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Mailing Address:
1545 Pioneer Way
El Cajon, CA 92020

Paul Russell
Sheryl Russell
Board of Directors:
Rick Dentt
Debbie Gianulis
Tom Kirkendall
Sharon Kleinschmidt, Treasurer
Bill Littlejohn
Annie Martin, President
Keith Washington, Vice-President
James Wigdahl
Legal Advisor:
Harold Ayer

Staff Contacts:
Sheryl Russell Sheryl Russell (CFO), co-founder of Christian Community Theater and Christian Youth Theater is a former high school teacher. She has been recognized for her business accomplishments through the Channel 10 Leadership Award and by the Women Together organization recognizing women in the arts. Sheryl was honored as Mother of the Year by March of Dimes. She has been married to her husband, Paul, for 38 years and has four grown children and five grandchildren.

Paul Russell Paul Russell (Founder/President) has extensive background in the entertainment field for over 30 years. After receiving a Master's degree in Drama and Communication Arts at San Diego State University, he taught at both the high school and college level for 10 years. His writing credentials consist of seven full length children's musicals including Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Tall Tales, and Little Mermaid. Dr. Russell has also written three instructional books on Readers' Theater. He earned his Doctorate in Education specializing in Children’s Theater in 1998 from California Coast University.

Heather LaForge Heather LaForge (Director of Operations) comes to us from Northern California where she was the Artistic Director of CYT Santa Cruz. Prior to moving up north in 2009, Heather received her Ph.D. in Theatre from UC San Diego. At UCSD Heather taught theatre history, theory, performance, film, and writing courses. Additionally, she has published in the theatre field and has presented at conferences both in the US and Ireland. Heather also brings a solid business background having worked as a freelance editor and as the Business Manager for the theatre journal,TheatreForum. Not only is Heather an accomplished academic, she also brings a strong background in acting, directing, dance, choreography, and dramaturgy. Heather is pleased to be back in San Diego with her husband and two young daughters, and is excited to be involved in CYT, Inc.

Renee Kauffman Renee Kauffman (Creative Director) began her CYT journey by attending Summer Camp in 1995, where she met the world’s greatest friends and became a “lifer”. She has gone from CYT student, to teacher, camp counselor, Choreographer, Director, and now full time staff member. Some of her favorite past roles have included Ronette in Little Shop of Horrors, Frenchy in Grease, Urleen in Footloose, and Jo March in Little Women, all with CYT San Diego/CCT. Some shows she’s directed/choreographed include Traditions of Christmas, Godspell, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat at the top of Mt. Helix in the summer of 2010. Renee also finds time here and there to perform with Lambs Players Theater in their rockin 80s musical review MixTape. But her all time favorite role is being wife to Curtis Kauffman, the really cute Production Shop Manager at CYT San Diego, and mother to 8 month old, Sailor Alice.

Travis Russell Travis Russell (Director of Technology) entered the art world 20 years ago as a stage lighting designer. Over the past 17 years Travis has designed over 100 productions in locations such as San Diego, Los Angeles, New York and Puerto Rico. He has directed over 10 fully-staged musical productions including, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Footloose, Oklahoma!, Godspell, Aladdin and Beauty & the Beast. In 2003 he won a San Diego Billie Award for ‘Outstanding Direction’. Travis decided to pursue his dream of painting in October of 1998. Since then, he has painted over 60 paintings and sold over 20 of them at self-promoted art shows. Work experience includes Invisible Children (Technical Director), Old Globe Theatre (Lighting Designer), and Apple (Mac Specialist).

Lydia Kinne Lydia Kinne (HYPE Director) has been involved with CYT-Spokane for ten years on many levels, but for the past four, she has served in her favorite capacity, which is as HYPE Adviser. She has also co-planned and led the National HYPE Conference for the past two years, which she considers to be a huge blessing, getting to know HYPE students and advisers from around the country. When not involved with CYT, Lydia is pursuing a degree in elementary education and theater at Eastern Washington University, which she will finish this year, Lord willing. She enjoys swing dancing, collecting quotes, laughing joyously, living in the moment, and drinking chai. However, she is most passionate about student leadership, and loves helping to grow the impact of CYT and HYPE, not only in Spokane, but also throughout the nation. She can’t wait to see what God has in store for this group of young leaders!

Affiliate Contacts


3000 Old Alabama Rd
Suite 119, Box 178
Alpharetta, GA 30022
(404) 543-2381


10105 Inshore drive
Austin, Texas 78730

Baton Rouge


812 Westwood Office Park, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
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Suite D200
Spring, TX 77386


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Westfield, IN 46074
(317) 661-1CYT (1298)
(317) 896-2207 fax

Kansas City

6800 A West 153rd St
Overland Park, KS 66223
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Lafayette, LA 70508
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New York City

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(646) 490-0654

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2775 N. Howard Street
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(208) 765-8600


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Temecula, CA 92591


PO Box 2121
Rocklin, CA 95677
(916) 623-4343

San Antonio

P. O. Box 310597
New Braunfels, Texas 78131
(830) 730-6721

San Diego

1545 Pioneer Way
El Cajon, CA 92020
(619) 588-0206
(619) 588-4384 (Fax)

Santa Cruz

PO Box 4184
Santa Cruz, CA 95063-4184
(831) 726-8014


6205 E. Mansfield, Ste. A
Spokane Valley, WA 99212
(509) 487-6540
(509) 691-0237 (fax)


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Pleasanton, CA 94566


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Tucson, AZ 85715
(520) 751-7510.


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Anderson, SC 29622-0145
(864) 222-6737


2012 Sugg Dr.
Waco, TX 76710


PO Box 26
Wichita KS 67201
(316) 682-1688