Alyssa Salter is an actor, playwright, and director with her MFA from East 15 Drama School in London, England. She also has her own theatre company, produces new works in San Diego, and is very passionate about people having the platform to share their story. “There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” – J.K. Rowling
Andrew has been a musician for more than half his life, predominantly as a guitar player while also playing percussion, piano, and french horn at an early age. All of this music developed a strong affinity for songwriting. This passion lead Andrew into musical groups that did a great deal of non-union touring all over the states, Canada, and Europe. After consistently touring for six years Andrew decided to pursue another passion developed in high school, acting. In 2012, he began studying theatre and more recently graduated (2017) from UCSD with a B.A. in Theatre. Since graduation Andrew has began to develop himself as a local artist and theatre practitioner. He has been a part of several local theaters including: OnStage Playhouse, Coronado Playhouse, the Lyceum, and the OB Playhouse. He has been with CYT since 2016 and couldn't be more excited to continuing teaching and learning!
After growing up within the NCI CYT family, Anna Lettang is elated to have a chance to give back to the CYT community by teaching classes and being a Musical Director. Additionally, Ms. Lettang works as a local music teacher and chorister. Ms. Lettang graduated from Otterbein University in 2017 with a Bachelors of Music Education, where she learned how to teach music classes of all kinds. She is passionate about helping adolescent singers navigate their changing voices and feels every person deserves the chance to learn how to sing.
Ashley has been dancing since the age of three and has been in 50+ theatre productions. She was in CYT classes and shows from the ages of 8 to 18. Dancing has always been one of her many passions along with teaching, performing, reading, and swimming in the ocean. She has always loved the art of dancing and the expression that comes from it and hopes to share that love with others. She is currently studying Business at Vanguard University and hopes to one day own her own business as well as become a professional dancer in movies and on Dancing with the Stars.
I started working with CYT Temecula in 1990. It's pretty obvious that I love it! I tell everyone I work as a manager with Vons Company Inc. to pay the bills and I work with CYT to fill my heart. I grew up doing theater and show choir in school and I traveled with Celebration Singers during college. I married the love of my life, settled down in Temecula and had kids. Then God put CYT in my path, and I helped start Temecula CYT. I continued training in the theater arts; directing, script writing, acting, theatrical fencing, stage fight directing, makeup design, and Improv. CYT has helped to strengthen my relationship with Christ, and given me wings. It is my hope to be a light in the darkness and to love and encourage others, through Jesus Christ.
Hello! My name is Bethany Odegaard, and I am passionate about music, theater, and the arts. I have been involved in music my whole life, specifically in voice, piano, and guitar. I teach piano, voice, children's choirs, and lead worship at my church regularly. I graduated from SDSU with a degree in Liberal Arts, and received my Master's Degree from National University in Reading Specialization. The best part about my life is my faith in Jesus, and my family - my husband, Matt, and my 4 children.
Hi, my name is Bianca! I love playing the piano and all things music, riding my horse, and reading a good book on a day off. Teaching kids is a passion of mine, and I hope to one day have a career as a international aid or non-profit worker.
Brittany began her CYT career almost 30 years ago as an Our Gang student, was in over 20 CYT productions, and has taught CYT classes. She currently teaches at an Arts school in East County where she directs a show choir, as well as the spring musical. Brittany is thrilled to return to CYT as a teacher after several years. CYT has always held a special place in her heart, and she is looking forward to singing and dancing with amazing CYT students!
Cara Filley recently graduated with a BFA in Music Theater from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy and is excited to be teaching for CYT! She has grown up with this company and has performed in over 30 productions. She is thrilled to be sharing her love for musical theater with the next generation of performers!
Hi! My name is Cassie. I have been teaching with CYT for over 4 years now and it has been the most rewarding experience! I have wanted to be a teacher since I was a young child, and seeing it come to life alongside one of my passions is a dream come true! I long to see kids grow and develop into who they were created to be. I believe theatre plays a huge part assisting kids in developing countless skills and strengths, amongst them are confidence, public speaking, and brain stimulation through memorization and communication. I am honored for the opportunity to be working with this incredible company. I look forward to meeting and working with all your children during our classes! Cassie Jungers
Christine started her Theatrical Career as a Make-up artist, serving many years in CYT and CCT. She raised four daughters in CYT, they were affectionately known as The Friel Girls. Following many years of teaching CYT, she taught and directed musical theater/drama at The Rock Academy and Young actors Theater. Favorite directing credits include Godspell, Joseph, Peter Pan, Willy Wonka, Wizard of Oz, Beauty & The Beast, and most recently Shrek The Musical. Christine looks forward to this session with your talented kids!
