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.

CYT Encourages Youth to “Dream Big”

Christian Youth Theater is a wonderful organization that has helped and encouraged thousands of children throughout the United States to dream big, but most importantly, stay true to who you are and never change for anyone.

CYT has been a large influence in my high school career. I have been privileged to be a part of every aspect, from student and teacher, to cast and crew. CYT has given me the experience and confidence I need to go out and accomplish anything I set my mind to do. I have learned how to to resolve conflicts, how to lead a group of people to accomplish a set goal, and how to manage stressful situations.

Theater is a large part of self-discovery and expression. CYT gives children a place to refine their talents, including acting, singing, and dancing. Personally, I have made many friends and developed my own skills in both performing on stage, and learning the technical side of these musical productions.

During the week of rehearsal before the performances (tech week), the crew has to learn the show and know when scene changes happen, light cues, etc, over the course of the first two days. They have to learn to perform as a cohesive unit. Needless to say, the Stage Manager has a great amount of responsibility. They have to know every single set and light change, and follow along closely in the script to cue the backstage crew when it is time to make the scene changes. The Stage Manager also has to ensure everything on stage is preset before the show, all the cast has done microphone checks and the cast is in their makeup and costumes, and decide when to start the show. Besides the Director, the Stage Manager is the most vital individual to the show’s production.

Since the beginning of CYT in Indianapolis in 2009, a high school student has always been the Stage Manager. I have had the privilege of being on crew for nine productions, and have been the Stage Manager for six of those. I have learned invaluable life skills from these experiences, and they will stay with me forever.

Contributed by Hannah Davis

CYT Indy: The Summer That Was

As CYT Indy looked back on the summer of 2012,  we realized how far our program has grown.

We’re in more cities.

This summer, CYT Indy offered summer camps in Greenwood and Terre Haute, Indiana. While Greenwood has been up and running with camp and classes for about a year, they are gearing up for their first show, “Tom Sawyer,” this fall. Terre Haute will follow this winter with its first show, “School House Rock, Jr.” For Terre Haute’s camp, we had to figure out how to get counselors there for a week since it’s about 90 minutes away from Indianapolis. We found a dedicated group of counselors who agreed to stay in Terre Haute for the week and a Camp Director who volunteered to house them. There is always a way! Terre Haute celebrated their first Camp Showcase!

Our summer camp’s were a success.

In the first year of summer camp, CYT Indy had 250 campers. Last year, 438. This year (drum roll please) there were 625 campers in ten weeks of summer camp, held in seven different locations. This included the first ever CYT camp in Terre Haute, Indiana AND a two-week teen intensive camp. The teen intensive camp culminated in a fantastic rendition of “Hairspray” which blew the audience away.

As always, the greatest testimony to CYT’s impact comes from CYTers themselves. Here’s what one of our Camp Counselor’s said:

No words can really describe how grateful I am for the unbelievable opportunities you’ve unleashed in my life. It has been a blast and an honor working for you. Getting to be a part of CYT has greatly impacted my life and my future line of work immensely. I’M COMING BACK SO SAVE A SPOT FOR ME!!!!! 🙂 Getting to teach the next generation of performers and guiding them toward the love of Christ is the cry of my heart! It’s incredible what teachers are taught from their pupils. So many of these incredible kids remind me of God’s goodness. Before the callbacks at the first week of camp, the campers went aside and prayed that God’s will be done. This was a powerful example of the influence CYT is having on the lives of these kids. This incredible organization has made so many things possible. Witnessing the growth in determined and hardworking performers is self-satisfying and an example of God’s goodness.

Contributed by Trish Hunter

CYT Indy’s Tour Group Performs at the Indiana State Fair

CYT Indy’s Tour Group performs “Brand New You” at the Indiana State Fair

CYT Indy’s Tour Group kicked off their season in June at the Ronald McDonald House and they haven’t stopped since.

There were three performances during the annual 4th of July festival: Carmelfest (it was 100+ degrees both days, but zero complaints. Love these kids!); the Hamilton County Fair talent competition, where they took first place in their division; and the Indiana State Fair, where they took 2nd place in their division. Not bad for a group of kids who had never competed before.

They have also performed at summer camp showcases in Greenwood and Terre Haute.

While the tour group officially ended the summer with a special performance at Carmel Community Player’s Glee Cabaret (with a fantastic rendition of Cyndi Lauper’s, “True Colors”), local CYTers can still catch the tour group at some fall festivals. Check out this link for upcoming performances.

Contributed by Trish Hunter

CYT Indy’s 2012 Tour Group: The Kick Off

The CYT Indianapolis tour group kicked off its Summer 2012 season at the Ronald McDonald House 5K Run in downtown Indianapolis.

