Actual Comments From Real People About CYC.....
CYC Theatre is not just "Another Children's Theatre", but a unique organization which is making a difference in the lives of its participants. From the first-time student performer to the famous stage or film actor, people are impressed with the quality of what our company offers. Not only our performances, but the overall experience of our programming has people talking. The following comments are not the 'anonymous' ads you'll find on the websites of our imitators, but unedited testimonials from real parents, patrons and participants (past and present), and the words speak for themselves. Enjoy!
Having worked on the Broadway National Tour and several other professional
Equity productions over the years, I wanted to tell you that the young man
who played Huck was by far the best I have seen. I have worked on the show
with several actors playing the role, including a few celebrities, and none
of them captured the essence and charisma that your Huck did. I am a
costume designer who has designed and/or over 150 shows. I currently live
in Palm Springs and am visiting San Diego and saw a poster for your show.
Big river is one my favorites and to see the wonderful performances by
Huck and Jim was pleasantly surprising. I think what you are doing is
great. If I can ever be of service with a costuming issue just let me
"I never once expected to get the professional treatment in acting before
--Emily Beaver, CYC Performer
"Dear Mr. Evans
You really should be proud of your accomplishment with this production. We love the
show and have seen every production of Spring Awakening in San Diego
(including the professional tour at the Balboa) and enjoyed yours the most.
We weren't sure we wanted to drive to Escondido for another youth theater
presentation of the show, but I have to say that there was nothing "youth" about
your show at all. Your Wendla, Melchior and Moritz were truly the best we've seen,
and all of the acting and singing was every bit as good as the tour. We got to meet
most of the main actors after the show, and they were so neat to talk to, especially
Mary (Wendla). Please add us to your mailing list. This was one of the best plays
we have ever seen anywhere. We will be first in line for your future shows!
Dear CYC Theatre,
I took my wife to see A Few Good Men after I saw your ad in the Navy Dispatch. We didn't realize that CYC was a youth theatre until we got there and we were a bit skeptical about what to expect since A Few Good Men is one of our favorite movies. All we could talk about for days was your show. Wow. I still can't believe most of the actors were in high school. The kid that played Kaffee was just as good as Tom Cruise! My wife and I are both in the Navy, and we were very impressed with the spot-on accuracy of your uniforms. We go to a lot of plays, and that was one of the best we have seen in many years. We look forward to seeing more productions from CYC.
--Cdr. Will Hoggins, U.S. Navy Retired
"Just wanted to send a quick note to let you know how much we enjoyed 13 this past weekend. We were visiting from Salt Lake and are involved in community theatre in this area. We checked the SDReader and the papers looking for a show to see in San Diego. Originally, we found nothing we were interested in and were planning on seeing a movie Saturday night when at 6:30 we saw the poster for "13" in a La Jolla Starbucks! I am a huge Jason Robert Brown fan and was thrilled to have the opportunity to see 13 live after a very fast drive downtown and running into the theatre to make it on time :)
Anyway, I just loved the show! What a bunch of talented kids you have. They were a joy to watch and I was pulled into the show and cared about the characters. I was amazed at the kids ability to take risks on stage that really paid off. It was great to see them just go for it. It seems you have a great program and what an opportunity for the kids to be able to work with professional guest artists. Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing 13 with us."
--Jann Lowder, Salt Lake City
"I love CYC Theatre. I love the company and everyone involved with it. There is no other theatre company quite like it. I feel like CYC is a second home to me. It is a truly amazing experience being able to work with such amazing people. The opportunities CYC provides to young and experienced performers alike cannot be beaten. Having recently finished RENT, I realized just how much this company means to me. Being able to help, and watch young people grow as actors is a unique and rewarding experience. Shaun Evans is the most talented and capable director I have worked with and in the past year, he has become more than just a director but also a teacher and a friend. Working with him has made me not only a better actor, but a better person. No matter who you are or what you do--after just one show with CYC, you will be able to call yourself an actor and mean it.
Josh Pinkowski*, CYC Theatre Associate Artist
*Josh recently led the cast as "Mark" in CYC's RENT--the first-ever youth theatre production of the full-score (not the School Edition) musical.
"We won tickets to RENT on the radio and were a little disappointed when we found out you were a youth theatre. We attended the show on opening night and all we can say is WOW. RENT has always been a favorite, so we had a hard time imagining kids performing it. As soon as the actors came out on stage, we stopped worrying. Any one of them could have stepped into their role on Broadway and the audience would never have known the difference. Your Mark and Roger were amazing and your Maureen was tops. Your rendiditon of "Seasons of Love" gave us goose-bumps. We really enjoyed the food and wine after the show, too. Your company is a class act and we are looking forward to attending your shows in the future."
