About CYT Classes

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 ten consecutive weeks. A variety of classes are offered in drama, voice, dance, and specialty classes that vary per session. Most of the classes are small to insure personal attention and growth.

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.

It is wonderful that there is a local organization that includes children of all races and religions, fosters their self- confidence in a nurturing environment and even finds ways to involve those young people who may not be interested in appearing on stage, but can fulfill a vital role, and gain much needed self-esteem, by being involved behind the scenes.


Elementary Educator

Curriculum

CYT offers a wide variety of classes, and they all enable students to gain valuable theater arts training, develop confidence and make friends!

There are currently over 50 different curriculum materials available in a variety of musical theater areas. For a complete listing click here. Please note these classes vary per session.

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.

Showcase

Parents, friends, and relatives are invited to attend CYT's Showcase performance on the last day / evening of classes, free of charge! Showcase is the grand finale of each session of classes, at which every class makes a 5-10 minute presentation of something they have learned and rehearsed during the session. Don't miss the action!

Current Teachers:

Allison Marino

Hi! I have been on the stage for as long as I remember. My love of music and the stage was started at a young age with my parents and grandparents. After graduating high school, Sulphur High School, I attended Centenary College of Louisiana and majored in Vocal Music Education with a minor in Religion. During college I traveled around the world with the Centenary College Choir, sang in opera workshop, and was a member of Chi Omega Sorority. After graduation I moved to Dallas, TX where I taught music in public schools and was the youth director for music and worship at a local United Methodist Church. I moved back home to Lake Charles a couple years ago. I now teach k-12th grade music at Bell City High School. In the last 10 years of teaching, I have directed many productions with my students. Since moving home I have been on stage with Lake Charles Little Theatre. My shows in the last year have been the 90th anniversary Christmas show, Rhetta in Pump Boys and Dinettes, and will begin a run as Cindy Lou in Marvelous Wonderettes this September. *Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot be silent."


Chelle Martin

Chelle is a freelance artist and life long resident of Sulphur. She is a graduate of Sowela where she received her Associates Degree in Commercial Art. She has been creating art professionally since 1990. Be it anything from graphics, murals in homes and schools, props and sets, to face painting and decorative cookies, she stays quite busy. She currently resides on the Board of CYT and is part of the Marketing, Set Design and Makeup Committees. Her life long dream is to work at Walt Disney World. But that is a very BIG dream so she strives to bring a bit of Magic to CYT to share and to inspire everyone in the Lake Area.


Damien Thibodeaux

DAMIEN THIBODEAUX (Teaching Artist) is a former student of the National Academy of Arts, and the Alvin Ailey School of American Dance in New York City. Professional credits: Principal dancer with Ballet Theater of Boston, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. Guest Soloist with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet, and the Empire State Ballet. Career highlights include performances on Broadway, London’s West End, The Kennedy Center, and stages across thirteen other countries. He is the author of a one-man dance play entitled, ‘Tutu’, which he performed Off-Broadway, in Boston, and Providence, RI. Locally, Mr. Thibodeaux has taught, directed and choreographed for McNeese State University, Dancing Classrooms & Dance Sport/SWLA, The ACTS Theater, The Lake Charles Little Theater, The Governors’ Program for Gifted Children, The Itinerant Theater, The Louisiana Theater Festival, The Lake Charles Civic Ballet, Sarah Jones Ballet, Karen Ogden School of Dance, Katy Kress’ Dance Revolution, and, most recently, The Christian Youth Theater/Lake Charles.


Darlene Gauthreaux

Are you ready to have some fun! I am excited to welcome you to the 13-18 year old Improv Drama ! Your teacher, is a California native with deep roots in Louisiana! I graduated from McNeese State University where I earned a BS in Secondary Education while majoring in Speech and Drama ! I had the privilege to teach Speech and Drama at a local middle school, in Lake Charles and a great deal of my students have continued to perform in high school Drama programs. During my time as a classroom teacher I served as the program director and directed several productions, most memorable was In the Middle an 8 scene 56 member cast! I became a Drama teacher to offer students an opportunity to express themselves and I welcome you to our class to be EXPRESSIVE!!! I was blessed with one son, but God saw fit to give me hundreds each year and now I have been blessed to welcome you to the WONDERFUL WORLD OF DRAMA!!!


Kelli Cooley

I am a full time Arts Education teacher in Cameron parish teaching Art I, Art II and drama classes. I am a graduate of McNeese State University with a bachelor's in General Studies with a concentration in Arts and Humanities, an associate's in Visual Arts and I have my teaching certification in Arts Education. I have been teaching for 7 years and was a Children's Ministry Director for First Baptist Westlake for 6 years. I will be teaching the younger drama group (8-12 yr olds) for CYT. I have a passion for teaching children that they can do whatever they set their mind to. I love watching students grow and realize they CAN be artists and drama stars. I am so excited about CYT and all we will do. I have been praying for your student and can't wait to see all they accomplish this session!


Kelly Rowland

I am a classically trained mezzo-soprano with a passion for theatre. I have a Bachelor's of Music in Vocal Performance from McNeese State University. I have performed in 30+ musical/theatrical productions, including the alto soloist in Handel's Messiah, over the past 8 years. I ran a private studio for two semesters and also spent several hours observing and student teaching in the classroom. I look forward to getting to know your children, and I can't wait to work with them!


Megan Voorhies

I began doing theater in middle school at my local children's theater in Alexandria, Louisiana. Family Playhouse was my home for many years before graduating and moving to Lake Charles. Since then I have performed in over 30 productions both community-wide, collegiate, and professional. Most recently I was part of the Polar Express Train Ride in New Orleans. Theatre has always my creative outlet and a place to escape to when everything in life is not going my way. It is definitely my happy place! I am also a 2014 McNeese graduate with a degree in Vocal Music Education and have completed 3 summers of additional studies in Kodaly Methodology at Lamar State University in Beaumont, Texas. I am thankful for all that God has blessed me with and I look forward to working with CYT and seeing what the future has in store for the next generation of theatrical children.


Shauna Temple

New CYT teacher for 6&7 year olds! Shauna is a Lake Charles native who began her acting career at the age of five. She has been seen in a plethora of productions in the area, and out of state. She serves on the board of the Lake Charles Little Theatre. She graduated from McNeese State University with a bachelors degree in Mass Communication PR. She is thrilled to be joining the CYT team! She loves kids and has worked with them for over fifteen years. She looks foward to bringing out the best in each of her students.


Shelby Weeks

I'm so excited to be apart of CYT! I'll be teaching dance for the ages 13-18! Here's a little about myself.. I'm from Sulphur, where I took dance at Karen Ogden Studio for 18 years! I also teach ballet, tap, jazz and baton at KOS. I was a member of the NSU Purple Pizzazz Pom Pom Line for 1 year. Dance has always been a huge part of my life and I cannot wait to show the kids how much fun it truly is!


Ted (TJ) Oliver

TJ has been involved in the behind the scenes action of shows since 2011. He took technical theatre while attending Westlake High school and has been hooked ever since. Along with plays he has also worked with multiple traveling show groups as a local liaison, designed and operated lighting for multiple fashion shows, and assisted with filming/set design with television shows. He wishes to tech for a living but is enjoying his passion and wishing to spread some knowledge in a positive atmosphere.


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