After auditions, 10 weeks of class time, and a showcase performance, it was time to take it to the road. After some last minute logistical needs (does it surprise you one of the tour group families has a portable sound system just sitting in their basement?) and an early morning meet up for the car pool downtown, they were off. The kids were all excited, even though most of them were up at 5am in order to get set up and in place on time. The parents were equally excited although most could be seen with travel coffee mugs in hand. The trip downtown was full of last minute practice (singing and seat belted choreography) and more than some laughs!

First up: performing for the runners as they hit the first turn of the course. It was obvious by the waves of the runners (especially the families walking together in support of the Ronald McDonald House) that the tour group’s energy was infectious! After getting them on their way, the group turned cheerleader as the pack made its way back to the finish line. For those struggling to make those last few steps, the sight of 20 kids lining the path, shouting encouragement, and high fiving them along the way was clearly motivating. Folks coming up that last hill had a bit more energy in their step after the tour group caught their eye!

And then it was back to performing. After the awards ceremony, the kids took center stage for three planned songs. How good were they? Well, as the DJ said, “Let’s twist their arms for a 4th song.” Little did he know that arm twisting is not necessary to get these kids to sing and dance.

It was a fantastic kick off to the tour group season. Not because the kids sang and dance well – they are after all theatre kids. It was fantastic because they did what they do best – they encouraged each other and everyone with whom they came in contact. They represented CYT with pride and made their presence known in strong and positive ways. They are truly great ambassadors for the CYT Indianapolis organization.

CYT Indy’s Tour Group 2012 is directed by Eric Hayes and musically directed by Angela Manlove.

The members of CYT Indy Tour Group 2012 are: Rachel Anderson, Taylor Bickett, Katie Hardaman, Samantha Hammer, Samantha Hunter, Courtney Krauter, Katie Krauter, Michael Krauter, Morgan Koontz, Weston LeCrone, Simon Lynch, Jenna MacNulty, Carsyn Reynolds, Anna Rowe, Christiana Schilling, Mitchell Siefker, Natalie Socrates, Elijah Thomas.

Contributed by Trish Hunter.

Stay tuned for more news from CYT Indy’s tour group!

CYT Indianapolis Students Volunteer for Kids Against Hunger

Several students from CYT Indianapolis recently volunteered to help pack over 21,288 meals for the non-profit, Kids Against Hunger.

The Indianapolis Star published an article today highlighting the two non-profit groups:

“Kids Against Hunger is benefiting from Christian Youth Theater Indy’s production of ‘The Legend of Pocahontas,’ thanks to a community partnership program the theater started in 2010.”

CYT Indy’s Artistic Director, Mandy Polster, said she hopes more volunteers are encouraged by the partnership,

CYT students have an opportunity to learn at a young age to serve with your gifts and passions to make a difference in the world….With hunger a repeating theme in the story of the Native American Pocahontas, a partnership with a food-aid organization was the perfect fit.”

Read the complete article, here: Christian Youth Theater members blend acting with community service.

Photo provided by Mandy Polster

Founder’s Corner: The Miracle of CYT

CYT Indianapolis’ Production of Narnia

I had the opportunity to visit CYT Indy and CYT Santa Cruz’s production of Narnia last month. It was a wonderful trip to see CYT in full swing in both locations!

There is something exciting to see the same miracle of children’s theater working no matter if you’re in the Midwest or on West Coast.

Once you walk into the lobby of a CYT show you forget where you are. You feel right at home and you know you are with family – the CYT family. Everyone is busy at work setting up the refreshment table with “Turkish Delight” on sale. The specialty tables are decorated with one-of-a-kind items that are made especially for Narnia (many of them supplied by Oriental Trader). There are cheerful box office parents greeting walk-up customers. There are always lots of children running around or hiding behind grandma’s skirt.

Behind stage the crew is setting up for Scene One, changing out the batteries in the mics, warming up the dry ice machine and laying out the props. In the green room there are kids running around putting on wild animal make-up, reading notes and eating candy grams from friends (wearing cover-ups, of course). Finally, the director comes in and gives some acting notes and some encouraging words about giving this show up to the Lord. Then the entire cast, crew and parents all pray together that God would bless their efforts and hard work. After the prayer, there are lots of hugs and pats on the back as everyone gets in place for the show to begin.

The lights dim, the announcements are made, the music begins and the curtain opens. The miracle begins. It happened again in Indy and in Santa Cruz on the same weekend doing the same show. As many times as I’ve seen it I never get tired of seeing this miracle take place. Lives are changed, families are engaged, community is coming together. And Aslan is on the move again in CYT.

Thank you Indy
Thank you Santa Cruz

Contributed by Paul Russell

CYT Indianapolis

 CYT Santa Cruz