About

CYT offers classes over the course of three sessions during the school year: Fall, Winter, and Spring. Weekly classes last for two hours and run for 9 weeks. A variety of classes are offered in drama, voice, dance, and specialty classes that vary per session. These classes are ranked by core beginning or intermediate (which may require some previous traning either with CYT or other school.) Class size varies depending on class content.  At the end of a CYT session, students will come away with improved skills in the area of emphasis. During the last week of class, a high-energy showcase is presented by each class to demonstrate to other students, family, and friends what they have learned. 
Students ages 8-18 who are enrolled in a Winter CYT class have been cast in "The Sound of Music" which is our winter main stage production.  Production week starts with Super Sunday, March 4th, and runs through Saturday March 10th.

Enrollment for the Spring Classes is now open.   All classes and auditions for our spring production of Mary Poppins will start on Thursday, March 22nd, at Bethany United Methodist Church, at 5pm.  You must be enrolled in a class to audition for the show.  


 

Current Classes:

Class: Age: Day: Time: Start: End: Area: Location:
Advanced Musical Theater - Newsies Workshop 15-18 Thursday 5:00pm - 7:00pm Mar 22 May 24 Austin
(Spring 2018)
Bethany United Methodist Church
Classical Voice Training 11-18 Thursday 5:00pm - 7:00pm Mar 22 May 24 Austin
(Spring 2018)
Bethany United Methodist Church
Creating a Convincing Character 11-18 Monday 5:00pm - 7:00pm Mar 22 May 24 Austin
(Spring 2018)
Austin Baptist Church
Masterful Make-up for Every Role 10-18 Thursday 5:00pm - 7:00pm Mar 22 May 24 Austin
(Spring 2018)
Bethany United Methodist Church
Musical Theater - Shrek The Musical 7-11 Thursday 5:00pm - 7:00pm Mar 22 May 24 Austin
(Spring 2018)
Bethany United Methodist Church
Musical Theater - West Side Story 12-18 Thursday 5:00pm - 7:00pm Mar 22 May 24 Austin
(Spring 2018)
Bethany United Methodist Church
Musical Theater - West Side Story 12-18 Monday 5:00pm - 7:00pm Mar 22 May 24 Austin
(Spring 2018)
Austin Baptist Church
The Actors Toolbox- Homework for Every Actor 12-18 Thursday 5:00pm - 7:00pm Mar 22 May 24 Austin
(Spring 2018)
Bethany United Methodist Church
The Magical World of Musical Theater 7-11 Monday 5:00pm - 7:00pm Mar 22 May 24 Austin
(Spring 2018)
Austin Baptist Church

Teachers

A CYT Teacher’s mission is to train and instruct students in such a way as to promote the development of character, self-esteem, and confidence. CYT teachers are qualified and experienced in the area in which they teach. They have been trained in the CYT methods of instruction and agree with the CYT values and outcome goals. All CYT teachers have been background checked and adhere to our CYT Mission and Values. Our teachers truly care about their students and provide a constructive and fun environment for them to learn.

Current Teachers:

Aimee Stephenson

Aimee Stephenson discovered her natural talent at a very young age. She began singing in her middle school choir and on to high school ensemble and show choir. Her vocal experiences include private solos and musicals in community theater that began with Moonlight Musicals in Lubbock, TX. She is a part of the Austin Community College Ensemble Choir and advancing in solo performance under the teachings of Dr. Phillip D. Hill of Austin Community College and The University of the Incarnate Word. Aimee serves on the worship team as worship leader and background vocals at her home church, Rockbridge Church, Cedar Park. Her passion vocal performance includes working with children in helping them discover their vocal talents. She has several years of experience working with children. Aimee enjoys spending her extra time with her girls and her husband of 21 years.


Alicia Barron

Hi Everyone! My name is Alicia Barron and I am new to CYT, but not new to teaching here in Austin. I am originally from Little Rock, Arkansas where I spent my childhood performing, choreographing, and singing in amazing places such as Carnegie Hall and The White House. I am a graduate of St. Edward's University's Theater Department where I currently serve as the President of the Alumni Association. Post graduation, I lived in both Los Angeles and New York City and gained experience as a performer and choreographer. I have had the pleasure of spending the past three years choreographing musicals at St. Stephen's Episcopal High School for productions such as "Cabaret," "The Addams Family" and "Pippin", and I will be choreographing "Heathers" there this winter. I am excited about this opportunity and I fully believe in the CYT mission and values!


Angela Bennett

Angela Bennett is a member of ACTORS EQUITY and SAG – AFTRA. She has over 18 years of professional experience as an actress. Some of her stage performances include “Night Mother”, “Crimes of the Heart”, “Bee-Luther-Hatchee”, “The Miracle Worker”, “In Preparation of Eden”, “In the Blood” and “Spell #7”. She has won ATAC Awards for her roles in Spell #7 for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama; and for her role in, In the Blood for Lead Actress in a Drama. Some of her TV credits include “Friday Night Lights”, “ER”, “Sisters in Spirit 2” and “The MC Hammer Story”. Some of her film credits include “Façade”, “Between Kings and Queens”, “Glass of Water”, and “Road 2 Damascus”. She has Improv training from the groundlings in Los Angeles, and years of Commercial and Film training from teachers in Los Angeles and Texas. Her most recent credits include “Nike” national commercial, and “Love Land” an independent feature film. She is currently teaching acting classes at 4Reelz School of Film and creative writing classes for Paramount Theatre. She is also a Writer, Director and Producer.


