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Taking classes

Sessions

CYT Phoenix offers three 10-week sessions for classes, plus a summer session for those interested in camps. Our sessions coincide with CYT Phoenix’s annual show season, typically running:
  • Fall: August – October
  • Winter: November – February
  • Spring: March – May
  • Summer: June – July

Class eligibility

CYT Phoenix offers classes for those aged 4 to 18, though age requirements for each respective class are listed online. To be eligible for some CYT Phoenix classes, students will also be required to have taken pre-requisite classes or their equivalence at another studio. For example, if your student is interested in registering for an Intermediate Dance class, they will be required to have taken a Basics Dance class or its equivalent. If you’re uncertain about your students’ readiness for a particular class, feel free to call the studio to discuss their eligibility.

Show eligibility

All students who audition for a show must be registered in a class during the same session. This is a national CYT requirement. If you do not wish to sign up to audition for the show when enrolling in a class, you can log in to your family account later and request an audition time slot at that time.

Class registrations

There is limited availability for each class, so be sure to watch our website and subscribe to our emails if you want to register for upcoming sessions. Information for all CYT Phoenix classes can be found online at cytphoenix.org/shows

Showcases

At the end of each class session, students will perform in a showcase. Family members are invited to watch students perform something—be it a song, dance, or newly learned skill—from their class(es). The dates and times for each showcase will be sent out via email and are intended for all students enrolled in a class to attend, not only show cast members. 


Frequently asked questions about classes

What’s a good class for my child to take if they’re new to theater?

The basics of acting, dancing, and/or voice are all excellent classes to register for if your child is new to theater. It’s not guaranteed that these classes are offered every session, but one or more of these classes should be available between fall and spring of our typical season.

What if the class my student wanted to take is full? Is there a waitlist?

Yes, there is a waitlist. If the class you wanted to register for is already full, please contact info@cytphoenix.org to place your student on the waitlist. Please note, however, that your student will still have to be actively enrolled in a class to be eligible for show auditions, so do not assume their position on the waitlist will result in future class enrollment or current eligibility for an upcoming audition.

How much does class tuition cost?

Class tuition typically costs $110 for every credit hour. For example, if a class is one hour and fifty minutes, tuition would typically run $220 for each enrolled student. Tuitions fees are subject to change per class and per session, so please review our class schedule for all current tuition fees by visiting cytphoenix.org/classes

What’s the class drop and tuition refund policy?

Any class dropped after week two (2) of classes is not eligible for refund. If a class is dropped before that deadline, you will be issued a prorated refund or class credit. The most recent class drop and tuition refund policy can be found online at cytphoenix.org/_local/pdfs/DropRefund_Policies.pdf.

Are scholarships available?

Yes. We are happy to be able to provide scholarship opportunities for families in need. The purpose of our scholarship fund is to provide full or partial scholarships for one class to qualified applicants during one session at CYT Phoenix. Please note, scholarships are only offered for class tuition fees at this time, not show fees. The scholarship application can be found online at: cytphoenix.forms-db.com/view.php?id=23813

Preparing for auditions

Audition eligibility

To audition for and be eligible to appear in a CYT Phoenix show, students must: 
  1. Be enrolled in a CYT Phoenix class for the session that runs during that show
  2. Be at least 8-years-old but not 19-years-old by the final date of the show
  3. Agree to the terms of our class drop and tuition refund policy 
  4. Meet any other requirements set forth in the audition packet for that specific show, including any requirements that may amend those noted above

Regarding the first requirement, this is a national CYT guideline that ensures all CYT chapters effectively accomplish one of our charters, which is to educate children in the art of theater, not only to provide a performance opportunity. Classes are also one of the key places that friendships and community are built, a hallmark of our program.  Please read all other audition packet instructions very carefully, and fill out your audition form in its entirety. Audition packets for upcoming shows can be found online at cytphoenix.org/shows.


Audition times

When registering your student to audition for an upcoming show, you will be able to choose from available dates and times. Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your student’s scheduled audition time slot so that we can keep the audition process on time. If you expect to be later than scheduled, we cannot guarantee that the audition slot will be maintained, though we will strive to accommodate any unexpected family circumstances. If your student has a conflict with audition or callback times, video submissions are an option.


