Next Steps

Using research-based best practices, Next Steps serves young people through our philosophy of teaching life skills through stage skills. We strive to help each student take his or her next steps as an artist and a person.

We serve both verbal and non-verbal students, students with classic autism, PDD-NOS, other sensory processing disorders, and Asperger's. With small class sizes, our curriculum explores acting, singing, dancing and improvisation, through which students improve social understanding, fine and gross motor skills, empathy, conversation skills, public speaking and confidence. 

Our Next Steps Theater Academy classes consist of:

  • Acting Theory: Explore character, relationships, action and text while developing overall acting skills and confidence.
  • Musical Theater: Increase your versatility and work on new vocal and dance techniques while exploring the art of telling a story through words, music and movement.

Check out our feature on PBS!


Fall 2020 Next Steps Virtual Classes

    Designed for students on the autism spectrum, these Next Steps classes takes students into the world of a beloved story, helping them take their next steps as an artist and a person. First Stage creates a safe space for all students to be creative and express themselves without judgment or fear of failure. Next Steps students will explore the Academy curriculum of Acting, Voice and Movement, and Musical Theater, as they bring beloved stories to life on the stage....or screen, in this case!
    All classes will take place via the digital platform Zoom. Links will be released to students the Friday before each session. Purchase individual sessions (discount applied when purchasing 4 or more), or the package of all 8 to receive a $15 discount. 
    We welcome new families to our Next Steps program by offering a trial session completely free. Please contact Next Steps Assistant Director Coltyn Giltner at cgiltner@firststage.org to enroll in a free session. 

FALL 2020 DATES


Our Sensory Friendly Performances feature a welcoming environment including adjusted sounds and lighting, smaller audiences sizes, and available quiet areas staffed by educators experienced with the care of students with autism and other developmental differences. 


Next Steps is a winner of the Business Journal's Eureka Awards, which recognize creativity, innovation, leaps forward and progress in business, the arts, education, health care and other areas.