About CYP

“Youth Leadership Through the Arts Program”

Creative Youth Productions Inc. (CYP) was founded on October 14, 2011 as a not-for-profit corporation with an ongoing mission to develop youth leaders through the performing arts in Bridgeport, CT. CYP serves 150 youth in the Bridgeport Public School District annually providing job placements year round for 10 to 15 youth in its program, "Youth Leadership Through The Arts." The program provides dancing, singing, acting, and film located in several Bridgeport Public Schools.

The groundbreaking after-school program fosters leadership, self-confidence and professionalism by teaching the skills and advanced aspects of dance, singing, acting and film classes. CYP’s programs benefits at-risk students in Bridgeport through the arts—50% of whom are African American and 50% Hispanics. Youth leaders and members orchestrate this progressive model for by way of original production, from inception to fruition. In part, CYP’s mission is to address serious issues that affect our community and the lives of the participants. Our productions address current issues such as gun violence, bullying, teen pregnancy, and domestic violence.

DONNA SUE DEGUZMAN
(Executive Director)

A graduate of the performing arts school at Syracuse University has had a long history working with youth in Bridgeport. She began in 1993 at the McGivney Community Center where she began youth leadership through the arts. Within three years she had a core group of 60 middle and high school students writing plays, public service announcements and talk shows around teen pregnancy. She was then hired to expand the Regional Center for The Arts from an inter-district program to magnet status with the State. She did this within three years developing three departments and increasing their numbers from 30 students to 130 students. Along the way she won dozen of awards for RCA including the International American High School Festival Award in which she took 30 students to Scotland to perform. Since then she was the Artistic Director of the successful company, Original Works, Inc., where she continued youth leadership through the arts winning grants from the Office of Policy and Management, State of Connecticut and CDGB monies from the city. She also has won awards given by the Governor of CT, Secretary of State and Mayor of Bridgeport. Ms. DeGuzman is now the Executive Director of Creative Youth Productions and has secured a contract with Bridgeport Board of Education for three years bringing youth leadership through the arts to 5,6,7, and 8th graders and youth leadership positions to high school students. She has secured consistent funding from local funders to leverage this contract. She continues the legacy and mission for young people in middle and high school who have interest in the performing arts giving them a voice, work experience, stipends and professional opportunities. Ms. DeGuzman has written, created and developed over 50 original productions with youth in Bridgeport, CT. Currently she is bringing the new hit show, Annie, The Remix to the Klein Memorial Auditorium this summer where 50 youth will perform 62 pages of an original script to over 2,000 Bridgeport children.

 

Our Staff

SHEILA MCCARTHY
(Project Coordinator)

Sheila joined CYP as Administrative Assistant in 2013 after graduation from Fairfield University. Within a year she became Project Coordinator bringing together every aspect of administrative needs, communication and coordination of all classroom, rehearsals, events and productions. Sheila quickly and easily collected and communicated data from 150 children as well with most of their parents. Most recently she has become secretary of CYP Board of Directors keeping all accounting records for the company and administrative needs of the CYP board as well.

TENISI DAVIS
(Artistic Director)

Tenisi is a dancer, writer, performer, and teacher in the performing arts. He has been Artistic Director of CYP for three years. He taught for five years at the Neighborhood Studio of Fairfield County and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Camp. He attends Housatonic Community College where he has produced many productions to standing ovations. He teaches African, Hip-Hop, lyrical and choreography, African percussion, theater and creative writing. He has worked professionally on music videos, theater and film. He has won and received at the White House, The Coming Up Taller Award from Debbie Allen and First Lady Laura Bush. He attended the Performing Arts Center of Connecticut on a full scholarship. Tenisi worked with Donna Sue DeGuzman for several years where he choreographed for her students several dances that landed on you tube with over 3,000 hits.

LEANDRA BROOKS
(Head Theater/Singing Departments)

Leandra is currently in her fourth year at Housatonic Community College studying Early Childhood Studies. She is a graduate of CYP’s Youth Leadership Program and has been teaching and directing in the acting department for four years. Leandra has created dozens of original sketches and plays including her Barber Shop series. She been the lead in many original shows including Dying to Live, The Spanish Soap Opera, and won a mini grant to direct an anti-under drinking age film called Sixteen Candles. Most recently she snagged the lead role in a movie produced here in CT with 4 Peace, The New Haven Police Department, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of CT and Stop Handgun Violence.

