About CCT

Photo by Wayne Frost

an unconventional THIRTY-seventh SEASON

Chino Community Theatre is a non-profit organization formed to broaden cultural opportunities within and for the community, with an emphasis on the theatrical setting, and to offer the community an opportunity to experience quality theatre productions.

#1 Community Theatre in the Nation • AACTFest 2009

REGION 8 AACTFest REPRESENTATIVE 1993, 1999, 2009, 2011 and 2019

Inland Valley's Best Live Theatre

2015, 2016 and 2017

Inland Valley's Best Live Entertainment


Chino Champion Readers' Choice Award Best Live Theatre


Photo by Gracie Arvizu

Chino Community Theatre actor, director John Lynd dies

By Brenda Dunkle , as published in the Champion Newspapers

May 9, 2020

After more than 50 years of following his dream to entertain, well-known community theatre actor John Lynd has taken his final bow.

Mr. Lynd, 63, who grew up in Chino and was a resident of Ontario, died Sunday, May 3 at Kaiser Hospital in Ontario from complications of pneumonia. He had been in the hospital about a week for a lung disease he had battled for seven years.

Mr. Lynd, who was nominated more than 50 times and won more than 30 Inland Theatre League awards, was a staple with the Chino Community Theatre group that presented plays at the Seventh Street Theatre.

Among his award-winning acting credits was “Death of a Salesman,” in which he played the main character Willy Loman, a salesman who dreams of being successful but is bogged down by the harsh realities of his life. Mr. Lynd’s wife, Toni, directed the play. She remembers that they had to console crying audience members, who said the portrayal reminded them of their own loved ones.

He also directed and wrote plays, including one-man productions about artist Vincent Van Gogh, founding father Ben Franklin, President Abraham Lincoln, writer Edgar Allan Poe, and Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth. Mr. Lynd is also known for his 1940s detective persona – wearing a fedora and wrinkled trench coat – who was featured at several murder mystery events in the area.

Mr. Lynd was born Sept. 20, 1956 in Southern California to John and Janet Lynd. He grew up in the Los Serranos area of what would become Chino Hills, and graduated from Chino High in the 1970s, later attending Chaffey College. While at Chino High, teacher Dave Isley put Mr. Lynd, a class clown, into a film class that “let him shine,” Mrs. Lynd said.

His interest in acting began at age 9 when his father began taking him to tapings of television shows, where he saw and met early television stars Red Skelton and Jonathan Winters.

Early in his career he was the opening act for the singing groups the Righteous Brothers, the 5th Dimension, and the Coasters. He also appeared at the Comedy Store and the Improv and was featured on ABC’s “America’s Funniest People” and won an episode of “The Gong Show,” an off-kilter talent show televised in the 1970s. He also taught comedy traffic school and acting classes.

He and Toni married in 1990, dressed as Prince Charming and Cinderella. Their guests were also in costume. In his last Facebook post, from the hospital on May 2, he posted a photo of he and his wife from their wedding. “Happiest day ever?? Looks like it to me,” he wrote. Mrs. Lynd described her husband as a “genuine, caring person…he literally championed people.”

This week, she has been reading the more than 400 social media posts written by friends and colleagues, mourning his loss and telling stories of how he mentored or helped them. A Go Fund Me account has been set up to assist Mrs. Lynd.

A celebration of life will be held at the Chino Community Theatre once coronavirus social distancing rules have been relaxed, allowing for a large gathering.

Tim and Karon Smith


One of the long-time members of our theatre family, Tim Smith, writes a weekly column for the Daily Democrat In Pauls Valley, Oklahoma. each week he sheds his beacon of light in support of the Arts and Arts programs in the region, state and across the country. This week's article highlights his dear friend and fellow artist, John Lynd.

Where A r [ts] Thou?

