Noun The protective, nurturing shell that enables a caterpillar to grow into a magnificent, soaring butterfly
"Chrysalis Youth Theatre uses the performing arts to create chrysalis experiences that help people to blossom and thrive"
Who Are We?
Chrysalis is a family-oriented Christian youth theatre program that uses the performing arts to help people to blossom and thrive, both on stage and in their every-day lives. We currently operate as an independent ministry of Valley Church (10885 N. Stelling, Cupertino, CA 95014).
What Does The "Chrysalis" Experience Look Like?
We strive to create and maintain a joy-filled, nurturing, respectful environment, free from bullying, backstabbing, gossip, discrimination and cliques. Chrysalis is a safe and supportive opportunity for young people to grow and become the special and unique individuals God made them to be.
Each student is allowed grow at his own pace, while being encouraged and gently guided into new-found confidence, joy, and skill. Our students work together cooperatively as a family, as they learn to communicate clearly and genuinely, to set goals, to overcome obstacles, to take pride in their work, and to discover the beautiful spirit and unique gifts that each of them were created with.
What's Holding You Back? How Our Groundbreaking Approach Helps Students To Soar!
Every single day in the classroom is shaped according to the needs of students individually and as a group. We use their natural creative and playful instincts as we help them explore theatre skills and unlock their fullest potential personally and artistically. It all starts with creating the right kind of environment for students to develop a healthy foundation for learning. We utilize a variety of games and activities to help students to break through any nerves or discomforts that may be preventing them from communicating in a clear, natural, and authentic manner on or off the stage. We help them learn to open up, to be completely comfortable and confident, so they can express themselves freely, clearly, and intentionally. Once students can do that, the sky is the limit.
Beauty From Ashes: The Inspiration For Chrysalis
Our program was inspired by God, shaped by the incredible impact theatre had in the life of our founder, Steven Brown. As a young teenager, Steven went through a very dark time as he faced bullying, a severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, and severe depression. It was this experience that gave Steven the seeds for what would later become Chrysalis.
Steven's first involvement in theatre came in his junior year of high school, as he emerged from this dark time a broken shell of a person, lacking in purpose, struggling to allow himself to feel emotion again, to trust people, to simply live life. He was shy, withdrawn, and utterly lacking in confidence. His bullies had told him he was not special, and he had come to believe it. He had been told he was a terrible singer, that it was painful to hear him sing. He feared that was true. But somehow he felt led to do the scariest of things: he felt led to audition for a theatre show. This experience changed his life, as he walked tentatively into the theatre and was welcomed with open arms by people he had never met, people who were filled with unbridled enthusiasm and joy, people who accepted Steven wholly and unconditionally. For the first time, Steven felt like he belonged, like he was valued. Over the ensuing years, theatre gave Steven some of the best experiences of his life, and also helped him learn some very hard lessons.
Shortly after Steven graduated from high school, Steven was blessed with his first opportunities for directing and teaching theatre. It was there, in a teacher's meeting, that Steven suddenly felt God telling him to start a non-profit Christian youth theatre program. Steven began researching and reaching out to people. A year later, in 2012, Chrysalis started its very first class. Since then, it has performed 2-5 shows every year, with highlights including a fully-staged production of Peter Pan complete with professional flying effects, and a full-scale production of Les Miserables featuring kids, adults, huge sets, and a full orchestra.
No matter what age they are, we want to help our students to have the curiosity and the wide-eyed wonder of a child. We want them to be able to play, to have fun as they use their imagination and creativity and playful nature to portray heroes, villains, rocks, trees, dinosaurs, or whatever the situation calls for.
We encourage students to be at peace with where they are "in the moment". Not stressing about what may or may not happen next, not worrying about how they look, or what they're wearing, or what others might be thinking about them. Simply being in control of what they can control and letting go of the rest.
Working As A Family
The discipline to work together with others through all challenges. Peacefully resolve conflicts, work through differences, and conquer obstacles as a team. Can both lead and follow respectfully, diligently, and with humility.
Succeeding not by winning or losing, but by learning, innovating, conquering obstacles, achieving goals, and building up those around you. Creating and maintaining an environment where everybody involved can find success. Success measured not in money, fame, or awards, but by personal growth and positive impact on those around you.
The Fruit Of The Spirit
In all things, choosing to pursue love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, thankfulness, and self-control.
Finding Your Blank Slate
Ridding yourself of all tension, emotion, pre-conceived notions, and nervous ticks. Being able to build a character from a state of complete neutrality. Not holding yourself back, not throwing yourself forward, not otherwise getting trapped by yourself.
Healthy Body Conditioning, Awareness, And Control
Physical exercises through dance and play that naturally build up strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination. Training to isolate movements and be in control of your body. Encouragement to eat healthily and take care of yourself so you can perform to your fullest potential and enjoy life.
Developing a thorough, well-rounded understanding of theatre history and the various techniques, theories, philosophies, and skills. Learning to discover the history behind the story and character you are working on. Developing the curiosity and and enjoyment of theatre to pursue further knowledge and understanding, seeking to learn not only the "what", but also the "why", the "when", and the "how".
Multi-Faceted Performance Skills
Able to tell a story through both voice and body. Can be both dramatic and comedic, can play a wide range of characters. Develop a through understanding and control of physical and vocal dynamics.
Authenticity and Passion
Learning to express oneself clearly, authentically, and with real, genuine emotion.