Audition groups

Students are called in groups of up to eight people, serving as encouragement and support for one another while in the audition studio. When your student’s audition group is called, they will be escorted into the studio by the stage manager. Each student will be called individually before the Artistic Team while their group respectfully observes. Every student will deliver their monologue and sing, and some may be asked to participate in a brief “cold read” from the script.


Student preparation

All students auditioning for a show must sing a song no longer than one (1) minute long, and are encouraged to perform a monologue no longer than one (1) minute long. Monologues are not required, but they are strongly recommended if your student desires the best possible opportunity to be cast in a role. Review FAQs about auditions if you and your student require further guidance looking for and selecting audition materials. 


Parental admittance

Parents are not permitted in the audition studio while their student or others audition. The reason for this is, many times, having parents in the room for auditions causes additional anxiety for our students, whether it is their parent or someone else’s. Parents should support their students leading up to auditions by helping them select appropriate materials and encouraging practice and memorization. 


Dance calls

Dance calls are sessions in which students auditioning for an upcoming show are split into different groups to learn and perform a short routine for the Artistic Team. Dance calls may or may not be required for certain shows. In the case of optional dance calls, it is encouraged that students attend the calls if they are interested in roles that involve more dancing.


Callbacks

Students may or may not get called back for further auditioning. Callbacks take place later in the day on one of the audition days and will be posted at the studio, as well as sent via email. Typically, these callbacks are scheduled in the afternoon of the last day of auditions.
Students called back for further auditioning should be prepared to stay for the entire scheduled callback time. Students will be released by the stage manager when they are finished.
If your student is not called back, don’t worry—they may still be in the show. This simply means the show’s respective Artistic Team doesn’t need to see your student again prior to casting and you can watch your email for the forthcoming cast list.


Frequently asked questions about auditions

What if students have a conflict for their audition date or callbacks?

We will accept video auditions via email up through the day before physical auditions. This video audition should show students at their full height and include a one-minute vocal selection and one-minute monologue. Monologues are required if submitting via video. If students are unable to attend callbacks, they are still eligible to be cast in the show, but consideration for a lead role is at the directors’ discretion.

What should students sing for their audition?

Students should choose vocal selections that are suited to their vocal range and we ask that their lyrics be “family-friendly.” Songs in the musical theater genre are preferred. In general, singing pop, rock, rap, or other mainstream songs for auditions is discouraged unless the production they are auditioning for heavily features such a genre. Please follow our guidelines for song and monologue duration. We are only able to hear a “cut” from most songs that should not exceed 1-minute in length. Singing “a capella” is discouraged and digital tracks should not have vocals on them. We are not able to provide an accompanist.

Can students sing a song for their audition even if they’ve already used it in a previous CYT Phoenix audition?

Students should perform the song and monologue that highlights their strengths the best and fits the show in question, even if we’ve heard it previously. Over time, all students should be building an audition book with song cuts and monologues they can pull from for all varieties of auditions. 

What is a “cold read?”

A cold read is a short page of dialogue that students haven’t seen before. It’s read on the spot with a member of the Artistic Team so we can get an idea of your student’s speaking voice.  

Where can we find good music tracks and monologues?

YouTube, Amazon Digital Music, and iTunes are all places to find good audition tracks. Monologues can be found online through various Google searches, or you can pull a speech from one of your favorite books, plays, or movies. Please keep all lyrics and dialogue “family-friendly” and keep your one-minute time limit in mind. It is also recommended to have your student’s music selection downloaded on your mobile device in advance, in case there are any internet connectivity issues in the studio.

Will everyone who auditions be cast?

The number of cast members selected by the Artistic Team will vary from show to show and session to session. While our goal is to give as many students as possible the opportunity to experience the main stage, CYT may limit the cast size of shows to:
  • Meet the safety requirements of our selected venues
  • Maintain the best overall show experience for cast members, artistic teams, and volunteers

Put plainly, an audition does not guarantee casting, and we encourage all students who audition to know this before their audition. However, every audition experience is valuable for a student’s growth and increases confidence for their next audition. So if a student is interested in being in a show, please audition even if there is a question of whether they have a “good chance” of being cast. 

Who chooses the cast?

Every show’s cast list is left to the final discretion of the Artistic Team, typically consisting of the Director, Music Director, Choreographer, and any other Assistant Directors who may be involved in the process. 

