Palm Beach Atlantic University

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October 24, 2014

PBA Hosts Florida's Only Christian Youth Theatre Group

July 18, 2011
Youngsters sing during Friday's production of "Listen to the Music" at Palm Beach Atlantic University's Fern Street Theatre. PBA is a independent, accredited Christ-centered college located in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Youngsters attending the Christian Youth Theatre camp at PBA's Fern Street Theatre perform 'Listen to the Music' during one of Friday's two shows.

Youngsters sing and use umbrellas as props during Friday's production of "Listen to the Music" at Palm Beach Atlantic University's Fern Street Theatre. PBA is a independent, accredited Christ-centered college located in West Palm Beach, Florida.  
Youngsters sing and use umbrellas as props during Friday's production of "Listen to the Music."  

University Staff, Alums Spearhead Local CYT Effort

As campers rehearsed for Friday’s performances of Listen to the Music, the culmination of the Christian Youth Theater week-long camp, Palm Beach Atlantic University’s Fern Street Theatre was filled with sweet singing and creative expression. It took a bit of novel inspiration, PBA know-how and Palm Beach County community involvement to get this inaugural camp up and running. 

“The novel Someday, by Karen Kingsbury, speaks of a fictional group called the Christian Kids Theater that incorporates Christian values and family into theater,” said PBA alumna Rachel Sharpe of Jupiter. Sharpe graduated magna cum laude in 2009 with a B.A. in musical theatre. “I did research and found  the real-life Christian Youth Theater."

For CYT information:

E-mail Westpalm@CYT.org

Or visit the Facebook page CYTWestPalmBeach

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Palm Beach Atlantic University's Fern Street Theatre played host to Florida's only Christian Youth Theatre camp. PBA is a independent, accredited Christ-centered college located in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Click here for more information about PBA's Fern Street Theatre and the university's theatre program.

Created in 1981 in San Diego, CYT is a nonprofit after-school theater arts training program for students ages 4-18. The organization has affiliate locations throughout the country, which conduct three 10-week sessions throughout the school year -- teaching voice, drama and dance --as well as conducting specialty theatrical workshops.

As Florida did not have any CYT affiliate locations, Sharpe believed West Palm Beach could be the perfect place to start one.

“I contacted CYT and had a preliminary meeting with the administration on the phone about starting an affiliate,” said Sharpe. “Then I prayed about it for a year.”

In February 2011, she said the Lord led her to get a board together. The beginning board consisted of herself, her former theatre professor at PBA, Dr. Ann Cadaret and Patrick Moody (PBA ’76), pastor of Village Baptist Church in West Palm Beach and son of PBA founder Jess Moody. The three combined have many years of experience in theatre and theatre camps.

“We weren’t sure if there was a market for this here,” Cadaret said. “It was a stab in the dark. We knew if God’s hand was in it, it would happen.”

Parents of Christian Youth Theatre students sold baked goods and T-shirts in the lobby of Palm Beach Atlantic University's Fern Street Theatre to help raise money for the new program. PBA is a independent, accredited Christ-centered college located in West Palm Beach, Florida.  
'Super Moms' sold baked goods and T-shirts after the performance to raise money for the new CYT program in West Palm Beach.   
Parents of Christian Youth Theatre students sold baked goods and T-shirts in the lobby of Palm Beach Atlantic University's Fern Street Theatre to help raise money for the new program. PBA is a independent, accredited Christ-centered college located in West Palm Beach, Florida.  
They spread information on the possible affiliate by word of mouth through churches, friends and family. In May, the board hosted a parent interest meeting with two representatives from CYT’s headquarters in California. Once the high interest level became apparent, the board went forward with getting the affiliate incorporated and licensing the CYT brand name.

Through fundraising and registration fees of $135 per camper, CYT West Palm Beach was able to become a reality. The summer camp began July 11 lasting one week, with classes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thirty-four Palm Beach County youngsters ages 6 to 15 participated.

Sharpe serves as artistic director, and aside from the camp’s music director (whom they hired through CYT), the camp was staffed by volunteers. Most of the volunteers were mothers of campers, whom Cadaret refers to as, “Super Moms” for all their efforts assisting with the camp. 

“Super Moms” like Elizabeth Maxwell Miller, daughter of best-selling author, leadership expert and teaching pastor John C. Maxwell, as well as his daughter-in-law Elisabeth Maxwell. Maxwell Miller grew up in California and participated in CYT as a youth; and she was excited for her daughters Ella, 7, and Madeline, 10, to participate. Her brother, Joel Maxwell also participated in CYT in his youth. His son John, 8, and daughter, Hanna, 10, were camp members, while he was in charge of the set lighting.

And, “Super Moms” like Cathy Hamilton whose daughters Sarah, 14, and Emily, 11, participated. “My daughters are over the moon with this,” said Hamilton.

Hamilton daughters, as well as many the campers, are homeschooled. 

“This camp fills a niche for homeschooled kids,” she noted. “It’s a great opportunity.”

Sharpe, Moody and Caradet and a growing list of board members are moving forward with a CYT after-school program at Village Baptist Church in West Palm Beach beginning Sept. 12. Participants pay $190 for 10 weeks of classes, and have the opportunity to audition for a final show. CYT will also have a spring session, and will continue in their fundraising efforts.

“Parents can bring their kids here and know they’re in a safe environment,” said Caradet.


 

07/2011General News

 

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