"I recently attended a performance of Les Miserables, School Edition at the Truax with my husband and two daughters. We are all still talking about it a week later. My husband and I have both seen Les Miz (the professional one) several times and we have come to love it. I have to say that we have never been so moved by the story as we were at your performance. We have seen other youth productions of this show, but nothing that comes close to the quality of yours. Your set and lighting was every bit as good as the national tour. There was so much heart and pathos in the acting--and TALENT! Your Valjean was amazing, as were your Fantine, Marius and Cosette. Your Thenardier was fantastic. After his portrayal, we can't remember any of the others we've seen! Please accept our small donation as a token of our admiration and appreciation for what your company is doing."
Dan and Teresa Pelligrino
"CYC is such an amazing place! If you are an actor or actress who has worked with Shaun Evans at CYC you know what I mean when I say this. To working along side REAL professional actors is such an unforgettable experience that the minute you see them preform you start learning things that will stay with you all through your acting life.. Shaun's directing skills are great and if you are looking for a place to grow and learn, CYC is the perfect place for you. I made friends that I hope to have for a lifetime!"
Reed Lievers, CYC Performer in Les Miserables and Lead Character in "13"
"I am so impressed with Shaun Evans and the cast members. Parents: Shaun is great! He is able to spot and cultivate potential. I am so honored and pleased to have my daughter working with Shaun and such a talented cast. My daughter, Lydia (who is playing "Alice's Daughter" in Big River) is learning so much so quickly while having a great time. Yesterday, I watched them practicing, and was so moved. This was their first time practicing this particular scene, but by the end of rehearsal, you could not tell. This is definitely the place to be if you want your kids to be challenged and to be encouraged to become better performers under the guideance of an awesome director! Thank you Shaun and the CYC Family."
Fanteweyan Fantaye, CYC Parent
"As a Mom watching a daughter finding herself in this world, I am so happy that she has found CYC Theatre. The loving and safe environment of CYC allows for students to grow and explore their gifts, really putting themselves out there with the knowledge that they are appreciated and understood. I can honestly and without reservation say that my daughter has never been happier in her 14 years and it is because of her involvement with CYC Theatre. Shaun Evans is someone the students can look up to with respect and admiration and he treats every single student with great understanding and fairness. CYC Theatre will no doubt turn out many successful artists as well as successful human beings."
Susanna Vesco, CYC Parent
I just had to thank you for an outstanding performance of Les Miserables on Friday, Feb. 20, 2009 in Oceanside, California. My family was vacationing in Carlsbad for the week from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada and "stumbled" upon your production while looking for the basketball game at the local high school! My daughter, who is in her first year of university studying drama and education, and I went to the play while my husband and son attended the basketball game. We were amazed at how professional the entire show was. The sets, the costumes and the amazingly talented cast. We were so impressed by the whole thing and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it! Thank you for a wonderful evening of music and theatre."
"My daughter, Daechelle Hernandez*, sang a solo at "A Night On Broadway." She recorded all of the songs that were practiced, until today, even though she already performed, she continues to practice to her tape from rehearsal. Her experience with CYC was one she'll never forget. Thank you for giving her the opportunity and developing her interest in "Broadway Musicals!"
Michelle Sandoval, Parent
*Daechelle Hernandez is the lead vocalist on the "Bratz" themesong, and now a Geffen Records recording artist.
"Working with CYC is preparing young performers for the real world of theatre. Going to a music rehearsal at CYC and hearing the talented voices feels like you have stepped right on the Broadway Stage!"
Meg Sprink*, CYC Performer
*Meg Sprink has recently been accepted on scholarship to the prestigious American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles
"Adam’s experience with the CYC Theatre was nothing short of transformative. We cannot thank Shaun Evans enough for giving Adam Burnier a principal role in such a great musical production! Adam has gotten involved in theater late compared to some of his "theatre" friends. Most of his roles in the past have been relatively minor. But having the role of Enjolras inspired Adam to step up to the plate and work like I’ve never seen him work before. He was determined to get it right, even when the vocal range was two or three notes higher than his range. With a great deal of effort, he did it! We were so proud of his performace, and I know that this whole experience was a huge confidence builder for him. Shaun is very strict, so he really got a taste of what it must be like to be involved with theatre in a serious way. We look forward to future performances with CYC!
Julia Burnier, CYC Parent
"CYC Theatre has really opened my eyes to what professional theatre is like. Before CYC I was unsure of whether I could do theatre as a career and after working with CYC, I know I can do anything I set my sights on! I'm proud to be a part of CYC and working with professionals and talented peers, I know I'm a part of a professional high quality production."
*Alex Matsuo is a Drama Major at SDSU and has studied at the British American Drama Academy in London.
"We've been invited to productions, and appreciate it immensely. We love the productions and the fact we can take students to live theatre. For many, it is their first such experience."
"I have grown more as in actor in one CYC show than any other show I have done. You are really pushed to your maximum and you learn how to perform the best that you can. There is such a professional atmosphere during rehearsals and everyone is working together in a supportive way to strive for the very best."
