Why This HYT-A-Thon?
During these unprecedented times it is more important than ever to pull together as a community and support one another. Over 100 members of the HYT family came together to celebrate HYT!
Through this HYT-A-Thon we are so excited to provide the opportunity to spend a few hours with you as a community sharing performances and
testimonials from our current HYT participants and alums. We feel this is a meaningful way to stay in touch and engaged in a healthy and respectful manner.
Why should I donate?
The Board and staff are very mindful that we must be flexible and ready to change up our programming to a virtual online presence, if need be, in light of COVID 19.
We have created a “digital” online presence with a portal to a variety of resources including exclusive interviews with Broadway industry professionals, educational videos, weekly video challenges, and more that can also be used to virtually implement various aspects of HYT programs, as we move forward, if necessary.
Your tax-deductible donation will help keep our doors open and help us to provide new, up to date and exciting opertunities for all of our students (while keeping our prices affordable).
Support Us Today!
If you find yourself in a position to help, now is the time to support Heights Youth Theatre.
Help us exceed our $20,000 goal!
From $25 to $2500, gifts of any size make a huge difference. Please consider helping us during these challenging times so we can continue to create, engage as a community and provide high quality theatrical experiences for our youth.
We are so grateful for any financial support you can provide today!
#HYTGive #HYTMakesMagic #HYTOnline
(Suggested donation- $25 per hour watched)
Heights Youth Theatre has been in existence for 65+ years and serves close to 3,500 youth and Families each season.
At HYT, our youth participants are directed by dedicated, talented theater professionals in an environment that fosters character development, increased empathy, and an inclusive community for young people. Youth also have the opportunity to shine on stage, behind the scenes, and/or in the orchestra pit. Furthermore, young people are exposed to the fundamentals of stagecraft as they learn the art of performance, community, compassion, and teamwork.
Impact COVID-19 had on HYT
Due to COVID 19, we have had to postpone and/or cancel productions, our annual benefit, and summer camp. This has and will continue to have a significant impact on our revenue stream.
We anticipate a loss of at least $25,000 to our organization over the next several months.
HOW HYT IS HELPING OUR STUDENTS DURING THIS TIME
Please scroll down on this page to see all of the “cool things” we have been working on to increase our virtual online presence to continue to connect us together while providing opportunities to learn and create.
In this time, HYT is committed to continuing to inspire and educate our students. Over the next few weeks, we will be rolling out a bunch of free digital content for you! We have many exciting things coming up including HYT exclusive interviews with top Broadway industry professionals, educational videos, weekly video challenges and more!
Hear from the professionals and ask your questions!
HYT was able to secure several interviews with TOP industry professionals for all of out HYT community. Check out these videos and be sure to take notes and watch for new videos!
HYT 2019-2020 Season
The Magic of Theatre and the Transformative impact of Inclusion!
Once On This Island
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Though I had performed in musicals at HYT before (INTO THE WOODS and JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT), YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN my freshman year of high school was my first experience being in “the business of theater”. I was given the opportunity to act as the Production Assistant for the show—during which I learned how to look at theater (and independently, talent themselves) from an administrative viewpoint. I went on to major in Theater in college, with a concentration in Theater Management and a minor in Arts Administration. Now, I’m a Talent Agent at ICM Partners in New York City, working with actors from both the comedy and theater world. If it weren’t for HYT, I’m not sure I would have ever had that first high school taste of the business of Entertainment.
I have a confession to make, when I was in THE KING AND I in first grade, I gave myself a line in the middle of the show that threw off the entire scene (oh yeah, and this was the recorded performance). Laura Gee was NOT happy, and ultimately I was also pretty ashamed of myself, but in that moment of speaking on stage to an audience of people, something was ignited within me. I loved the way it felt to have a special moment to shine and realized how much being on stage was like being part of a team-for the show to go smoothly, everyone’s part was crucial (whether you had a line or not). I did at least 10 shows at HYT before graduating high school and going to NYU where I was an acting major. I caught the theater bug at HYT and have never looked back since, this place and all of the people associated with it helped me become the creative I am today and gave me the confidence in myself to continue to pursue my dreams-even when I don’t have a line.