Danny LaPointe is a CYT alum who is so excited to help teach the next generation of CYT kids. She has been involved in theater and dance since a very young age and can't wait to share her knowledge and skills with her students. She has several years experience as a dance teacher at Neishas Dance & Music Academy, Selah Groove Dance, and CYT. She is currently the Artistic Director of Sweetwater Kids Theater, and she has a Bachelors Degree of Eduction from San Diego Christian College. Let's get dancing!
Hi! My name is Debra Webb and I am so excited to be teaching the Wiggles class! I am a retired elementary school teacher, where in my thirty years of experience, I have taught all grade levels from Kindergarten to 6th grade. It is my hope that my students’ love of the theater will grow tremendously as they continuously explore this wonderful world of CYT.
Elsa Sánchez is the Co-Chair for South County Hair and Makeup committee. She has done Makeup and Hair on over 1 5 shows. She loves teaching for CYT and looks forward to working with your awesome kids.
Emily Bruning has been working with CYT since Fall 2016 where she first started with CYT@school after school programs. She has since worked with CYT@school residencies, and additionally has joined Main Stage at NCC workshopping classes, including Auditions and Musical Theatre. Emily is passionate about pursuing what she loves most in this world, which is why she went to school and graduated in 2018 from San Diego State University with a BA in Theatre Arts and minor in Child and Family Development. Her wish here at CYT is to inspire each child she works with to see not only their potential in theatre and life, but also to unveil the beautiful gifts that theatre can inspire in someone young or old: understanding, creativity, and courage.
Emily Coffey is a young theatrical freelancer who loves working with children! She has worked as a private voice and piano instructor for many years and loves continuing to teach more students who are looking to grow and learn more about music. Emily has been trained both Classically and in Musical Theatre styles of voice. She has also had many opportunities to choreograph at various schools and camps around Southern California. Emily has always loved performing and feels that it is such a gift from God to be able to use the talent's He gave us to glorify Him! Through the classes, Emily teaches her hope is for her students to improve in all aspects of theatre and more importantly in their knowledge of the one who blessed them with their amazing talents!
I've been teaching for CYT for six years now and there's no place I'd rather be.
Hi, my name is Erin. This is my second session with CYT at school. Graduated with a BA in theatre and a minor in Music.
With a passion for all things involving children, theater, and the Lord, Faith is thrilled to be a new member of the CYT Family! Having worked with children for over 7 years and pursued her love acting for over 4 years, she cannot wait to show your kids the love of the Lord through the amazing art of theater! Having once been a quiet introvert herself, she is so excited to introduce your kids to the exciting, loving family that theater is. Let the Adventure Begin!
Gabriela has been studying ASL for many years. She has completed ASL 1 through ASL 4 and is currently furthering her ASL education at Grossmont College where she is majoring in Musical Theatre. Gabriela has been in theater since she was 8 years old, working with companies such as Young Actors Theater (YAT), California Youth Conservatory (CYC) and the Coronado Playhouse.
Jasmin Haddad has been teaching for CYT for two years now and has recently completed a dual degree program in Neuroscience and Theatre from the University of San Diego. She hopes to continue teaching theatre arts all over San Diego. She has also worked as an actor and as crew from multiple professional companies in San Diego and plans to continue along that path as well.
Jennifer is passionate about all things theater. While growing up in Northern California she studied Tap, Ballet, and Jazz. She has continued to dance throughout her adult life. Currently, she is a substitute ballet teacher at New West Ballet in San Marcos and is a Props Mom for CYT NCI. Although her first love is dance, she has grown to appreciate Musical Theater as she watches her daughters grow through their experiences with CYT.
Hello, My name is Jessica and this will be my 2nd year with CYT. I graduated from SDSU with my bachelor of Music with an emphasis in voice and I am very excited to be back in the fall!
