Who We Are

First Act Theatre Arts

Is more than just a name. It represents the first act of children and families joining a community where they make new friends, discover new talents through excellent education, and reap the benefits of caring mentorship in their theatrical arts journey. With over twenty years of experience in training students, First Act Theatre Arts has hundreds of graduates who are fulfilling their career path dreams. Some are performers on Broadway; others travel in touring companies at home and abroad; others use their training to excel in their chosen career paths. Our alumni continue to change the world as a result of solid character and leadership skills developed through their First Act training.  

Our Values

First Act Theatre Arts celebrates and cultivates the uniqueness and talents of individuals through its educational programs and family-friendly performance opportunities. We provide a safe space for children, youth, and families to join together in building skills and community resulting in personal growth and lifelong friendships. We believe that training in the arts is training for life as perseverance, teamwork, navigating triumphs and trials, and building self-esteem are core elements of our theatrical instruction. We embrace the best of our respective faith traditions as we embrace one another in kindness and care. We seek to honor God in the quality of our educational programs and productions and in the way we treat each other.

Our Mission Statement

First Act Theatre Arts is a Kansas City-area nonprofit organization that encourages excellence in the theatrical arts, fostering character and community building through training, performance, and fellowship in a faith-based environment.

Our Mission Statement

First Act Theatre Arts is a Kansas City-area nonprofit organization that encourages excellence in the theatrical arts, fostering character and community building through training, performance, and fellowship in a faith-based environment.

Our Story

In 2000, three inspired families started the journey to become an affiliate of Christian Youth Theater in Kansas City. They were joined by many dedicated leaders who helped to create a safe place for young people and their families to follow God’s direction and grow a wonderful community. Over the last 21 years, thousands of students and parent volunteers helped CYT Kansas City develop strong theatre training, produce excellent musical and non-musical productions, and focus on God’s love for everyone. 

The year 2020 was hard for all, and our organization was no exception. We prayed for God’s guidance to find a way forward. In 2021, we made the difficult decision to no longer be an affiliated organization and became First Act Theatre Arts. We remain grateful for our CYT history and its impact on youth and families in Kansas City both on and off the stage.

Although change is difficult, this new name and chapter in our story holds the promise of great things to come. The creativity, innovation, and imagination that brought us to the present day continues through the hard work of our dedicated board, staff, and community. At First Act Theatre Arts, our commitment to excellence in arts education and our dedication to honoring God in all that we do remains. This is the “first act” of a new journey.

Our Journey

2000 – CYT branch established in Kansas City

2001 – First south production – Little House on the Prairie

2002 – North expansion – North Kansas City – first production – Tom Sawyer

2004 – First Summer Overnight Master Camp – Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

2005 – Dance Studio opens

2006 – East Expansion – Lee’s Summit, MO – first production – Robin Hood

2006 – HEART program opens creating an inclusive space for children with disabilities to participate in the arts

2011 – West Expansion – Shawnee/Lenexa, KS – first production – Robin Hood

2013 – Our 100th production –  Tarzan

2016 – First Full Show Middle School Master Camp – Godspell Jr.

2017 – First Drama Camp – Macbeth

2018 – First Regular Season Full Play – The Complete Works of Wm. Shakespeare (Abridged)

2018 – Collaboration with Overland Park Orchestra to present Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite

2019 – First “Full Show” Summer Day Camp – Seussical Kids

2020 – Vocal Studio opens using a college seminar model

2021 – Students ages 2-4 can begin training in our Mommy and Me dance class

2021 – Acting Studio opens with a focus on acting techniques and individual improvement

Our Journey

2000 – CYT branch established in Kansas City

2001 – First south production – Little House on the Prairie

2002 – North expansion – North Kansas City – first production – Tom Sawyer

2004 – First Summer Overnight Master Camp – Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

2005 – Dance Studio opens

2006 – East Expansion – Lee’s Summit, MO – first production – Robin Hood

2006 – HEART program opens creating an inclusive space for children with disabilities to participate in the arts

2011 – West Expansion – Shawnee/Lenexa, KS – first production – Robin Hood

2013 – Our 100th production –  Tarzan

2016 – First Full Show Middle School Master Camp – Godspell Jr.

2017 – First Drama Camp – Macbeth

2018 – First Regular Season Full Play – The Complete Works of Wm. Shakespeare (Abridged)

2018 – Collaboration with Overland Park Orchestra to present Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird Suite

2019 – First “Full Show” Summer Day Camp – Seussical Kids

2020 – Vocal Studio opens using a college seminar model

2021 – Students ages 2-4 can begin training in our Mommy and Me dance class

2021 – Acting Studio opens with a focus on acting techniques and individual improvement