Katie Heinemann, Artistic Director, grew up in San Diego, CA where she was blessed with starting her musical theatre experience at the ripe old age of 6 where she played Annie at a local adult community theatre. She stayed fairly active within the theatre community in southern California including shows at the Civic Light Opera, Regional theaters such as the Old Globe, as well as some film and TV credits. In her early teen years she leaned more towards pursuing a singing career as a duet with her singing partner that lead her to a developmental deal with RPM Management in Nashville, TN. After a solid couple years of traveling back and forth from California to Nashville, her singing partner decided to leave the group and attend college, which led Katie back to her roots in San Diego. After the split of the group, Katie went through a tough transition in her life. She decided she wanted to be re-united with the musical theatre community. She quickly realized that being apart of musical theatre again provided her with many positive opportunities for her in the prime years of her life. The experience was much more than just putting on a show for Katie; it was a safe haven for her to be herself without the pure pressures of adolescence. The parents, cast and crew all played positive roles through the act of unconditional love that supported the molding of Katie. Through Katie's trials and tribulations she has realized that it is more than just learning about the craft of singing, dancing and acting but it's also the journey of finding God's purpose for you. Katie is currently pursuing a Theatre Education degree in hopes of being an inspiration and mentor to other children by guiding them to find God's purpose for them through their gifts and doing it for the glory of God.
Cassy Gilchrist, Area Coordinator, has spent over twenty years working with students across all age levels in public education. She brings her own fond memories of theater in high school and college to CYT along with a strong desire to partner with parents, teachers, staff, and other key players to make the CYT experience as rich and fulfilling as possible to the Nashville community.
Steve Krell, Managing Director, is a native of British Columbia, Canada, and he and his family have lived in Tennessee for the past fifteen years. Originally a piano performance major, he transitioned to business and law, and his professional experience includes legal technology, business operations, and HR technology management. In addition, he has taught English in Moscow, Russia, worked in the media production department of a Chicago-area nonprofit, and served as Director of Community Ministries for an inner-city ministry in Minneapolis. He has also been a bi-vocational worship leader at churches in the Memphis and Nashville areas, where he directed and wrote various seasonal musical productions. Steve first connected with CYT when his oldest son enrolled after they moved to the Nashville area. His personal experience on stage began when he sang a solo in his Christian school’s performance of The Little Match Girl at age 8, followed by a role as Hopeful in Pilgrim’s Progress. He is excited to help CYT Nashville grow and positively impact students, families and the community through top quality training and productions.