Current Staff Members:

Sarah Fincher

Interim Artistic Director - Sarah was first introduced to CYT at the National Headquarters in San Diego while working for La Jolla Playhouse. After teaching for CYT San Diego, she transferred to Chicago in 2008 and was afforded the opportunity to serve in various functions from Customer Service to Director of Education, overseeing camps and classes, with a period as Interim Artistic Director. The privilege and joy of being a part of directing teams for 13 shows across 5 Chapters is one of the highlights of her career. While Sarah’s love for theater has forever been a part of her life, the Lord graciously led her into full-time ministry in 2014, overseeing Children’s Ministry at Harvest Bible Chapel. Sarah is honored to be serving CYT as Interim Artistic Director and as a board member among professionals who see the importance of sharing the love of Christ to children through theater. Her prayer is that all children will come to firmly accept and believe…”For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

Carol Engelhardt

Executive Managing Director — Carol found CYT in 2008, when her oldest of four children went to CYT summer camp and then auditioned for his first show. She, along with husband Stephen and all four children, continue to call CYT their family. Carol enjoyed mentoring children as backstage chair and camp coordinator as well as meeting parents as house chair prior to joining executive leadership. She is thankful for the opportunity to use her financial and management experience to serve the CYT community that has positively affected her family. Her prayer is that the families she serves will be better equipped ‘to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God.’ (Micah 6:8)

Elle Şahin

Production Director — Elle attended Belmont University in Nashville, TN as a musical theater major with a dance minor. She spent several years working in the Country and Christian Music Industry in Nashville as a voice over artist and session singer. She also was a featured soloist with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and a lead singer in the band, Jellesse. In 2006, she moved back to Chicago to be closer to family and began dancing and competing professionally with Fred Astaire Dance Studio. Soon after, she began teaching for CYT Chicago as Lake County's Project Dance Coach and quickly became fully immersed in the CYT community. After joining the office staff in 2013, Elle has enjoyed offering her expertise in several different facets of the company and is happy to be serving as Production Director overseeing productions and creative resources for classes and camps. In her free time, you can catch Elle coaching Project Dance in Lake County and choreographing shows in several different chapters. What a blessing it is to serve the Lord through theater, song, and dance.

Kristen Schinkel

Bookkeeping Manager — Kristen has worked in customer service since 2001, first working at American Hawaii Cruises, then for Kohl’s, and now for CYT. She loves working for an organization that has such an impact in the lives of children and getting the chance to interact with parents on a daily basis. Kristen attended McHenry County College, and has a Travel/Tourism degree. She loves reading, walking and hanging out with her family.

Alana Becker

Marketing Manager — Alana has been a part of CYT since 1998 when she took her first acting class. At age 9 she wrote and performed her first commercial for a CYT showcase, and fell in love with marketing. After graduating out of CYT, she went on to study Marketing and Photography in college. Alana is thankful to have the opportunity to market a company which makes such an impact in children and families lives. In her free time, Alana enjoys choreographing and helping out at her church. Alana has choreographed and directed over 30 productions with CYT Chicago, Overshadowed Theatrical Productions, and multiple schools in IL and IN.

Joseph Engelhardt

Website & Branch Administrator - Joseph joined CYT Chicago's Lake chapter in 2008 and brought his CYT training to the choir and musical theater productions at Trinity International University in 2013, where he studied English/Communications and Graphic Design. He continues to challenge himself creatively through juggling, writing, and longform dramatic improv. After a long time away from home, he is very happy to find a new place in the CYT Chicago family.

Alec Kinastowski

Technical Manager - Alec is thrilled to continue the collaboration with CYT Chicago. He has been immersed in the technical entertainment industry for over fifteen years and obtained a BFA in lighting design from The Theatre School at DePaul University. Since then, he has refined his aesthetic through lighting, sound, and scenic design endeavors for a countless number of productions and theatre companies all over Chicagoland including The Metropolis, Big Deal Production, The Devonshire Playhouse, Bravo, Wishing Star, Highland Park Players, St. James Productions, Schaumburg On Stage and many more. Alec is also the owner of Kinasthetics, Inc., a supplier of lighting and audio products, services, and installations for all facets of the entertainment industry with a portfolio all of its own.

Cindy Yach