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Mission Statement

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.

Values & Objectives

About CYT

Christian Youth Theater (CYT) is an after-school theater arts training program for students ages 4 - 18. Since its founding in 1981 in San Diego California, CYT has grown to be the largest youth theater in the nation. There are affiliates across the country training thousands of students a year. CYT is a non-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization funded primarily through its tuition, ticket sales and outside contributions.

Because CYT does not own facilities for classes or productions, the organization works through the local community, utilizing classrooms and stages in churches, schools and local theaters. CYT is not affiliated with a church body, and people of all faiths are welcome.

CYT stands in the forefront in its commitment to the highest ethical, moral, technical and artistic standards of excellence. Instructors are professionals, qualified in teaching and/or performing, who must understand our mission statement, values, objectives and goals. All CYT staff strive to be excellent role models.

Every session (fall, winter and spring) CYT offers theater arts classes for children as an after-school activity. Each local program conducts three ten-week sessions throughout the school year, teaching drama, voice, dance and a broad spectrum of specialty theatrical workshops at weekly two-hour classes. Enrolled students have the opportunity to work behind the scenes, or audition and perform on stage in a Broadway-style musical performed for the community.

Additional performance opportunities are available to CYT students who may participate in CYT Tour Groups performing musical reviews for community and civic functions. Internships, director training, teacher aiding, and being an inclusion aide are other ways for older students to gain additional training and experience. College credit is available for the director internship program through a local accredited college.

About the Founders

CYT was founded in 1981 in San Diego, California by Paul and Sheryl Russell.

It started in the 1970s when Paul was a teacher at San Diego State University and Christian High School. Sheryl was also a teacher and a cheerleader adviser. In 1980, Paul and Sheryl's dream of bringing wholesome family entertainment to their community became a reality as they, and a small band of theater-loving friends, mounted a fully-staged production of The Sound of Music at the top of Mt. Helix Amphitheater for a surprising audience of 5,000. And that was just the beginning!

Their dream continues to grow and grow and continues today.

Join Our Family of Donors

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Corporate Sponsor

Gilbert Martin Foundation
Gregor G. Peterson Foundation
Harold G. Ayer, Attorney at Law
Menard Foundation

Individual Donor

Sandra Murphy
Annie Martin
Debbie Gianulis
Lily Tan
Jim & Cheryl Jacobs
Ron and Diane Briney
Larry and Jane Jaffe
Amy and Ryan Hansen
Emily and Tom Barton
Brad & Sue Quick
Jim & Elaine Alsup
Steve and Sharon Kleinschmidt
Rick and Deb Donahoe
Toni Ritchey
Tom & Shirlee Croson
Dete Hortman
Curtis & Renee Kauffman
Drew & Heather LaForge
Terry & Annie Love
Paul & Sheryl Russell
Sharyn Tosh
Keith Washington

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