Our History and What Leads Us
About CCYT's Beginnings
CCYT began as a simple musical theatre workshop held during the summer months on the scenic and lovely Chatham Fairgrounds. But, not being one to leave well enough alone – I gave in to my natural inclination to “take it to the next level.” Dreaming about possibilities wasn’t enough. I had to act on them – even if the move took me out of my comfort zone.
When I arranged for guest artists to give my summer workshop students classes focused on acting, improvisation, singing and auditioning, I wasn’t sure the kids would want to give up any more of their summer or interact with a professional who was all but obsessed with their craft. Yet, this notion developed into the Friday Enrichment Program geared toward summer workshop students with a stronger interest in theater.
“Would kids enjoy taking part in being a traveling performance company?”
Led to the formation of CCYT’s first performance company in 2011.
“Could CCYT offer theater programs to school districts?”
Led to the Hudson Intermediate School’s Lunchtime and After School Drama Clubs – which we currently produce and develop!
“Would local authors come to see their musicals performed – if asked?”
Brought us Mary Pope Osbourn and Will Osbourne, Jenny Laird and Randy Courts (authors of the Magic Tree House series and musicals.)
Going out on a limb; “Would the producer of an Oscar nominated main stream film agree to speak to the staff and students?”
Yes! Producer, director and actor Peter Spears did not hesitate to share his stories leading up to his latest film project Call Me By Your Name.
The question that has formed the character of CCYT the most was whether young people, who went through the program themselves, would be interested in taking a leadership role in the company after graduating from college. You just need to look at Our Team and count them to know the answer.
I began CCYT out of a desire to provide young people with the opportunity to have a theater experience that serves their level of interest and to provide the community with quality children’s theater that could influence the way they see the world. As long as there are ideas, questions and challenges to meet, CCYT will continue on its mission to develop programs that touch the lives each young person we encounter.
“Are there young teens who would be interested in learning scenic design from a veteran scenic charge recently retired from the NY Metropolitan Opera?”
– Edgar Acevedo Producing Artistic Director
The mission of the Columbia County Youth Theatre (CCYT) is to empower the youth of Columbia County, neighboring communities in the Capital Region and those beyond with the skills, training, and experience to engage in creative collaboration thus nurturing their ability to succeed in their desired discipline, apply these learned skills to further career goals and to engage and serve diverse communities through their work with this company and others of their choosing.
CCYT seeks to fulfill this mission through theatre and other creative activities that encourage…
- personal accountability and responsibility
- respect for others
- lifelong learning
- active listening
- engaging in mentorships
- shared goals
- creative collaboration
- a sense of empowerment
- embracing ideals of diversity, equity, and inclusion
Our Programs & Goals
Summer workshop ages 6-18: Covers all goals
Hudson City School Drama Club: Covers all goals with an emphasis on diversity, empowering individuals to reach their full potential, personal goals
Performance Company: Covers all goals with an emphasis on collaboration, responsibility, community service, confidence building, skills development in performing, writing, costumes
Intern Program: Covers all goals with an emphasis on receiving and providing mentoring, developing skills in their chosen area of interest (technical theatre and teaching),
Year-Round Classes: Covers all goals with an emphasis on specific skills like vocal performance, theatre history in social and cultural contexts, video editing, physical theatre
Thank you to our sponsors!
- Bank of Greene County
- Berkshire Taconic Foundation:
- Fund for Columbia County
- Hudson Schools Arts and Humanities Fund
- Evelyn Bordewick Charitable Foundation
- Greene County Council on the Arts
- Hudson River Bank & Trust
- Stewarts Shops: Holiday Match
Donations & Scholarships
- Chatham Central School Alumni Association
- The Chatham Lions Club
- Chatham Fine Arts Booster Club
- Chatham Wine & Liquor
- Craftech Industries, Hudson, NY
- Edward Jones, Chatham, NY
- French, Gifford, Preiter & Blasl Funeral Home, Chatham, NY
- Glenmont Dental, Michael V. Conte DDS
- Hudson City School District Endowment Fund
- Kinderhook Bank
- Kinderhook Elks Lodge No. 2530
- Susan G. Baer, CPA, PC
- T. Backer Fund, Chatham, NY
- The Theater Barn