Being a CYT Teacher is both a privilege and a challenge. You will be working with parents and students of various ages and backgrounds who have one basic thing in common – they want to be involved in children’s theater and they want to have fun while doing it.

It is CYT’s belief that an enthusiastic, positive, well-organized teacher who has a love for theater and a love for children will be able to make a difference in the lives of children and families in our community. Thus, the following information will help you prepare for that challenge.

Because CYT is a “culture” unto itself, many procedures and forms contained in this manual are very specific and are required of all CYT teachers, no matter where one is located across the country. Therefore, we ask that you follow this guide as closely as possible, adhering to timeframes and completing the forms as directed.

We welcome you into the CYT family and we want you to know that your time, effort and expertise are greatly appreciated!

A CYT Teacher’s Philosophy
By incorporating CYT’s Values and Objectives into everything he or she does, the CYT teacher strives to build character in students. Pre-planning, organizing, and communicating with the Artistic Coordinator and the Area Coordinator are major steps in reaching this goal. A conscious focus on the students as individuals must be of highest priority at all times, with the content of class instruction designed to meet their needs. A spirit of servanthood is an essential trait of any CYT teacher.

A CYT Class
Parents send their children and youth to CYT classes to learn! They expect that at the end of a CYT Session their students will come away with a new or improved skill in the area of emphasis. Therefore, a CYT class must be structured in such a way as to progressively teach a skill or skills during the entire CYT Session, relying on review and practice throughout. Although the final culmination of class instruction is a quality Showcase performance, insuring that each student has the opportunity to learn the basic elements of the class is essential.

Basic Function:
To train and instruct students in specified area of competence in such a way as to promote the development of character, self-esteem, and confidence.

  • Must understand CYT's Mission Statement and Values and Objectives and be willing to incorporate them when performing job-related tasks.
  • Must have theater experience and/or education pertaining to class being taught.
  • Must show evidence of ability to use appropriate and effective methods of instruction.
Operational Tasks:
  • Maintain a current application and updated employee information as requested by the Managing Director.
  • Plan a syllabus for the class, which meets the CYT Curriculum standards, and submit by email to the Coordinator no later than two weeks before classes begin, or as soon after employment as possible.
  • Maintain regular attendance.
  • Arrive to class at least 15 minutes early each week; do not leave class until all students have left.
  • Instruct students in designated area of competence, as contracted.
  • Read weekly Teacher Notes and communicate CYT business to students.
  • Support all CYT-related activities, including ticket contests and fundraisers.
  • Plan and direct a quality Showcase of class accomplishments.
  • Be a positive role model for all students at all times.
. . . in other words . . . A Great CYT Teacher . . .
  • Starts on time with a BANG!
    Always start on time and do something that the kids will not want to miss.

  • Has too-oo much to cover!
    Always be overly prepared and have too many activities to accomplish in one class period. Make sure the activities have a purpose and relate to theater arts. No Heads Up Seven Up!

  • Knows everyone by name!
    By the end of the second week, call every student by his or her first name.

  • Shows personal interest in every student!
    Ask students questions about themselves, their families, their interests, etc. Ask lots of questions. Notice when a student is absent; make phone call to follow up.

  • Stands Up!
    Never sit down. Stay on your feet and show alertness, readiness, and energy.

  • Is a Leader!
    You’re the boss, the leader, the one who is in control. Make sure you stay on task and lead with authority. If you don’t know the answer, admit it and then find out! Maintain a professional distance from your students. Remember: You are the teacher and they are the students, even when you’re not teaching!

  • Is “Plugged In”!
    Enthusiasm is contagious! Keep personal problems personal. When you walk into the classroom you are the greatest actor of all and must be energetic and on fire!

  • Is Positive!
    Give students lots of positive feedback - personal, behavior, and performance feedback! Teach, mentor, and believe in every student! Be honest and encouraging at all times!

  • Goes for the Gold!
    Expect excellence for and from your class. Have high goals and expect students to achieve them. Don’t settle for mediocrity.

  • Has Fun!
    If you’re having fun, so will your students. Make sure all students learn something about theater, make lots of friends, and have fun!

  • Touches a Life!
    Ask God to use you in the lives of you students. Pray for them. You have a greater impact than you think you have. CYT students look up to you - they are searching for a hero. Be one!

Artistic Team Members

Artistic Team Members must:
  • Have proficiency, passion and past experience in their expertises:
    • Director must know and love theater and know the various aspects of mounting a major production. He/She must know how to motivate actors, create stage pictures, inspire cast and crew and lead the entire company to reach their vision.
    • Musical Director must know how to read music (and play to some extent) and teach rhythm, melodies and harmonies.
    • Choreographer must know and love to teach various styles of dance and be able to tell a story and create stage pictures with movement and dance.
  • Love children, love working with children, and love to see growth in the lives of all children, not just the leads.
  • Be strong moral role models. The children look up to these individuals and the responsibility of being exemplary cannot be overstated. Because we are “Christian Youth Theater,” it is preferred that the Artistic Team understand what it is to be a Christian and live a Christian lifestyle.
  • Be Enthusiastic and encouraging. People always respond better to someone who is positive. Someone who consistently encourages and gives positive reinforcement or will accomplish much more than a leader who is negative, sarcastic and harsh.
  • Demand and strive for excellence. Artistic Team members must not be satisfied with mediocrity. They must be willing to put in the extra time and effort to make sure that a production is the best it can be all things considered
  • Be a team player. They must be excited and willing to work with other people on their artistic team. Each member must be committed to negotiation, compromise and submission to each other. The “good” of the “bigger picture” must be the focus.
  • Submissive to authority. Each person on the Artistic Team must be willing to submit to the guidelines of CYT and the Chapter Coordinator. The Chapter Coordinator has the final say on issues that may arise. Because the Chapter Coordinator knows the area, the parents, the facility and has a history of the children, the CC is the one who is the constant thread that holds the CYT program together from session to session.