What can my student be working on to improve her future auditions?

This is a great question, and one that we welcome students to ask their directors for advice about. If your student hasn’t taken a basics of acting class in the past, that may be an excellent place to start in terms of improving their first impressions with a show’s Artistic Team. But even if your student has been auditioning for a while, it’s still never too late to request constructive feedback and tips from directors for future auditions. Please be advised that while directors may be able to provide helpful feedback on your student’s personal audition, they can never comment on their justifications for casting a show in a certain way.  For more information on what goes into the process of casting a show, we recommend watching a very informative video at: youtu.be/5NrtDe-_qco.

Cast in a show


Class attendance

Once your student is cast in a show, it is very important to continue attending at least one of their classes at CYT Phoenix. Students who miss more than two (2) classes in the same session may be dropped from the show. Students who audition for a main stage show are not eligible for a tuition refund if they choose not to continue with their corresponding classes.


Rehearsals

Rehearsals run every Friday evening and Saturday for roughly seven (7) weeks. Cast members may also be called on Mondays and other weekdays, as needed, which is why we request all conflicts be listed on audition forms even beyond the weekends. All rehearsal schedules will be posted as far in advance as possible on the Callboard, accessible to cast families via their Family Account Dashboard.


Show buddies

Each cast member is assigned a show buddy at the first week of rehearsals. Show buddies are older students or students who have been with CYT longer to serve as a go-to friend and mentor of newer students during the show process. They can help answer questions, give encouragement, and be a familiar face.


Family meetings

If your child is cast in a show, there are two mandatory family meetings that will provide you with the information you need over the weeks to come. These two meetings typically take place during the third (3rd) and seventh (7th) weeks of the session. Each cast member must have at least one parent or representative 18 years old or older attend these meetings. Web conferencing options may be made available, but it is not guaranteed. 


Show committees

Over the decades, CYT national has found that show committees led by parents are the best way to get essential jobs done and ensure a high quality production. If your student is cast in a show, at least one parent or adult (18+) representative from your family is required to be involved in preparing for the session’s production. Adults are required to actively serve on one or more of the following show committees leading up to and during the show:
  • Costumes
  • Front of house
  • Green room
  • Hair and makeup
  • Props
  • Sets
  • Show
  • Tech

If you’re more available before the show, sets and props are where you can provide the most support. For those more available the week leading up to the show, tech, green room, and front of house support is a huge help. And for those who know that theater needs support all the way through, costumes and hair and makeup volunteers are most appreciated. Each committee works with the Show Coordinator and Director to help create a magnificent end product together.


Load-in

Typically the day before Super Saturday, any available adults are requested to help move the sets and props from where they were constructed (typically at the studio) to the theater where the show will be performed. Information about the load-in location and times are emailed out a few days before load-in, but please reserve that Friday afternoon on your calendar in advance if you have the ability to help.


Super Saturday

Super Saturday is a big deal at CYT. This is usually the first rehearsal to be held at the theater location. It’s a longer (but super fun) rehearsal, marking the first day of tech week. CYT provides lunch and the cast members typically wear a themed costume for the day. Instructions leading up to each Super Saturday will be provided to cast members and their families.


Tech week

Tech week is what we call the week leading up to opening night, usually beginning on Super Saturday. Following the all-day Super Saturday rehearsal, tech week rehearsals take place every night at the theater leading up to opening night, usually running from 5:00–10:00pm. Some of the rehearsals include hair and makeup, costumes, and full dress. We also practice moving sets, using props, setting up lighting, and more, working diligently to make all the final pieces of the production come together.
In preparation for tech week, we encourage all students to be as well rested, well fed, and well prepared as possible. It’s incredibly important that we have everyone’s full energy and attention.


Modesty garments

All cast members must wear modesty garments under their costumes. For girls, this usually consists of nude colored biker or dance shorts and a nude camisole. For boys, it’s usually a light colored T-shirt and gym shorts. Please confirm what your student needs for their given role with the costume committee.


Show Bears

For each CYT Phoenix production, a special teddy bear is created that represents some aspect or character from the show. Many students collect these bears over time, providing a special and fun way to remember each show. This is an optional item to order as a memento from the show.  Show bears can be ordered through your family account and are handed out at the cast party. If your student is interested in a show bear—which, we promise, they probably will be—make sure to not miss the order deadline, typically about three (3) weeks before the cast party.


