EXPO “BONUS” Fun in the San Diego Sun!

SAVE THE DATES! For those of you who haven’t heard, the 2015 CYT EXPO is happening June 21st-24th in beautiful San Diego, California! There are an insane amount of EXPO activities for students ages 12-18 and adults, as well as bonus events that will make your San Diego stay the most memorable trip of the year. Official EXPO registration opens April 1st, 2015. But check out these five BONUS events surrounding EXPO that you can look forward to during your stay in San Diego.


JUNE 19th, 2015 – CYT PROM – “One Short Night in the Emerald City”
If you’ll be in town a couple days before EXPO, join CYT San Diego for the biggest dance of the year! They are inviting students from all affiliates to attend their annual CYT Prom.
WHO: Open to all CYT students ages 13 – 18 (do not need to be registered for EXPO)
WHEN: Friday, June 19th, 7:30pm – 10:30pm
WHERE: Moniker Warehouse in Downtown San Diego
REGISTRATION / FEE: $25. Get your tickets HERE
RESTRICTIONS: All CYT students, ages 13 – 18, from across the country are invited!



James Eckhouse

James Eckhouse

Sign up today for this limited availability master class taught by long-term Actor/Educator, James Eckhouse and Playwright/Director/Actor, Keliher Walsh. During this 2 hour Master Acting Class for students ages 15-21, you’ll receive dedicated attention to help hone your craft with the guidance of professionals. This unique Acting Master Class will be held at the San Diego Resort and Spa Hotel immediately before the EXPO begins. Only 30 spots available, so sign up beginning 4/1/15 before this class fills up!
WHO: Open to anyone ages 15 – 21 (do not need to be registered for EXPO)
WHEN: Sunday, June 21st 3pm – 5pm
WHERE: San Diego Resort & Spa
REGISTRATION / FEE: $75. Registration for this event opens 4/1/2015 at expo.cyt.org
RESTRICTIONS: Only 30 spots available!


This is the EXPO kick-off party, but we’re inviting all CYT affiliates, students, parents, etc. of all ages to join this massive CYT get together! Cost is only $5 for food, and also s’mores once the sun goes down. The location is right next door (walking distance) from the hotel where EXPO will take place. Don’t miss it!
WHO: Open to everyone! (do not need to be registered for EXPO)
WHEN: Sunday, June 21st at Dinner time (exact time TBD)
WHERE: Beautiful park next to the San Diego Resort & Spa
REGISTRATION / FEE: $6 for dinner and s’mores bonfire on the bay! Registration for this event opens 4/1/2015 expo.cyt.org.
RESTRICTIONS: None! This event is open to all.


Did you know that San Diego Christian College offers a program that will raise up future CYT leaders? Want to learn more about SDCC and their Musical Theater Program? Join us at 10am on Thursday June 26th for a free college campus tour specifically for CYT Kids! To reserve your spot contact Amanda Hyden (SDCC Theater Admin) at amanda.graham@sdcc.edu.


Camp Awesome(1)-1Stay a few days after the EXPO with a friend or host family so you can attend CYT San Diego’s unique, overnight summer camp for teens! For more info on getting connected to a host family for the time between EXPO & camp, email Linda Wolfe at Camps@cytsandiego.org.
WHO: All teens ages 13 – 18
WHEN: Sunday, June 28th – Friday, July 3rd 2015
WHERE: Pine Valley Bible Conference Center
REGISTRATION / FEE: $400 Click HERE for details.
RESTRICTIONS: All are welcome, as long as they are between the ages of 13 – 18

Here’s a video from CYT San Diego, inviting YOU to join in the fun this summer!

2015 Improvathon Information


It’s that time again! The CYT 2015 EXPO is fast approaching (this year, in beautiful San Diego, CA), which means the Improvathon is coming too! Improvathon is a CYT improv competition that takes place during the EXPO each year. Last year we had almost 300 students attend the EXPO in Houston, and many of them took part in the Improvathon competition.

Even though EXPO registration does not begin until March 30th, the Improvathon information has been released and coaches, leaders and teams can check out what’s in store for this year’s competition HERE.

Aside from participating in Improvathon this year, students will have the opportunity to receive a special training session with their Improv Team, to join other EXPO activities like After Dark dance parties, guest speakers/workshops, the National Showcase performance and more! There is so much going on at EXPO and Improv is just one, very exciting slice of the pie! All CYT students ages 12-19 are welcome to register for this year’s EXPO, even if you are not on an Improv Team.

Check out the Improv info HERE and find out more about the 2015 CYT EXPO. We hope to see you there!