Kaede is a former CYT student who loves theater, and is so excited to be working with CYT this year! In 2017 Kaede received the McCandliss Rising Star Award, awarded through the City of Chula Vista and was the Jr. Host of Bonitafest. He was a four-year member of BVHS’s Vocal Music Department and the award-winning Music Machine. He has performed in multiple Bonitafest Melodrama’s, CYT’s Addams Family as Uncle Fester, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown as Pig Pen, The Little Mermaid Jr. as a sailor and a Cratchit kid in Scrooge the Musical. He participated in Sweetwater Kids Theater through Sweetwater Valley Community Church and is now an Intern Director for the program.
Hi! My name is Kandace and I am ecstatic for my first summer with CYT! I am from sunny Miami, FL and received my BFA in Acting from Florida State University (2012). New to San Diego, I am quite enjoying everything the arts community here has to show me. Thus far I have worked with a few different theatre companies, including Trinity Theatre Company, Pickwick Players and Blindspot Collective. I truly enjoy everything about introducing kids to the arts and have worked with the Kroc Junior Theatre program as well. I cannot wait to hit the ground running with this group!
Katie Newbanks grew up performing in various youth theater productions around San Diego. After earning her BA in Theatre Communications, she continued her studies with a MA in Education. She has continued her love of theater by teaching and directing youth theater for the last 25 years. She has taught speech and drama to students from kindergarten through 12th grade, and has choreographed for several local show choirs and musicals. Recently, she has been nominated for The Excellence in Education Tony Award, as well as the SDCCU Best Local Drama Teacher Award. She was also honored to accept the BHMS PTSA 2017 Honorary Service Award.
Landen is an actor, improviser, writer, and improv teacher. He recently returned to San Diego, and CYT, after getting his bachelors in Linguistics and Theatre at UCLA. He now performs and teaches with LEGOLAND California and Old Town Improv Company through the Encinitas School District, in addition to teaching and directing with CYT. He has a lot of real good thoughts about art and life, and he hopes to one day end this bio with them.
Hello All! I'm a theater artist and educator. I have taught and drected in America and China. I love musical theater! I have training in ballroom, hip-hop and jazz. I specialize in character development and stage pictures. My favorite musical is Hairspray! "The difference between a cow and a bean is a bean can begin an adventure!" - Into the Woods
Linda has been teaching and directing for CYT since 1990. She studied Speech and Theatre at Grossmont College, performed with various community theatre groups, performed with Old Globe Theatre/USD MFA program, and trained and performed with San Diego Theatre Sports for 2 ½ years as well as directed their youth program. She has taught a wide variety of theatre classes in San Diego, written curriculum, directed summer camp programs with Christian Youth Theater, has had VAPA certification and training, and taught Improv at San Diego Christian College. She is married and has 3 children who all grew up doing CYT.
Melissa is a 1st grade teacher within Chula Vista Elementary School District. She is an Aztec for Life with her multiple subject teaching credential and Bachelor's degree in Communication from SDSU. During her time at SDSU, she was a part of the comedic improv team Iota Eta Pi. Melissa is also a member of Joke & Dagger, one of National Comedy Theater's house improv teams. She hopes to share a positive exciting theater experience with your child.
Hello CYT Family! My name is Micah Burog and I am from Los Angeles, CA and moved to San Diego to study at San Diego State University. I graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor's Degree in Child and Family Development with a Theatre Arts minor. I have been passionate about performance in music, theatre, and dance since I was very little and hope to continue my passions through helping others grow. I currently work as a preschool teacher as well as a CYT Teaching Artist! I have been having so much fun working with all the young actors and look forward to many more CYT@school showcases!
Nancy has been a part of CCT from the very beginning, playing the part of Mother Superior in the first Mt. Helix production of Sound of Music. She has music directed for CYT for over 20 years, and enjoys building live bands and conducting from the keyboard. She also teaches CYT classes, and has a special passion for the "Our Gang" kids. Nancy has been a music educator, from the classroom to private piano and audition coach. She enjoys leading worship, choirs and playing for various churches through the years. Her greatest joy is her family, husband, Craig and three adult children and an adorable grandson. Grateful to the Lord for her CYT family, she plans on joining in the fun till she no longer can see the notes on the page!