May 13, 2020

Remembering, there was always an opening night

Saluting the Seasons of an Actor

Since we first met in 1984 during auditions for the second production of a new community theatre in Chino, California, and up until his passing from a long illness on May 3rd, John and I spoke at least once a year during the first few minutes after the Academy Award ceremonies had ended. I learned more in that conversation than from all other sources combined up to that evening, he always knew the Hollywood scene, and the scores that accompanied our times. I was proud to include his yearly picks for the major Oscars in this column. I would be safe in saying, he nearly made a clean sweep every year. His beloved wife, Toni, was instrumental, I’m fairly certain, in assisting him with that final choice submission. It was arriving at those selections that is the more colorful story. I always had the sense that a beautiful aspect of their long and happy marriage was the competitive streak that was further ignited right up until the envelopes were opened. How I wished that I could have attended one of their famous Oscar watch parties. We lived in different states over the course of our relationship, sadly.

He followed the entertainment industry from the time he was a young boy, and it was there that we made our first significant connection, we were drawn to the ‘business of show’ at a very young age. We shared many a fun story about our mutual launch window. We only performed together in that one production, but it became the impetus that helped propel Chino Community Theatre, CCT, to great heights. Over the intervening 36 years, he was always there, lending his immense talent and vision, along with simple encouragement and support both on and off CCT’s stage.

Theater is family, and we have lost one of its truly special members. No matter where you are, when one of its muses leaves the scenes, we are all diminished as persons of the performance arts. John Lynd was more to those who knew him than simply a lover of theater, he was an accomplished actor, director, impersonator, master of ceremonies and the creator and then producer of his own work. Next week, some final reflections, including bringing celebrity into perspective, and he was the master.


To tell you part of the plot of Five-Door Farce would mislead you. To tell you more than that would reveal too much. When pressed about the play, I've said the following: It's a tragedy inside a parody of a farce. It's the collision of Noises Off and Six Characters in Search of Author. It's a farce, seriously. Exploring the themes of creation and Creation, gender roles, identity, religion, theater, determinism, and existentialism, it plays with the conventions of farce in a way that fans of farce will love and enemies of farce will appreciate. Oh, and it’s funny. - Robert Merrill, playwright


Tom Davis • Chris Diehl • JoAnn McArdle • Judy Miller

CCT Managing committee

Cindi East • Julie Mort • Debbi Ming

Gracie Arvizu • Chris Diehl • Toni Lynd • Kirk Lane • Doug Rumbaugh

Logo design by Bruce Hutchins
Patty Quiroz, AACTFest representative, Michael Buczynski, Rory Dyer, Kylie Reeves and Gracie Arvizu
Patty Quiroz, Michael Buczynski, Rory Dyer, Kylie Reeves and Gracie Arvizu at AACTFest 2019 in Gettysburg, PA • MARRIAGE PLAY

CCT RepresentS Region 8 at AACTFest again!

Chino Community Theatre's production of Edward Albee's Marriage Play earned the honor of performing at AACTFest 2019, the National Community Theatre Festival, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, June 18 - 22.

Chino Community Theatre’s production of Marriage Play was adjudicated by Gil Savage and Dennis Gilmore, and appointed to represent AACT Region VII by AACT Vice President Jim Walker. AACT Region VIII includes Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Guam. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Chino Community Theatre presented Marriage Play at AACTFest 2019 on Saturday, June 22, at 2:40pm in Gettysburg’s Majestic Theater. The production stared Rory Dyer and Michael Buczynski and was directed by John Lynd. It was wonderfully received by audiences and adjudicators alike.

AACTFest 2019 was the culmination of a two-year cycle of state and regional theatre AACT festivals and will feature twelve community theatre productions from across the United States and the U.S. Military Services overseas that received top honors in their respective state and regional festivals. These winners represent the best community theatre America has to offer. Performances will start on Tuesday, June 18, in the Majestic Theater and additional activities will be offered in the adjacent Gettysburg Hotel on Lincoln Square in downtown Gettysburg. The AACTFest 2019 National Theatre Festival includes theatre management and youth conferences, a youth theatre festival, educational workshops, top vendor displays, design and monologue competitions, social events, sightseeing, and networking opportunities, all ending with a festival awards presentation.

Each biannual AACTFest is a celebration of theatre and a learning experience for those who take part. AACT provides networking, resources, and support for America’s theatres. AACT represents the interests of more than 7,000 theatres across the United States, including Chino Community Theatre, and its territories, as well as theatre companies with the U.S. Military Services overseas.

Click here for tickets

All activities are predicated upon the response to COVID-19 safeguards and AB5 ramifications.