CAMPS Applications

Are you interested in joining our CAMPS team?  Apply at the links below. 
Day Camp Staff Counselors and Interns

Current Staff Members:

Ashlie Driver

Ashlie’s family has been heavily involved with CYT/CCT since her daughter was invited by a friend to attend the Newsies camp in the summer of 2013. From that point on, they were hooked! Over the years, Ashlie has served as Director, Vocal Director and Teacher for our shows, camps and classes. She is honored and humbled to serve as Artistic Director for CYT Houston because she is a firm believer in the mission of Claiming the Arts for Christ! Together, she and Bev work to provide quality programming, polices and procedures for the CYT Houston families. In addition, Ashlie has worked in Worship and Music ministry for over 18 years and taught choir and music at both the elementary and high school level for 10 years. She is currently the Music Director for Klein United Methodist Church. Ashlie has a Bachelor of Music in Music Studies from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters in Music Education from the University of Houston.

Mary Ramsower

Mary's family has been a part of CYT Houston since the Spring of 2008. She began working as the Summer Camp Coordinator in the summer of 2010 and then became a Show Coordinator for 2 years. She was the Managing Director for 3.5 years and is now the Branch Administrator.

Robyn Flanery

Thankfully, my family and I heard about CYT through a friend, and my son was in his first show in 2011. Thus began our journey with CYT Houston. I am Chapter Coordinator for the East branch and I have had the privilege to class coordinate and show coordinate for 6 years. Being part of the CYT community is a blessing and I am thankful for the opportunity. I consider it a gift to be able to spend my time with so many wonderful people. I love having a front row seat in watching the students grow in character and in talent. It is quite amazing! 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Crystal St James

Crystal is a native Texan and Houstonian who loves Jesus, her husband, 3 handsome sons and 2 mischievous dogs. Serving alongside her local church family and community of friends that are like family with Christian Youth Theater Houston are some of the great joys of her heart. She counts it as an honor and privilege each time an offer to coordinate a show for CYT Houston is extended. Crystal is an active member of Bible Study Fellowship International, enjoys reading historical fiction novels, cooking and holds Matthew 6:33 close to her heart.

Dawn Leal

In the Fall of 2010, as a new home school mom, I found what has become a second family for our children. It has been a blessing to watch our kids use their gifts on and off the stage, while growing in a Godly community. I have been a class coordinator for CYT Houston for a few years and it has been such a joy to watch students blossom from little Our Gang kids to amazing performers in our advanced classes. My other passion outside of my family is being a youth minister. I have been blessed to lead mission weeks for teens, along with my family, for the last 20 years. "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:16

Stacey Brednich

Stacey began her CYT journey when her daughters attended camps and Our Gang classes. Her girls eagerly awaited turning 8 so they could be in their first show and then the whole family was hooked. Stacey began by serving on committees for shows and then was honored to serve the cast, crew, and artistic teams as a show coordinator. Coordinating gives her such a gift to see God's truth, "He makes everything beautiful in time", unfold through every production of CYT through the gifts and talents of so many. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Dee Willis

I have been a part of CYT since 2010 when my daughter joined this wonderful organization. She is now all grown up with kids of her own and I'm so happy to still be with CYT! I have a Bachelor's Degree in Music in Therapy from Sam Houston State University and I LOVE to sing! During the past 9 years I have been honored to serve at CYT in the capacity of Costumer, Teacher, Director, Vocal Director, Tour Group Director, Show Coordinator, and CYT@school Coordinator. I'm so blessed that God has given me the opportunity to work with so many talented individuals and to share His love with others through CYT!

Diana Horn

Diana has been sewing since she was 4 years old. She has garnered numerous associates degrees from Houston Community College in Costuming and Design. She has been volunteering with CYT Houston since 2010-2011 season, and was then offered a staff position in January of 2014. She is married to the HYPE Advisor David Horn, and their son, Lucius, loves attending all the CYT shows and camps! She is very blessed to have this position and loves what she does.

Christine Tonkin


Christina Kruse

We were lucky to find CTY in 2016. We watched Willy Wonka and Little Mermaid before my then 11-year-old musician, said he wanted to give it a try. We signed up for Harry Potter summer camp, then a couple years later my youngest son got involved. I can honestly say I don’t know what my family would do without our CYT friends, myself included. I feel very lucky to be allowed to work for an organization that has brought my family so much joy! I’m happy that my 20 plus years in accounting will contribute to the growth of such an amazing organization.