Heights Youth Theatre has always been a place where dreams are born. I look back on my childhood and smile knowing that I was part of a beautiful family that was completely giving of one's self to change our community through the performing arts. For many of us, it was and will always be the first "spark of creation", the first place that we took flight in our artistic careers! I will always remember the hallowed halls of Wiley middle school And be filled with endless joy. Thank you Heights Youth Theatre for shaping my dreams and giving me the best childhood memories! XOXO
To say that Heights Youth Theater was like a second home to me, would be a terrible understatement. For 11 years, HYT was a home just as near to my heart as any home could be. When I stepped onto that stage at age 7 for my Joseph audition, I had no idea that I was in a place that would change my life forever. HYT was never just an ordinary youth theater. The friends we made there truly became our family, and therefore the art we created together was so much more than just a few kid's shows. We created something just as beautiful onstage as we did offstage. The time we spent outside of shows and rehearsals together; laughing, singing, crying...are some of the best memories I have. We truly grew up together at HYT, learning from and inspiring each other. Such a diverse group of people, all brought together by one beautiful passion. As a young kid, I never would have dreamed that some of the "big kids" that I looked up to and respected so highly, would become some of my closest friends, or that one day I would become one of the "big kids" myself. Heights Youth Theater taught me to embrace who I am...to open up my soul and my mouth, and just let it all out. I learned so much more from all of the tremendous directors, music directors, choreographers, stagemanagers, crew members and peers that I have had the incredible privilege to work with, than I could ever even begin to say. The experiences I had there, the memories I made, and the family I gained are all things that still impact who I am every single day, and that I know will continue to do so for the rest of my life.
You will know heartache, prayers that don't work, and times of bitter circumstances; but I still believe in second chances. Children of Eden, written by Steven Schwartz, was my first show at Heights Youth Theatre: a place that soon became my artistic home, as a young artist in Cleveland. It was where I first felt the distinct power and joy that comes from collaborating with other young artist with big dreams. Theatre began to transition from a place of entertainment to a place of sanctuary- where I could fly and fall and still feel free. Through HYT, I made life-long friendships, met and worked with many of my role models still in the art form today, and cultivated a new, deeper passion for theatre that only comes from building a show with the ones you love.
I loved doing shows at HYT. I Did Snoopy, Oliver, Peter Pan, and Joseph. I went to school in Orange so I really enjoyed making new friends at HYT. I remember feeling like I was doing something really special when I performed on that stage. The facilities were so nice (and big!) it was a thrill to open a show and perform it for the next 5 or 6 weekends. It gave me my first taste of a long running show! Thanks for all the memories!
Heights Youth Theatre. Definitely brings back some incredible memories. I only did one production with HYT (Children of Eden) but it will go down as one of my favorite high school theatrical experiences. I had the opportunity to play one of my dream roles at the time, Cain, and sing Lost in the Wilderness night after night. Since then, I have had the amazing opportunity to get to know the composer Stephen Schwartz on a personal level, and we have bonded over that song! It's crazy how things come full circle. Though it is a place for high schoolers and younger, HYT gave me the closest thing to a truly professional experience. Not only that, we had so much fun! I created friendships that I will have for the rest of my life. I remember how much I enjoyed performing a show for more than one weekend. We did 3 or 4 weekends of "Children of Eden" and to me, that was SUCH a long time. I loved it. I miss HYT greatly, and I hope all the young Cleveland actors out there have the privilege to perform there!
Pure magic is what I felt when I began performing with Heights Youth Theatre at the age of 11. One might think that magic must come from the lights, the costumes, and the stage. While that is of course a beautiful part of being involved with a theatrical production, the real magic came from the people. Theatre exists to bring people together and the family I gained from HYT is one that will last forever. I would not trade that for the world.