Lauren Hunter, CYC Performer
"I was blown away by the level of talent here and the training these young performers receive! I imagine many of them will go on to professional careers in performance. I wish there had been something like CYC when I was their age. It is a joy to be a part of CYC."
Megan Starr-Levitt, "Christine" from the Broadway National Tour of Phantom of the Opera and CYC Theatre Guest Artist
"My daughter, Victoria, has now performed in three CYC productions. The standard of training she is receiving will prepare her for any theatre company's rigor. She says she "feels prepared for anything". We also appreciate that CYC encourages a supportive, family atmosphere and discourages clique behavior. Roles are given to the most deserving actor without favoritism and all actors are given their moment to shine on stage."
The Wheatley Family
"CYC Theatre really is preparation for the professional world, the last three years spent here have been among the most memorable experiences of my life. I have made lasting friendships, gained inspiration from the those around me and risen to new heights while being pushed to be my best. Through CYC I have experienced the true demands and difficulty of theatre but also with that, it's greatest rewards and the rush and passion of high-quality productions that makes it all worth while. I am so thankful to have found and been a part of a company like this. It has lead me to be who I am today and has made me believe, as I'm now starting my adult life and college, that all the passions and dreams I've developed and found in CYC Theatre are achievable and I am prepared to face the road ahead. Thank you CYC Theatre & Shaun Evans, I cannot express how great the impact is you've had on my life and on my heart."
Alexandria Rose-Wiesel*, CYC Associate Artist
*Alex Wiesel was a charter company member, and the original CYC Theatre Associate Artist. Alex is currently a working actress in Los Angeles.
"I recently finished my first production with CYC, and it was an incredible experience! I am extremely proud to say that I was a part of it. Never before have I worked with a theatre company that was as professional as this one. I have learned a great deal about musical theatre and what it is like to work in a professional atmosphere. From my experience with CYC, I now know that I would like to pursue a career in theatre. I look forward to being involved in another CYC production in the future."
Jonathan Muñoz-Proulx*, CYC Performer
*Jonathan is an extraordinary performer and is currently studying Theatre at the University of Southern California.
CYC is so amazing. The support and confidence my CYC youth theatre family gave me from the start, when we are working together or seeing one another's shows, gives wings to my passion for acting. Shaun Evans is my friend and a great director. Working under his direction and guidance helped me prepare for other professional shows. Thank you Shaun and thank you CYC.
Austyn Lind Myers, "Gavroche" from the Broadway National Tour and Broadway Revival of Les Miserables. Austyn is a CYC Associate Artist and co-star of the 20th Century Fox film "Meet Dave" with Eddie Murphy.
The professionalism, generosity of character, hard work and teamwork, that our daughter Hannah experienced as part of a CYC production, deeply impressed us. She grew as a performer, gaining confidence and taking chances. Shaun is a force of nature who inspired and motivated. We look forward to future involvement with CYC.
Anne Telford, Parent
Shaun Evans is one of the more talented stage actors I've worked with. His keen eye and creative vision make him a very good teacher and director. The young performers of San Diego are lucky to have him as a teacher.
Anthony Anderson, Comedian and Film Star of "The Departed", "Kangaroo Jack", "Me, Myself and Irene", and "Scary Movie 4", "The Shield" and "Law & Order"
Shaun works hard and plays hard. He is able to read actors very well, which gives him the knowledge and insight into how to approach a piece of work. There is a certain quality that comes out of Shaun's work that I have not seen in any youth theatre, plus he does shows that students would never be able to perform on a regular youth theatre stage. Shaun works his actors very hard and young students are given the opportunity to experience theatre in its profesional realm. Shaun gives respect and in return he gets respect from those actors who fully understand his artistic intentions. CYC is a hotbed for a new generation of youth theatre, a youth theatre that pushes the envelope for other theatres around it. Shaun knows the business well and well always tell you how it is, which is a necessity for a good theatre.
Luke Marinkovich*, Award-Winning San Diego-Based Actor and CYC Theatre Associate Artist
*Luke Marinkovich recently starred as "Roger" in CYC's production of the unedited RENT and is in his second year of study at the prestigious Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.
I have done three shows with CYC and believe that they are the best shows that a young perfomer who wants to have a career in theatre can do. Shaun holds all of his perfomers to high standards and they always achieve them. The atmosphere is not one of youth theatre, but one of learning how to be professional. I have worked with many great people during my time with CYC, and have learned scores about performing through Mr. Evans and my fellow actors. The quality of his casts, both in talent and personaltiy, is unparalelled in San Diego. Shaun puts together a show better than most directors I have worked with, and provides an enviornment in which young actors can get a taste of professional theatre.
Christopher Reed* CYC Performer
*Chris Reed was recently cast in his first Equity show at the renowned La Jolla Playhouse.