About CYT

Christian Youth Theater (CYT) is an after-school theater arts training program for students ages 4-18. Since its founding in 1980, CYT has grown to be the largest youth theater program in the nation, with Branches across the country training thousands of students a year.

CYT was brought to Santa Cruz in 2010. Each Branch’s yearly calendar is made up of three ten-week sessions: Fall, Winter,and Spring. These session involves after-school classes in theater arts and the opportunity to audition and perform in a Broadway-style musical or work behind-the-scenes. Additionally, CYT offers a Summer session consisting of camps, workshops, and performance opportunities.

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 understand our mission statement, values, objectives, and goals.

Mission Statement
Christian Youth Theater develops character and creativity in kids of all ages through quality theater arts training that brings families and communities together while reflecting the Creator.

  • Treat each individual with respect and significance
  • Develop character traits including discipline, self-confidence, and integrity
  • Bring families together through the use of individual talents and abilities
  • Share the love of Christ in word and deed

What Does CYT Offer?

CYT offers classes for students ages 4-18 throughout the school year. Classes include drama, voice, dance, and behind-the-scenes training in makeup, costumes, tech, and more. Classes are held for two hours once a week and run for ten consecutive weeks in Fall, Winter, and Spring sessions. Class sizes are small and offer supervision both inside and outside the classroom. Each session culminates in a high-energy showcase to demonstrate to family, friends, and fellow students the skills acquired.

Parents send their children to CYT classes to learn, and that’s exactly what they will do! At the end of a CYT session, your student will come away with a new or improved skill in the area of emphasis. During the last week of class, a high-energy Showcase is presented by each class to show other students, family, and friends all they’ve learned.


Enrollment in CYT classes provides students ages 8-18 the opportunity to audition for the current production. CYT Chapters produce one Broadway-style musical each session (Fall, Winter, and Spring). Students who want to be part of the show without performing can participate on the backstage crew, technical team, or as an usher.

CYT shows are always appropriate for the entire family and are an excellent way to introduce children to the arts at a young age!



During the summer, CYT Branches put on week-long musical theater day camps for students ages 4-18. Camps are designed to be a fun and energetic immersion into the world of musical theater. Camps are jam-packed with games, activities, and interactive workshops that build performance skills, self-confidence, and teamwork. Typical camps include team competitions; rotations through drama, dance, and music workshops; and a concluding showcase for family and friends. Some Branches host overnight camps for older students. Through praise, worship, prayer, and daily devotions, CYT teen camps are particularly focused on spiritual growth.

CYT Summer Camps are all about fun, friendships, and theatrics. Camps are great yearly tradition for your child!


There are many ways to be part of CYT beyond the stage! CYT programs consist of everything that is not a class, camp, or show. Some of the available programs include CYT@school, HYPE, Improvathon, and the yearly CYT EXPO.

CYT Santa Cruz

Mailing Address:
804 Estates Drive
Suite 210
Aptos, CA 95003

Phone: 831-298-0001
Office Address:
804 Estates Drive
Suite 210
Aptos, CA 95003

Contact Us

Current Staff Members:

Angelic Navarro

Angelic is delighted to be the Artistic Director of CYT Santa Cruz! Her first memory was dancing on stage at the age of 4 and she has loved the stage ever since. She has over 30 years of multi-dance training, over 20 years of teaching experience, and 7 years of Theater experience. Angelic is also a mother of 3, a dance instructor, and the dance and theater teacher at Spring Hill School in Santa Cruz. She has written and directed over a dozen original musical productions for the Spring Hill School Community, and directed and choreographed over 10 musicals with All About Theatre. She appreciates CYT for its mission to “developing character in children and adults through training in the arts and by producing wholesome family entertainment”. She believes CYT is a great blend for her love of Musical Theater and her convictions of living out a purposeful Christ-filled life. She hopes to leave a legacy that is sincere and authentic, written on the hearts of those she shares life with. 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts”.

Sarah Preston

Sarah has been with CYT Santa Cruz since 2013 when she began teaching classes and coaching the Improv Team. Since then, she has taught acting and dance classes for CYT as well as coached 4 years of Improv. She has been involved with 11 productions as stage manager and production manager as well as Directing Elf the Musical, Jr. She currently teaches Kindergarten, Music, and Drama at St. Abraham's Classical Christian Academy where she launched the drama department and directed their premier production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night with 7th-11th graders last year.

Jack Wilkins

Jack Wilkins is an award winning tenor born and raised in Watsonville, CA. He recently finished his undergraduate studies at the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSULB, receiving a bachelors degree, with honors, in vocal performance. Jack is a working musician, most recently playing the role of Jenik in the CSULB Opera Institute’s production of The Bartered Bride. Jack has had the privilege of soloing in major productions of Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Great Mass, Weil’s Down in the Valley, and many musical theater productions. Jack also loves to teach, especially young singers. He frequently vocal directs for Christian Youth Theater (CYT) Santa Cruz, as well as with Monte Vista Christian School, and teaches voice privately.

Carol Chandler

Carol was introduced to CYT in Vancouver, Washington where her daughter participated in CYT with great joy. When her family moved to La Selva Beach in 2008 and she was unable to find a CYT in Santa Cruz county, she and her daughter started to pray about bringing CYT to this community. Approximately one year later, God answered her prayers in a huge way by leading her to many others who had a great interest in bringing CYT to Santa Cruz. He has continued to answer prayers, provide support , and confirm that his heart is to bless the kids of the Santa Cruz area with this great program. She is the wife of a very supportive husband and mother of two wonderful kids, and although her background is in nursing, she now is investing her time into CYT as the Chapter Coordinator for classes. Her hobbies are piano, bible study, art, exercise, and spending time with her family. Although she has absolutely no background in theater arts, she loves the creative vibrancy, self confidence, and joy it brings to all involved.

Tamara Dunton

Tamara is excited to join the CYT Santa Cruz Staff as the bookkeeper.

Cheryl Aguirre

Cheryl is our Fundraiser Chair!

Bobby Marchessault

Interim Managing Director. Bobby's CYT journey started with the beginning of his theater journey when he did his first musical ever, Oliver, in 1993 as a student at CYT San Diego (South Bay). He went on to perform with CYT, CCT, The Young Americans, and Disney. He now pastors an organic Christian community and stays involved in the theater scene. He has performed and directed at Cabrillo Stage in Santa Cruz, plays in an Irish band, and helped with choreography/field direction for Super Bowl 50 halftime. He has directed shows and taught classes for CYT Santa Cruz and was the Managing Director early in our development. He has a wife and 3 kiddos and is happy to be filling in/helping carry the load for another season at CYT Santa Cruz.

Denise Ahlstrom

Denise is honored to serve CYT Santa Cruz as the Chapter Coordinator for Shows. Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, His compassions never fail. They are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22,23