Hello!! My name is Nia Hilton and I am so very excited to continue working with CYT this year! I graduated from SDSU with a degree in Theatre Arts and English Literature in 2016 and have been involved in theatre since the age of 10 as an actor, stage manager, and lighting designer. I love working in the classroom as I strongly believe that theatre has the power to build skills in confidence, public speaking, analysis, memorization, and most importantly, it has the potential to empower students through their creativity and imagination! I am so honored to have the opportunity to work with this wonderful company and by extension, your lovely students!
Nicole has performed with CYT since she was a kid and is excited to be teaching! Nicole has taught summer camps as well as various Wiggles and Our Gang classes. She has a passion for kids and is completing her child and adolescent development degree at university. She looks forward to working with all of your beautiful children and sharing her love for theatre. See you there!
Rachel Mantuano grew up in Orange County, where she studied classical ballet for 15 years. Through her dance career she performed on both stage and street; being cast in multiple productions of The Nutcracker as well as a Disneyland Parade Dancer where she was featured as Belle. After attending UCSD to become an elementary school teacher, Rachel continued her love of dance by working for the Visual and Performing Arts Department of SDUSD. There she developed and implemented curriculum in both dance and theater for K-6th grade. When she's not teaching dance, Rachel enjoys spending time with her children, Noah & Keira. She is very thankful for the opportunity to work with CYT and share her love of the performing arts.
Ryan Daniel Tafolla is a musician, performer, producer and instrumentalist. A 2017 Graduate at Musicians Institute LA for guitar performance, Ryan got his start in performing with Christian Youth Theater, totaling 33 productions before graduating. He can be found playing on Sunday mornings as the Worship Director at Newbreak Ocean Beach, and teaching private guitar lessons all over San Diego, as well as directing, teaching and coaching the improv team for CYT San Diego. An Ocean Beach native, Ryan is the lead guitarist for the indie surf rock group Dive Vibe.
Ryanna is newer to CYT but already loving it! She grew up performing all over her small city home in central California and went on to study Musical Theatre in university where she discovered her love for Stage Management. She graduated with her BA in 2015 and went on to stage manage at SeaWorld San Antonio, TX. She is very excited to be back in her favorite state and thankful for the opportunity to teach with CYT so she can share her passion for the stage with kids of all ages!
Hi! I've been with CYT since January 2017 and I love it! I recently just graduated from UCSD majoring in Theatre Arts where I was able to direct 3 of my own productions and assistant direct on one graduate department show. I've worked with multiple theatre programs for kids in the past and I've always enjoyed it, so working as a Teaching Artist for CYT is an absolute blast!
Sarah Ball has been involved in CYT since she was six years old. She has been in over 25 productions. She has been a Class Aide for MainStage CYT classes, a CYT@School Teacher and a CYT Summer Camp Counselor. Sarah truly enjoys sharing her love of musical theatre with the younger generation and is thankful for the opportunity to work with your kids!
I teach Puppetry Arts! And I LOVE IT! If there is one thing we need it is folks who are passionate about this art form and are willing to increase it's visibility, it's experimentation, and it's sophistication. I have spent the last 6 years of my life traveling the globe and learning from some of the finest puppetry masters in the world. I am the Founder and Creative Director for Twisted Heart Puppetworks, a small but very active North County based puppet company that strives to bring this exciting performance medium to the forefront of the theatrical experience. My goal is to not only train performers but to teach them how to be fabricators and makers as well. Puppetry is my life and I am proud and thrilled to share it with CYT!
Teagan Lisama has been involved with CYT since she was ten years old, but has been performing on stage since she was three. She performed in 23 CYT productions before graduating. In the past, she has aided several Main Stage classes and interned at summer camps for several years. She is excited to share her love of theater with the kids.
Tyler Tafolla is a San Diego/LA based musical theatre writer and actor. He is a recent graduate of AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Los Angeles with a BFA in Musical Theatre. Tyler is the writer and creator of "Scott Robbins and the Traveling Show," a new musical that has had performances in both New York and Los Angeles. He also just recently wrote and performed his own one-man-show this summer in Hollywood called "Catching Up!" where he wrote and performed his own new songs! Tyler is a seasoned performer at Sea World San Diego and has been working there for the last seven years. Tyler grew in the CYT program and has worked for CYT as a director, teacher and camp counselor!