Doogles Bee! By Paul Russell & Doug Schmitt

Doogles Bee the Wanna-a-bee written by Paul Russell and illustrated by Doug Schmitt

Doogles Bee the Wann-a-bee written by Paul Russell and illustrated by Doug Schmitt

Did you know Paul Russell and his good friend Doug Schmitt created a children’s book called Doogles Bee the Wann-a-Bee? And you can download it in iBooks!

Doug Schmitt was in the very first CCT’s production of The Sound of Music in 1980. It was at that time that Paul Russell and him struck up a life time friendship and they have been friends now for 35 years. Doug is an artist and art director for Suzy’s Zoo, a greeting card company. Much of his work can be seen in Hallmark stores all over the world.

During his free time, Doug would sketch up cute little characters and make personal cards for people. Paul saw one of the characters Doug called Doogles Bee and they got the idea of coming up with a series of stories about the cute little character. Paul would write and Doug would do the illustrations and together they produced a series of stories teaching young kids the values of being yourself, appreciating your heritage, working hard and the importance of NOT comparing yourself with others.


Doug and Paul hope these stories will be an encouragement to parents and grandparents now that Paul is getting number seven grandkid this year. With these grandkids there is a storehouse of stories to tell.

Click HERE to see more about Doogles Bee the Wanna-a-Bee and to get your very own digital copy!

Advice for Actors about working with Directors

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When working with a director, don’t: throw wild punches; give noogies to people in beanies; push people over from behind; or take random naps. This all looks bad to the director & will not help your chances of being cast again.

The Samuel French sponsored everything-theatre website Breaking:(Character), recently posted an article (originally from Dramatics Magazine) discussing the “dos & don’ts” of working with a Director. As varied as directors can be in personality, style, & taste, there do exist some basic theatre etiquette truths that actors (young & old) would be keen to observe when working with the old head honcho in the theatre space.

Key tips from this article include:

  1. Do the basics. Be on time. Know your lines. Be a pleasant as well as creative part of the room. Listen carefully. Contribute. Directors notice all this. They will give more to those who are readily helpful to the process.
  2. If you have a complex question or issue that will take some time to hash out, ask to see the director after rehearsal or before the next one. Directors would rather not bring the rehearsal to a screeching halt for an endless discussion.
  3. Do compliment the director when you feel a compliment is richly deserved. […] (However) we don’t like being buttered up when we know it’s butter. Real interest in what’s being done is always a pleasure for the director. We are in this together.
  4. You can, and should, ask for more time on a moment or scene when you are sure that the time will improve the work. However, don’t do this too often (unless you are playing Hamlet or Hedda), lest you be thought a rehearsal hog. Say, “Could we run those eight lines again?” or “Sometime could we have another work session on this scene?” But keep in mind that directors never have enough time. They may not be able to do what you wish immediately. The phrase “whenever you have time” helps.
  5. Discuss with the director—don’t argue. The rule of thumb is that directors always win an argument, but everybody wins in a discussion.
  6. Don’t say that something the director proposes “won’t work” or “can’t be done” until you’ve tried it three times. Then “discuss.”
  7. Learn your lines on time. If you are playing a smaller part and the guy playing Hamlet knows his lines before you do, the director will notice and make negative judgments about your work habits. Remember, when you need work or want more casting, you’ll wish you had been noticed positively.
  8. Please, please, please, please do not say, “My character wouldn’t do that.” First, it’s not “your” character; it’s the playwright’s character. Second, the shape of the character is a coproduction between you and the director. You don’t own it. Discuss the moment but do not say… you know what.
  9. Be sensible about the time you demand from the director. Everybody wants and needs her attention. […] Remember that there is never enough time. Have a sense of proportion. And don’t keep asking, “How am I doing?” It’s annoying, and it’s an unanswerable question. Basically, if you are in rehearsal, you are “doing” and it’s getting better. That’s how you’re “doing.”

Click here to read the entire article at Breaking:(Character).

Also, click here for past CYT Blog post on “What a CYT Director wants you to know about Auditions” or here for a CYT Blog post on the transition from “CYT Student to Director (Sort of)”.

Hope this helps! Wishing you a happy theatre life!


Looking for a Job?

Have you ever dreamed of working for CYT? Or perhaps you don’t know much about CYT, but you’re looking for an environment where talent is celebrated, family is valued, and work is done with excellence, integrity and FUN! Look no further. Here are some opportunities around the country that might be just what you’re looking for.