Ash Newsome

My name is Ash and I have spent my entire life enchanted by the art of storytelling. I spent years acting in CYT and later in college. I have a B.A. in English Literature and Minor in Theatre from Grand Canyon University, a combination which allows me to craft stories both through the written word and visual arts. A great deal of my time is spent singing, acting, dancing, and writing. Some of my very favorite elements of production are hair, makeup, and costuming. I have spent years developing these skills and plan to continue growing them at every opportunity. Originally from the Lone Star State, I spent several years living in Oregon and Arizona before returning to my home in Texas. I look forward to working with and watching my students grow in their God-given talents and develop essential performance skills.


Emily Calasopa

I am no stranger to CYT having been a student myself in WA State and going on to teach, direct, musical direct and choreograph over 50 classes, camps and shows! CYT is a huge passion of mine and I absolutely cannot wait to be involved in this amazing organization once more. I am now a mommy to two sweet little girls who love to sing and dance just like me!! I have travelled the World singing with The Continental Singers and been in many musical theater productions. I have formal training in Cabaret and belting, as well as acting for film and auditioning on Broadway. I truly believe that there is a place for everyone within the theater community. I was a shy, homeschooled introvert until my mom put me in CYT at 15. I credit all I learned through CYT with helping me find my voice. I so look forward to working with you all!


Julie Novak

Julie Novak has been teaching and directing theater in a school and community setting for over 20 years. While teaching at the renowned Valley Christian Conservatory, in San Jose, California, she developed her own theater arts curriculum for students 6-8 grades and a curriculum for students 6-12 grade while teaching and directing at Summit Christian Academy in Austin, Texas. Julie has directed plays, musicals, one acts, musical reviews, competition scenes, concerts and benefit shows too numerous to count! She has been trained in a multitude of acting techniques, such as the Wheeler Recording Method, On Camera Acting, Improvisational Acting, various vocal genres and public speaking. Outside of her teaching career she has worked as an acting coach, speaker, ghostwriter, vocalist and done voice over studio work. Her greatest love is working with young people in the arts and helping them develop confidence and belief in their personal gift set. Julie began CYT Austin a year and a half ago after she felt called to take her passion to speak life and encouragement into young people through the arts, outside the walls of a school and into her community.


Lauris Blackwell

Lauris Blackwell grew up singing and dancing! After high school she attended Austin College, and then went on to New York, where she was a scholarship winner to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. She stayed in NYC for eleven years performing professionally on and off Broadway and on many National and European tours. Some of her favorite roles are the Narrator in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, Rose, in “Bye, Bye Birdie”, Amnesia, in “Nunsense”, Lily, in “Annie”, and Rhetta, in “Pump Boys and Dinettes”. She has performed at the White House and the Kennedy Center for both the Bush and Clinton Administration in conjunction with the Children’s Literacy Program. She performed in the Natchez Opera for ten years and was fortunate enough to be the soloist for then Governor George Bush’s Inauguration. Since moving home to Texas, she has performed and Choreographed with Waco Children’s Theater, Temple Civic Theatre, the Public Domain, and River City Pops and many others. She has choreographed for Buzz Productions, Akins High School, River City Pops, Austin Summer Musicals For Children, as well as served on the RCP and ASMC Boards. She teaches tap, ballet, jazz, and musical theatre to all ages. She is the dance instructor and Choreographer for Christian Youth Theatre. When not dancing about, she spends time with her husband, James, and their wonderful son Dustin. She is so grateful and blessed to be a part of all of her work “families”


Leah Knight

Leah Knight, began her classical studies at the age of three with violin, piano and voice lessons. Ms.Knight has performed as soloist in the Austin area and by invitation at the Moscow Conservatory of Music, Russia. Her most notable roles include “Virtu” from L’incoronazione di Poppea, “Tatiana” from Eugene Onegin, “Die Erste Dame” from Die Zauberflöte (Salzburg, Austria), “La Contessa” from Le nozze di Figaro, Nella in Johnny Schicchi , title role in Suor Angelica and “Martha” in A Secret Garden for which she won a Best Actress in a Supporting Role “Sammy” award. Leah completed her Bachelor’s under the University of Texas’ Martha Deatherage and her Master’s in Music under Rose Taylor with the role of “Tatiana” in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, in tandem with a disquisition on Tatiana’s literary origins, serving as her Master’s Thesis. Ms. Knight participated as an Apprentice Artist with Sarasota Opera and Des Moines Metro Opera for the 2006-2007 season. Leah most recently performed “Alice” in Falstaff with Spotlight on Opera and soprano soloist for Mozart’s REQUIEM with St. William Symphony. She maintains a busy teaching and performance schedule while Music/Vocal Director for CYT Austin and Georgetown Palace Theater Education. Any free time is spent learning new instruments, recording, and enjoying her two sons, and daughter. Leah looks forward to helping CYT Austin grow!!