Christian Youth Theater Indianapolis will now be known as The Point Theater.
The local children’s theater program, which serves ages 4 to 18, decided not to renew its license with the national CYT organization when the three-year contract ended Jan. 1. It had been a CYT franchise for 13 years.
“The name comes from at the end of our show we do, all of the students point up to heaven to give God the glory,” said Laura Baltz, board member and artistic director. “It’s a really important part of our process.”
Baltz, a Carmel resident, said CYT members won’t notice much difference, with the biggest changes being the website and the name.
“The franchise cost quite a bit of money,” Baltz said. “Several years back, we stopped using their model. They had a model of weekly classes where we were required to have classes every week.”
Baltz said students were required to attend nightly weekday classes for 10 weeks, and most students just didn’t have the time, she said.
“Our attendance was falling,” Baltz said. “We started doing workshops that are a 90-minute, one-time workshop where you get training on improv, vocals or cold reading. We held those on different nights throughout the week or Sunday afternoon.
“We found that was much better for the kids because they could choose the model they wanted to go to.”
Baltz said the organization hadn’t been using the CYT curriculum. She said the instructors they use like to teach what they developed themselves.
“To be honest, the only thing we were using was the website, the name and the logo,” Baltz said.
Baltz said the cost was between $1,200 and $1,800 a month, along with a percentage of ticket sales.
“CYT has been great. They have been so wonderful to us,” Baltz said. “We love CYT. We are grateful for what they have given us. They gave us our start. They supported us during the pandemic, lowering our monthly rate. Unfortunately, it’s time for the sake of our students so we can do other things. We want to develop some good programming for the students on the autism spectrum, and that wasn’t part of their programming.
“It gives us a chance to diversify and use that money a little more wisely in a way that benefits our students.”
The first show under The Point Theater will be “Legally Blonde Jr.,” running Feb. 3-5 at Marian University in Indianapolis.
Zionsville Community High School junior Margaret Williamson has been attending CYT classes since she was 6 and has been doing shows since 2014.
“I think that this will be a fantastic transition,” Williamson said. “I think The Point will offer so many opportunities they haven’t been able to offer before. I think it’s good we get to hold the traditions that I hold near and dear to my heart. We always say ‘Crowns for Jesus, sing for the king’ after we pray. It was a tradition like that I was afraid would go away, but I found out we would still be able to do that.
“I think that’s one example of a tradition we are able to keep, along with new things being introduced.”
For more, visit thepointtheater.org.