Largest Children’s Theater Organization Primed for Future Growth!

Largest Children’s Theater Organization Primed for Future Growth!

After 38 years, Christian Youth Theater (CYT) is pleased to announce that Janie Russell Cox is moving into the role of President of CYT Inc. headquartered in San Diego. Effective April 1st, Cox will be succeeding her father, Paul Russell, as President of CYT Inc. CYT has experienced steady growth and expansion over the last several years and is now serving over 20,000 students annually in 28 cities across America. What started in 1980 by Paul and Sheryl Russell as a small community theater has now grown into the largest children’s theater organization in the nation. In 2017 alone, CYT produced 111 shows attended by 250,000 patrons across America. Cox is eager to step into her new role where she can give her talents and time to support CYT globally.

In addition to the traditional after-school theater arts curriculum, CYT serves public and private schools in over 40 locations nationally through its CYT@school program. The organization is also ready to expand into churches who want to bring the arts into their Children’s education programs. Cox knows the market is primed and hungry for what CYT provides: “We do so much more than just put on shows; we witness kids gain confidence, develop leadership skills, and learn valuable character lessons. These students also get support and guidance from talented artists and teachers who know that theater will positively impact their lives.”

The huge benefits that the arts can bring to a community are now fully documented with over 25 years of empirical research. “It is critical to keep arts education thriving in our communities. Developing character traits that will last a lifetime for these children is so important,” added Cox. CYT has seen many of its alumni go on to make a positive difference in their communities by winning Teacher of the Year awards, receiving Tony and Academy Award nominations, creating humanitarian non-profits, and winning medical research awards from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“CYT uses the arts to teach kids about strong work ethic, humility, kindness, trust, and ultimately loving God and loving others. CYT must expand in order to impact as many families as possible,” stated Cox. “For years, we’ve seen theater change the direction of kids’ lives and we have the data and evidence to prove it. We will impact the next generation through the use of theater arts.”

Paul Russell will continue to be the CEO of CYT Inc. and is eager to work with his daughter to expand CYT. “There are so many opportunities ahead and we are thrilled that Janie will be giving her full-time attention towards reaching more families through the performing arts,” said Russell. “The world is changed through a good story and we want the next generation to be the best storytellers of all.”

With this announcement, CYT San Diego is actively looking for a qualified Artistic Director for San Diego’s six areas, a role previously held by Cox.

Interested applicants should review the job posting at and forward their resume and cover letter to CYT San Diego Managing Director, Laura Bertagnolli, at:

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