Julie Hunt began her journey with CYT North Idaho when her daughter wanted to audition for the first show, a tour group of A Christmas Carol. They only had one other boy audition and were worried whether they could actually make this first show a reality. She brought her two boys and CYTNI has been a staple in our community ever since. For two of her kids, the performing bug has never left. Julie was the bookkeeper from 2008 to 2013 and then again beginning in 2017. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting and is a retired CPA. She also is a Certified Biofeedback Specialist and helps people manage stress.
Jessica Belisle is ecstatic to be joining the staff of CYT North Idaho as the New Artistic Director! Jessica is a CYT Spokane Alumna, her love for theater started when she was 8 years old and she saw her first CYT show (Sleeping Beauty)! Jessica studied History and Theater at Carroll College in Helena Montana and has been working with CYT since 2011 as a Production Intern, Intern Artistic Director, HYPE Advisor, Camp Director Teacher and Director! Jessica firmly believes that through theater arts education a student can develop greater self awareness, empathy, discipline, teamwork, focus, passion, joy and confidence! Her goal is to cultivate an environment where every class, every production, every interaction, allows each student passing through CYT’s doors to feel, included, uplifted and inspired. She hopes that the vibrant CYT culture will build each student’s skills and provide opportunities for those skills to be grown! Jessica thanks the CYT board for the opportunity to work with this remarkable program and she can’t wait to get to know each and every one of you!
Bonnie has a degree in Vocal Performance and Communication. Bonnie has acted for over 17 years in many community theater company's including CCT, and has 20 years of dance. She also has worked with children in many compacities including teaching, directing, and coaching. Her love for the Lord and kids is why she is here. "God gave us these talents, let's use them for His Glory. It's all His stage."
Bonnie has a Degree in Vocal Performance and Communication. As a Vocal Performer her most memorable performance was by far her two trips to Carnegie Hall. Bonnie has acted for over 17 years in many community theater company's including Magenta Community Theater in Vancouver WA, Grace Community in Houston TX, CCT, Coeur d' Alene. She has over 20 years of dance; her favorite form of dance is Hip Hop, and Ballroom. She has also worked with children in many capacities including teaching, directing, and coaching. Her love for the Lord and kids is why she is here. "God gave us these talents, let's use them for His Glory. It's all His stage."
Chris Tortora began his career in the entertainment industry as a stuntman for numerous stunt shows at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida and was personally hand selected by George Lucas to portray Han Solo for Disney Hollywood Studios. While working stunt shows in Florida, he met Cinderella at Walt Disney World and they were soon married. He has also worked on many television shows like SeaQuest w. Roy Scheider, Mortal Kombat the series and From Earth to the Moon with Tom Hanks and Mark Harmon. Working as a Stuntman, Director and Stunt Coordinator has also allowed him to travel the globe, and in 1999, King Solomon’s Mines, (a stunt show he Stunt Coordinated and Directed), became the #1 Show in Europe. Locally he is known as Marshal Jack in the train stunt show out at Silverwood Theme Park. In addition to writing, casting, directing, stunt coordinating and creating shows for Silverwood, he has also stunt coordinated shows for Christian Youth Theater and local High schools. In 2015, he became a published author (under pen name Jack Castle) with Edge Sci-fi and Fantasy Publishing. His novels have been consistently ranked as the Top 100 Bestselling books on Amazon and are available worldwide in e-book and print. For more information on his books, visit: www.JackCastlebooks.com
Erin Allsup is a CYTNI alumni. She was introduced to this organization back in 2011 and performed in over a dozen shows. Behind the scenes, Erin studied various styles of dance at Northern Dance Academy. Under the direction of Nicola Hanson, she learned tap, jazz, ballet, lyrical, etc. Dance has always been a passion for Erin. She loves having the opportunity to teach others. She hopes to eventually go on to choreograph shows on the big stage.
Jessica Belisle is ecstatic to be the new Artistic Director of CYT North Idaho! Jessica is a CYT Spokane Alumna, her love for theater started when she was 8 years old and she saw her first CYT show, Sleeping Beauty. Jessica studied History and Theater at Carroll College in Helena, Montana and has been working with CYT since 2011 as a Production Intern, Intern Artistic Director, HYPE Adviser, Camp Director, Teacher, and Director. Jessica firmly believes that through theater arts education a student can develop greater self-awareness, empathy, discipline, teamwork, focus, passion, joy and confidence. Her goal is to cultivate an environment where every class, every production, every interaction, allows each student passing through CYT’s doors feel, included, uplifted and inspired. She hopes that the vibrant CYT culture will build each student’s skills and provide opportunities for those skills to be grown.
Kynzie Washington is thrilled to be returning to CYT. From ages 10 to 18, she participated in camps, classes, and shows at CYT and loved every minute. Since graduating from CYT, Kynzie has been primarily involved in local community theater. In the past couple years, she has taught camps with Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre and has directed Seussical and Willy Wonka at Dalton Elementary. Kynzie will be graduating from North Idaho College this spring and will pursue a career in children’s theatre and education. Theatre has taught her more than she ever thought it could and she hopes to share her joy for the performing arts with all of her students.
Laurel Vanderhoof has been a part of CYT North Idaho for the last 12 years performing in about 20 shows, as well as teacher assisting, and is excited to share her experiences with the new generation of upcoming artists. She is currently working her way into traveling and seeing the world. Her love for the arts and teaching exudes in great amounts. She would love to be teaching primary education in her future. CYT has been her whole life, and Laurel is thrilled and passionate about being a kick starter for some of the next stars of the stage.
Paisley DuPuis is a CYT North Idaho alumni, her first show with CYT dating back to 2008. As well as being involved in CYT Paisley is also a trained dancer and has taken classes in ballet, jazz, lyrical, tap and hip hop and has been teaching dance for the past five years. She recently graduated from North Idaho College with an AA in music. Paisley has loved being involved over the years in many different aspects of CYT including being a CYT camp counselor and choreographer , teaching classes and choreographing for both CYT and CCT productions. She is very excited to be teaching for CYT this session and to be able to be a part of a new generation of CYT students experience in the program.
River Hopkins has years of experience in stage management and technical theatre. She started working in greenroom years ago when her daughter auditioned for and was in her first show. She then moved from greenroom to house to tech. Since then she has worked with CYT Spokane, North Idaho, ACT, LCP, LLT, and CST. She looks forward to sharing her knowledge and passion with the wonderful kids here in North Idaho.
Tracy began her dance career at 3 years old. She has won numerous trophies and awards in ballet, jazz and tap. At 18 she was hired to dance for Tokyo Disneyland in Japan, performing in shows as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. Upon returning home, Tracy was offered the role of Dance Captain and Swing for the Disney World Corporation. She was featured in numerous filmings, trained in adagio and harness work for the Animal Kingdom's Lion King Show and worked with many celebrities. While living in New York she assisted the Disney Casting Director in recruiting and was offered the role of the White Cat, Victoria, in the Broadway show, "Cats" by Andrew Lloyd Weber. Tracy has also trained in stunt work with her husband, professional stunt coordinator, Chris Tortora. Recently, she choreographed several numbers for the Festival of Trees Gala locally and she assists with the casting and training of talent for Silverwood.