KALI TEMPLE
(Head, Singing Department)

Kali is18 years old and is quite accomplished. She just graduated Platt Technical High School. She studied for four years at CYP and when she graduated the youth leadership program Ms. DeGuzman approached her for the head position of the singing department. She has written and taught dozen of main stage songs for CYP productions. She claims that CYP taught her so much much about teaching, directing, and writing. Out of all the songs that I have made I would say that my favorites are “Reach For It” which was written for last summer’s production called RainyBlu and the 7 Bopping Dwarfs. She co-wrote and performed a new song, “The Vibez” for Fairfield County Community Foundation’s annual and super successful FCGivingDay. They first performed with 77 youth participants in a flash mob at Danbury Mall which made the front cover of the Connecticut Post. It was requested again at FCCF’s Breakfast Launch in Fairfield. “CYP is an amazing program and I can definitely see us all growing and becoming even better in the future. This has been an awesome experience! I am looking forward to the great things that will be taking place here.”

TYSONLEE NEWMAN
(Acting/Singing Departments)

Tysonlee is 18 years old and a graduate from Bassick High School, he will be attending Housatonic Community College in the fall of 2016. Tyson joined CYP in the spring of 2013 with a goal to take on a leadership role. Now that he has become a staff member he’s very excited to find out what the future holds. He’s worked on many sketches and songs for Creative youth productions. Tyson has landed lead roles in productions such as Grandma Got’s Grabbed, Under the Gun, The Tom Madison Show, From Shades to Hollywood Lights, Rainyblu and the Seven Bopping Dwarfs, and most recently the lead in the original production Annie, The Remix. Tyson has been working on teaching and inspiring other students at CYP. “There was a time in my life where I didn’t show any emotions at all. I talk a lot now and I don’t fight anymore. CYP is an awesome program and I’m thankful for everything CYP has done for my life. CYP is my family.

BENJAMIN SALDANA
(Acting/Script Writing Departments)

Benjamin is 19 years old. A graduate of CYP’s Youth Leadership Program, Assisting and leading warm ups, writing scripts, and playing lead roles in plays such as This Is Me, Dying to Live, One Shot Lost, Under the Gun, RainyBlu and the 7 Boppin Dwarfs, and Annie: The Remix. He graduated from the Bullard Havens Tech High School bakery, and is currently working on his at home cake decorating business, “The Sugar Lab.” Aside from his passion for pastry arts, Ben has a true love for the performing arts. When he joined the program in 2008, he was shy and unsure of his talent. In no time, he burst out of his shell and began landing roles. Ben recently began shifting his focus on more youth and police related work. He attended the “Fight4AFuture” Juvenile Justice Reform and Gun violence prevention Summit in Chicago, Illinois. Also the very first round table discussion about reworking the juvenile justice system, which was held in Washington, DC. He was also asked to facilitate a session at the 2016 Coalition for Juvenile Justice Summit in Washington, DC. Currently, he is outlining a play called “RED” that he plans to develop with other youth leaders based around real life issues between youth and police. “I look forward to many more years working alongside CYP, it has become my home away from home!”

JOSHUA DEGUZMAN
(Film/Acting/writing/Directing Departments)

Joshua is 17 years old and is a senior at Newtown High School. He started acting at 9. Last year he had his directorial debut writing and directing an original black history show, Chasing Freedom at Housatonic Community College. He has played all kind of parts through the years along with lead parts in many shows. Dying to Live, One Shot Lost, Under the Gun, RainyBlu and the 7 Boppin Dwarfs. He is head of the film department creating dozens of short films pieces for CYP’s you tube channel and social media. He has designed and helped with constant content for the CYP website. He is currently working on a short documentary about the process of the hit show Annie, The Remix and playing a supporting role in the summer production of Annie, The Remix.

 

© 2016 Creative Youth Productions Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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