Extra show T-shirts

Each cast member receives one T-shirt, included in their show production fees. However, additional T-shirts can also be ordered for family members. These can be purchased through your account on the website.


Congrats Ads, Photo Ads, and the "Grams"

Each cast member receives one text-only “Congrats Ad” in our professionally printed playbills.  Additionally, families can purchase an ad that includes a photo and the text of your choice to congratulate your cast member.  Pricing varies based on size and the proceeds help to pay for the printing of the playbill.
Audience members may purchase candygrams or flowergrams at each show to have sent to their favorite actor or tech worker. Cast members may also purchase candygrams for each other at a discounted price during tech week.


Raffle

As an extra way to drive interest in our Standing O. Society and generate donations toward CYT Phoenix, our front of house and show committees offer a 50/50 raffle, in which people can buy tickets to win money at each show. 50% of the proceeds go to CYT Phoenix, and 50% goes to the winner of each raffle.


Snacks

Students should bring snacks and water to rehearsal, as well as to tech week and show days. Snacks are also available to purchase at the studio for $1.00 and a 12-snack punch card can be purchased at a discount for $10.00. During tech week and show days, when students will be in costume, snacks need to be non-messy snacks (e.g. no cheese puffs or chocolate). Snacks must also be nut-free.


Strike

Immediately following the last show, we break down sets, take down lights, and load up props and costumes. At least one adult family representative of every cast member is required to help, no exceptions. If you have a drill, be sure to bring it, along with a T-25 drill bit. The faster we break everything down, the faster everyone can clean up and head to the cast party. 


Cast party

The cast party typically starts an hour or two after the final show, usually on a Sunday evening, immediately following strike. The entire cast and crew is recognized, special awards are given, and we make sure to celebrate an amazing show run. Cast and crew family members are all welcome.


Frequently asked questions about shows

How much does it cost for students who are cast in a show?

Once your student is cast in a CYT Phoenix main stage show, production fees will be added to your family account on the CYT website. It is your responsibility to login and pay the fees by the dates announced at our first family meeting. When your student accepts a role, you also agree to purchase at least ten (10) discounted family tickets via your reseller link, whether you want to keep those tickets for yourself or you wish to resell those to family and friends. 
Production fees are non-negotiable and required by every cast family. By auditioning for a role in our main stage productions, you agree to pay the required production fees when cast. For current production fees, visit cytphoenix.org/_local/pdfs/Show_Fees_Breakdown.pdf.


Working a show committee


Costumes

Costume volunteers assist the head of the team in designing and fitting costumes for each character in the production. Enjoy thrift shopping, sewing, and making alterations. Most costume teams meet at the rehearsal site and during tech week to work together.
Timeframe: Before the show gathering and making costumes. During the show, any upkeep or replacements. After the show, collect all costumes and launder washables. “A well-costumed show is a labor of love and joy to behold.”


Hair and makeup

Hair and makeup volunteers assist the head of the team in designing characters’ makeup and applying specialty makeup at shows. Apply makeup and style hair. Help instruct cast and parents in applying makeup and styling hair.
Timeframe: A few rehearsals leading up to the show, tech week, all dress rehearsals, and shows.


Green room 

Green room volunteers create simple activities for cast members and maintain a quiet, orderly green room. Help make sure students don't miss cues, hand out snacks and water, and oversee the overall green room area. We need good disciplinarians who help foster a home-away-from-home atmosphere.
Timeframe: Dress rehearsal week and all shows. Divvy up time among the team.


Front of House

Enjoy serving people and providing quality customer service. Sell tickets at the door, set up ushers for all performances. Oversee care and upkeep of the seating and lobby areas of the theater. Enthusiastically help sell raffle tickets, concessions, and show merchandise. Help select creative merchandise to sell.
Timeframe: A few hours spent pre-show setting up concessions and merchandise preparation and during the show. Divvy up time among the team.


Props

Props volunteers collect all props needed from the production’s prop list. Enjoy searching thrift stores or being creative at making props with a minimal budget. Supervise the prop table during dress rehearsals and shows. Repair or adjust props as needed during a show.
Timeframe: Rehearsals the week before move-in with props. Before show and during dress week and show, checking to make sure all props are accounted for and in order. After show, returning props to CYT storage and borrowed items to owners. Divvy up time among the team.


