CITA’s History

1987 – CITA was organized by a group of Christians meeting at Malone College in Canton, OH for a summer drama conference. This group was concerned that an ongoing network of conference and printed materials be available to Christian theatre artists who they perceived to be laboring in relative isolation from one another.

1989 – CITA was incorporated as a non-profit networking organization, and the first annual National Networking Conference of Christians In Theatre Arts was held in 1992, with 150 people attending.

1993 – At the conference CITA held its first annual CITA Auditions and Interviews, and its first annual Church Drama Festival. 275 people attended the conference

1995 – We held an international conference in England for a tour of York to see the York Mysteries, followed by a visit to Stratford. 450 people attended.

1996 – CITA was able to fund twelve scholarships to the conference, where 475 people attended. The same year, CITA coordinated a study for Baiba Seleck, a Latvian student. Her study tour took her to the A.D. Players, Lamb’s Players, Taproot Theatre, Seattle Pacific Theatre, Pacific Theatre in Vancouver, Trinity Western University, Chemainus Theatre, Willow Creek Church and Master Arts Co., and Saltworks Theatre.

1997 – The first CITA Distinguished Service Award was given to Dr. Gillette Elvgren. CITA was 1000 members strong and over two dozen successful regional conferences had been held across the US and Canada. 450 people attended the national conference.

1998 – CITA continued to grow until it was 1200 members strong. Over three dozen successful regional conferences were held across the US and Canada.

1999 – The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, based at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, gave CITA a $15,000 grant for a one-year study project on the role of theatre in worship settings. The grant was awarded under the Worship Renewal Grants Program which is funded by the Lilly Endowment. A prayer network was established and a new feature was included at  the conference, a bible study led by Harvey Johnson centered on the timely theme, “The Artist’s Journey.”

2000 – A dance component was added, and an international CITA workshop was held in the Primero Iglesia Bautista, Matanzas, Cuba. The Central Valley held their first regional conference and welcomed 61 conferees.

2005 – CITA was invited to take residence at the Kroc Community Center in Greenville, SC.

2006 – Our final national conference (for the time being…) was held in New York City.