A CYT exclusive interview with the star of Broadway’s Aladdin!

Get ready because this is the probably the coolest thing you’ve ever seen.

CYT NYC recently interviewed Adam Jacobs who plays Aladdin on Broadway (yes, actual Broadway). They originally filmed the interview to show to CYT students in New York who were doing an Aladdin Workshop as their Fall class. But it was just too awesome to not share with the entire CYT world.

Adam is friends with CYT NYC’s Artistic Director Carrie Cooper from their NYU days (lucky!), and he invited her into his dressing room (on actual Broadway) to do the interview.

You’ll love it, take a look!

Obviously a super duper huge thanks goes to Adam for taking the time to do this, and to Carrie for going to NYU and becoming friends with people who go on to perform on actual Broadway.

We’re taking “Awkwardly Closer Than Family” to an entirely new level

It’s November! The time of year for yummy seasonal drinks at Starbucks, layering up in warm clothes, and starting your Christmas shopping. And we’re about to help you with two of those three (sorry, Starbucks).

We proudly introduce to you: The CYT Store.

Before you dive in to all that it offers, we have some important things to point out.

1. You’ll see that (among oodles of other goodies), there are products that feature “Awkwardly Closer Than Family”. If you’ve been around CYT awhile, you know that this is a common term of endearment. Originally coined by former CYT Santa Cruz student Jensen Kirkendall, he used the phrase while talking to a potential donor after a performance of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and it stuck. National phrase craze.

Jensen and his dad, Tom Kirkendall, who is now a CYT Inc. Board Member.

Jensen and his dad, Tom Kirkendall, who is now a CYT Inc. Board Member

2. We’re so excited about the Awkward gear that we’re offering a limited time 15% off coupon code for the zip-up hoodie sweatshirt that has the phrase right there on it (and which comes in an array of child and adult sizes). Upon checkout, enter the code awkward2014 and your discount will be applied. It’s true!

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Save the date for CYT EXPO 2015!

CYT Santa Cruz student Tisha Hulter made this video about her experience at CYT EXPO 2014. We’re going to go ahead and use this as a Save the Date reminder for the next EXPO: June 22-24, 2015. Mark your calendars!

This video can also be found on YouTube HERE.

CYT Tucson getting some press for The Addams Family!

CYT Tucson is premiering The Addams Family on October 17th, and they’ve been making press rounds in anticipation of the opening.

Members of the cast were recently featured on a morning talk show in Tucson. Check them out in the video below!

Tickets for The Addams Family can be purchased HERE.

Two performances of CYT NYC’s Seussical Jr sponsored by local non-profit

The students in CYT NYC‘s production of Seussical Jr! got to take part in a very special day thanks to St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters. The local non-profit food pantry and shelter in NYC sponsored two performances of the CYT production and sent two children’s groups, Figure Skating in Harlem and Dream Charter School, to attend the Dr. Seuss-themed show.

What a blessing for everyone involved!

Below is a picture collage from the write-up that StFFP recently published about their festive day.

Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 3.47.50 PM Check out what else CYT NYC is up to by going their website or visiting them on Facebook!

CYT San Diego celebrates at the Director’s Choice Awards


It may just be me, but I think a love of theater directly results in a love of awards shows.

I know at least CYT San Diego agrees because they have the Director’s Choice Awards – CYT’s version of Hollywood’s Academy Awards! Each year CYT nominates the best of the best in each category from the Fall, Winter, and Spring sessions of shows around the county. The artistic director, the managing director, and a selected committee review all the shows and nominate outstanding work.

The accumulation of the year comes together in a special evening with an exciting awards show featuring some of the top musical numbers from the previous year (important tidbit: it also features a red carpet!) Winners are announced that evening at this special gala event.

Below are some pics from this year’s DCA’s, as well as the list of winners. Congrats everyone!

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Courtney Wolfe – The Sound of Music

Greg Power – Rapunzel
Asher Smith – Rapunzel
Ryan Tafolla – Rapunzel
Jeremy Power – Rapunzel

Loren Fernandez – as Donkey

Emily Smedley – as Miss Flannery

Trevor Cruse – as Drake

Tierra Gonzalea – as Tiger Lily

Nicky Redd – as JoJo

Summer Zazo-Waterman – as Little Pocahontas

Josh Powers – Shrek

Cari Callen – School House Rock

Anthony Escobedo – as Trevor Graydon

Ashley Bassett – as Omar

Liam Galleher – as Lord Farquaad

Alyssa Towmbly – as Fiona

Roy Bennett – as Tom Sawyer

Danielle Levas – Forget About the Boy

Kelli Kelley – It’s in the BIBLE

Daniel Collins – Do-Re-Me

Cara Filley

North County Inland – Thoroughly Modern Millie
San Diego East County – Annie
San Diego East County – The Sound of Music
Tri City – Tom Sawyer
South County – Shrek

Shrek – South County

CYT alumni wins full-ride scholarship to Berklee School of Music

CYT San Diego alumni Jackie Foster’s life just changed. She is this year’s only winner of a 4-year, $150K scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston.

Below is the full article from the San Diego Union Tribune that reinforces what a stellar performer she is and how much she deserves this amazing opportunity. Way to go, Jackie!

Jackie Foster performs in concert. The 18-year-old Poway resident has been singing for audiences since her CYT days she was 8 years old. (Photo credit: Steve Abruzzo)

Jackie Foster performs in concert. The 18-year-old Poway resident has been singing for audiences since her CYT days she was 8 years old. (Photo credit: Steve Abruzzo)

Jackie Foster is destined for a singing career, and the Berklee College of Music is willing to bet on it.

This summer, the 18-year-old Poway High graduate was awarded a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to the private, contemporary music conservatory in Boston. The Berklee Lollapalooza Endowed Scholarship — worth more than $150,000 — is awarded to just one student each year, and faculty member Marty Walsh is convinced the school got it right with Foster.

“Jackie’s got a really bright future,” said Walsh, who first met Foster four years ago when she attended a rock music camp at Berklee. “She just has the whole thing going on. As a singer, she’s absolutely astounding, but she can also sing harmonies. She’s got charisma, the moves, the looks and a great attitude. When she walks in a room, she lights it up.”

For Foster, getting a full ride to her dream school is the “mind-blowing” next step of a journey that began 10 years ago, when she first sang in front of an audience.

“This is all I’ve ever wanted to do,” she said. “When I step on stage with the lights and a mike in my hand, it’s pure joy. Being able to share with others the gift that I was given — that amazes me. That’s what I live for.”

Music was a big part of Foster’s childhood. Rock and jazz music was always on the stereo at home, and by the age of 5 she surprised her parents with her robust, note-perfect accompaniment to the cast album for “The Phantom of the Opera.” At 7, she started performing in musicals with Christian Youth Theatre and by age 8, she was taking private voice lessons in jazz, pop, rock, R&B and classical music. She also studied piano and guitar.

Jackie playing the role of Wendy in CYT San Diego's production of Peter Pan

Jackie playing the role of Wendy in CYT San Diego’s production of Peter Pan

At Poway High, she toured nationally in the school’s show choir and sang vocals for the student jazz band. Her singing skills helped her win the crown as Miss Poway in 2013. She has also tried out for NBC’s “The Voice” and Fox’s “American Idol” and has competed in numerous singing contests, including Poway’s Got Talent, RB Idol and the San Diego County Fair’s SuperStar. Win or lose, Foster said she appreciates any opportunity for constructive feedback.

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