Sets

Set volunteers build, borrow, buy, or rent any sets needed for the production, with an emphasis on building. Work with the Director on obtaining a list of scenes to be built. Unload sets at the theater and set up. Make any necessary repairs to the set during the run of the show. Take down the sets following the last performance and transport to the CYT storage.
Timeframe: Before show opens, during, and after show closes. 


Show Chair

As the show chair committee, this committee organizes the cast party for all CYT Phoenix families after the show closes. This is the committee for those who like event planning, have a gift of hospitality, are creative and sociable, are a bit thrifty, and love celebrating with the cast and crew for a job well done. They are also responsible for collecting money for and purchasing the director gifts, as well as the sale of candygrams sold among cast members.
Timeframe: Before and during shows.


Tech

If students are not cast, they can still sign up to work behind-the-scenes (with parental approval, of course). The backstage crew and tech teams are the “magic” that make a show happen. Members of our crew have the ability to learn sound, lights, running projections, and backstage crew, helping move sets on and off the stage for scene changes. Tech volunteers assist and monitor cast with microphone use, set up and run sound board and lighting per schedule set by the team head. The must work well under pressure—able to be flexible and take direction.
Timeline: Pre- and post-show hours required, and tech week is a must. Tech is usually the last team to leave the theater before the cast party.


Registering for camp


Ideal students

During the summer, CYT Phoenix offers week-long musical theater day camps for students aged 5–18. 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 kids camps include team competitions; rotations through drama, dance, and music workshops; and a concluding Showcase for family and friends. 
Teen camps focus on learning an entire 60-minute show in just 5 days and performing for friends and family.
Summer camps are an excellent way for students to “dip their toes” into the performing arts waters and experience CYT Phoenix firsthand. Learn more about our upcoming camps by visiting cytphoenix.org/camps.


Frequently asked questions about camps

How much do camps cost?

Camps vary in price camp to camp and year to year. For the latest camp cost information, please visit cytphoenix.org/camps.


Wanting to get more involved


HYPE

High School Youth Pursuing Excellence (HYPE) is the youth leadership group at CYT Phoenix designed to give high school students opportunities for service, mentorship, and leadership. Much like a student body, HYPE has biweekly meetings and positions for every member—including a council consisting of President, Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer—and plans social events, fundraisers, and service projects for CYT and the community.
Beyond performing these functions, HYPE students are mentored and trained in leadership by their Advisor who challenges them to grow in excellence in their own lives. HYPE members agree to be role models and hold themselves to a higher standard at CYT by mentoring younger and newer students, encouraging others at CYT to pursue excellent lives, and being available to serve and help the adults at CYT. They also help to bring CYT’s values to the community through their involvement and service with various community organizations. Students interested in learning more should speak with the HYPE advisors or current HYPE members.


Standing O. Society

The Standing O. Society is the group of individuals committed to funding the ongoing growth and impact of CYT Phoenix through monthly, tax-deductible donations. Donations as little as $10/month go a long way and are utilized to help support the impact and influence of CYT Phoenix over time. Learn more at cytphoenix.org/donate.


EnCorps

The EnCorps is a parent-led board at CYT Phoenix that exists to accomplish 3 goals:
  • Serve CYT Phoenix in capacities that overcome the organization’s recurring challenges and achieve its annual goals
  • Supply CYT Phoenix with the finances and resources necessary to sustain operations and healthy growth
  • Share CYT Phoenix with families, individuals, and organizations that may wish to become involved or partner with the chapter 

Every member of the EnCorps is required to commit for at least one full season. Currently, there are three teams on the EnCorps that you may be interested in joining:
  • Community building and hospitality: Organize events, foster relationships, and reinforce CYT Phoenix culture.
  • Fundraising and donor development: Develop fundraising packages, connect people, and close donations. 
  • Volunteer reserves and special projects: Fill in volunteer gaps, gain cross-committee skills, and generally be available.

If you are interested in helping serve CYT Phoenix in one of these capacities, please contact encorps@cytphoenix.org


Frequently asked questions about getting involved

I have other questions. Who should I ask?

We’re friendly. Just give us a call at (480) 310-0366 during our business hours, or email us at info@cytphoenix.org. We look forward to connecting with you.