” (in fact, the word “drama” comes from the Ancient Greek word, “dran” meaning, “to do”).  One of the best things we can do, is let others know that we see them and what they are doing, and that what they are doing matters to us. Lonliness and invisibility hurts so deeply. So, let’s work together to let each other know, “Hey! I see you over there! And I like it!” If you feel so called, check out these CYT affiliates Facebook pages (linked below) and let them know you see them by “liking” their pages, or better, yet, go see one of their shows & like them in person!

CYT Atlanta

CYT Baton Rouge

CYT Denver

CYT Fredericksburg

CYT Houston

CYT Indianapolis

CYT Kansas City

CYT Lafayette

CYT Nashville

CYT New York City

CYT North Idaho

CYT Phoenix

CYT Portland

CYT Riverside

CYT Sacramento

CYT San Antonio

CYT San Diego

CYT Santa Cruz

CYT Spokane

CYT Tri-Valley

CYT Tucson

CYT Upstate

CYT Waco

CYT Wichita

If you’re curious about what CYT is and why we Act, Sing, Dance, & Live all the year through, check out our website or like us on Facebook.

We promise, we like you, too.

HYPE students are taking action this fall!

There are a million reasons to love HYPE. They’re CYT teens from around the country who are dedicated to pursuing excellence by taking on leadership roles and getting involved in the community around them. And now, their HYPE passion is about to explode all over the country this fall! Which give us all the more reason to love them to bits.

HYPE students from CYT Spokane

HYPE students from CYT Spokane

Following the 2014 CYT EXPO, the HYPE students have been proactive by following up with the ideas that they discussed in July. Students have been creating collaborative groups on Facebook for their different jobs, and have been sharing ideas with one another about what they are doing in their HYPE groups. They have been sharing pictures of their retreats and fall kick-offs, and have shown an overall enthusiasm for leading and growing in their specific areas.

CYT Santa Cruz

CYT Santa Cruz

A huge shout-out to Sean Grossnickle’s awesome idea of casts writing letters to one another – either to a cast in another area who’s doing the same show or a cast performing the same weekend. Although he encouraged HYPE groups to spearhead the letter writing, it’s open for any and every CYT area that wants to participate. 

CYT Houston

CYT Houston

It’s so cool that the students are being innovative and sparking movements among the CYT groups. This is exactly the vision that was set for them at the Expo, and it’s so encouraging to see it take form!

Find out more about HYPE and how you can get involved HERE

10 ways to know if you’re a Theatre Kid

Tell-tale signs that you are indeed a theatre kid (and proud of it).

1. There is a pair of character shoes in your closet.
And by a pair I mean one black, one nude.

2. You have an indescribable friendship with your fellow actors.
Sorry, parents. Actors are your people.

CYT San Diego

CYT San Diego

3. You have no shame wearing curlers to school.
False eyelashes are fun too.

4. No words bring you such excitement and joy as, “Happy Opening!”
Except maybe, “You don’t have to go to school tomorrow because you have a school day performance.”

CYT Indianapolis

CYT Indianapolis

5. You don’t care when people stare at you when you talk to yourself.
You’re practicing your lines, thank you very much.

6. You were taking dramatic selfies way before it was cool.
If only you had been the one to invent Instagram.

7. You sing everywhere you go.
Not limited to showtunes, but those will always have a special place in your heart.

CYT Baton Rouge

CYT Baton Rouge

8. You know that tea and honey is extremely important for your vocal chords.
Rallying vocal rest, of course.

9. Your preferred clothing are your cast T-shirts.
They really never go out of style.

10. You strongly feel there is no injustice quite like an unflattering costume.
Why the shoulder pads? Why?

CYT Houston

CYT Houston

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

How to Tell if You Might Be a CYT Parent

CYT Tucson posted a hysterical list onto their Facebook page of ways to tell if you’re a CYT parent. And by hysterical, I mean hysterically true. Thanks to Ronnie Laue Crider for hitting the nail on the head.

How to Tell if You Might Be a CYT Parent

If someone says, “I feel like I’m carrying a dragon on my back,” and you can say, “Been there, done that, and I’ve got the T-shirt to prove it!”…

If you are washing green, grey, white, pink, red or yellow make-up (and/or glitter) off of YOUR face because you hugged so many CYT kids after a show…

If “a night at the theater” doesn’t mean wearing a tuxedo or a fancy gown with pearls, but instead means you dress like a ninja, wear closed-toe shoes, and carry a flashlight…

If the phrase, “Don’t you dare throw your wig on the floor!” has crossed your lips even once…

If you’ve ever said to the nice sales associate at Party City, “I’m looking for some plain white stockings for my son.”…

If you’ve resigned yourself to the fact that every Monday (or Tuesday) night is filled on the family calendar from now until high school graduation due to CYT classes…

If you are so darned stinkin’ proud of each of those CYT kids after the show closes that you just want to shmush them with hugs…

If you’ve ever spent time at a rehearsal in the hallway repeating, “Stop running! Slow down, please! Pick up your trash!”…

If you’d happily take any of those CYT kiddos home with you if they needed a place to stay because you love them so much…

…you just might be a CYT parent.

Shrek: From Broadway to the CYT stage

After Janie Russell Cox went to New York in 2009 and saw Shrek the Musical on Broadway, she knew CYT had to do it. And as CYT San Diego’s Artistic Director, she fortunately has a little pull.

“I first saw Shrek in New York with its original cast in 2009 and was so excited to see it live on stage. I knew the minute it started that it would make a fantastic CYT show. I saw it again in Shanghai, China during the 2011 international tour. I was able to go backstage and see all the sets and costumes, and when I saw it all up close, I knew it was something CYT could do. And I think having kids in the roles rather than adults will make the show all the more entertaining.  

The fairy tale characters that we know and love now have a story to tell you of what happened AFTER they all lived happily ever after. The music, makeup, and magic of Shrek will be something you don’t want to miss.”

Three CYT locations are debuting Shrek the Musical in March: CYT TucsonCYT Houston, and CYT San Diego. Which means there are three opportunities for you to see it. Yessssss.