CYT Inc. seeks part time Administrative Assistant. Responsible for assisting in the day-to-day operations of CYT Inc., including, but not limited to, invoicing, fulfilling orders, travel plans, and event assistance. Located in El Cajon, CA. Click HERE for more details on the job and how to apply.


CYT Denver currently seeking class instructors in all disciplines of Theatrical Arts. For more information click HERE.


Spring Intern – CYT NYC seeks a “jack-of-all-trades” full-time intern who is willing to dive in and be a vibrant team member supporting CYT’s spring session and production of Willy Wonka, which will perform in an Off-Broadway theater in June.  Get a hands on look at how an urban-based, start up CYT affiliate is run and gain valuable experience for the future. Commitment length is negotiable:  mid-April to mid-May through end of June. There will be a modest stipend offered, but no housing available (sorry!). If interested and available, please send a resume and cover letter to corrie@cytnyc.org.

Theater Artists (ongoing) - CYT NYC seeks experienced, enthusiastic and committed Theater Arts teachers for future sessions in all disciplines and specialities including technical theater.  CYT NYC runs classes in both NYC and NJ with a Brooklyn-based area opening later this year.  Feel free to recommend qualified friends or family! If interested and living in NYC Metro Area, please send picture, resume and cover letter to johnna@cytnyc.org.


Still haven’t seen a job listed near you? CYT has 25 affiliate locations around the country and each city is always looking for new team members throughout the year. Go to CYT.org and fins the city nearest you. Click on their “contact” page and shoot them an email! It couldn’t hurt! And if you aren’t already convinced, check out our previous blog post titled “8 Reasons to Work for CYT”.

8 Reasons to Work for CYT – by Sarah Preston, CYT Santa Cruz


About the Author: Sarah Preston started with CYT Santa Cruz in the spring of 2012. Since then, she has Stage Managed multiple productions, coached Improv, taught class and CYT@School, coordinated summer camps, assisted in fundraising, and serves as HYPE Advisor.

After 10 years of working with kids, I can honestly say I have never been more challenged and inspired than during my time with CYT Santa Cruz. It has changed the way I think about kids, artistry, families, and ministry.

Here are my 8 Reasons to Work for CYT

1. CYT makes you laugh

Once at auditions, an 18 year old (improv kid of course) sang “If You’re Happy and You Know It” as his audition song. His final verse?

If you’re happy and you know it give a wink
If you’re happy and you know it give a wink
If you’re happy and want a creepy way to show it
If you’re happy and you know it give a wink

I always cherish moments like this because the kids remind me not to take things so seriously. So often I can get wrapped up in the craziness of shows, classes, CYT@School, HYPE etc that I forget about the real reason I work for CYT: to serve God by serving kids. When a kid tells a funny joke or makes a funny face, it awakens the Child-loving Holy Spirit inside my heart.

2. The kids give you perspective.

As HYPE Advisor, I try to encourage critical thinking during our meetings. Continue reading

Summer Camp in February!

It’s already February, and that means (believe it or not) that CYT summer camp planning is well on its way! CYT affiliates combined put on over 150 summer camps around the country each year. Each camp ends with a musical performance, showcasing material that students learned throughout the week. That’s a lot of singing, acting and dancing!

New CYT camp themes for 2015 include “Camp Awesome” (a totally, radical 80s inspired camp), “Camp All Aboard” (where campers travel via cruise ship to tropical locations around the globe), and “Aladdin” (CYT’s own adaptation of the classic tale). To find out more about the specific camps that CYT offers, email Renee@cyt.org.

In addition to using our own CYT in-house published materials, CYT also offer its students access to great shows that we’ve sourced from outside publishing companies. For example, last summer, CYT San Antonio performed Freckleface Strawberry based on the New York Times bestselling book by Julianne Moore, as part of one of their teen CYT Camps.

Photo by Carol Rosegg

Freckle face Strawberry the Musical – Photo by Carol Rosegg

Check out the fun news that CYT San Antonio’s Artistic Director, Sandi Mitchell, shared with us about that production of Freckleface Strawberry:

“The lyricist and songwriter for Freckleface Strawberry (the musical we did last summer as a teen camp) contacted us!  He even posted info (about our production) and our video on his Facebook page. What a tremendous honor! When one of our teens, Lauren Tysdal, heard that he had posted our video on his Facebook page she immediately said, ‘By people watching it and finding out what CYT is, it could open the doors for them to learn about Jesus! All glory to God!'”

CYT San Antonio

CYT San Antonio

And you thought it was just another summer camp! At CYT we don’t do “just” anything.

Don’t miss the opportunity to sign up for a CYT camp near you! Go to CYT.org and search for a camp in your town!