First Stage Theater Academy is the nation’s leading theater training program for young people. Students in grades K4-12 will develop skills in musical theater, scene study, Shakespeare, improvisation, and much more, while simultaneously building life skills, such as confidence, focus, and teamwork, learning from the area’s leading theater artists. One, two, three, and four-week sessions are available at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center. Learn more in our Summer Academy Brochure.
Registration for Summer 2023 is now open!
Learn more about:
- Story Drama Grades K4-1
- Playmakers Grades 1-2
- Grades 3-4 Sessions
- Grades 5-12 Sessions
- Company Class Grades 9-12
- Next Steps for Students on the Autism Spectrum
- Tuition & Financial Assistance
- New Student Orientation
We are accepting applications for our Summer Academy 2023 Student Intern (grades 8 & up in Fall 2023) positions.
View our Summer Academy Brochure
Grades K4 - 1
Bring exciting tales to life through dramatic play! Through drama- based activities, young people will begin to develop their actor toolbox of body, voice, and imagination, all while strengthening their ability to focus, cooperate with others, and solve problems. One-week, half-day sessions for new & returning students.
Young actors will go on a new adventure each week as they utilize creative thinking as a group to further develop their beginning acting skills. Students will work as a group to pull inspiration from popular themes, create their own stories, and act them out together! One-week, half-day sessions for new & returning students.
Grades 3-4 Sessions
Students wanting to learn performance fundamentals (or expand upon their existing knowledge) will explore core elements of actor training, rotating through the various subjects each day: musical theater, voice & movement, and acting/scene study. One-week or two-week full-day sessions for new & returning students available.
Grades 5-12 Sessions
Two, three, and four-week sessions are available for new and returning students.
Two-Week Sessions: Students will rotate through theater curriculum that explores the fundamental elements of theater training: Shakespeare; Improvisation; Playwriting and Design; Contemporary Acting Theory; Musical Theater; and Voice, Speech and Movement.
Three-Week Sessions- Students will spend three weeks rotating through theater curriculum developing tools essentials to the craft of theater.
Four-Week Sessions-Returning First Stage students will continue their theater training through immersion in our theater curriculum, diving deeper into all aspects of theater to help refine and sharpen their skills.
Grades 9 - 12
High School students will work with theater professionals for four weeks to broaden their performance skills, deepen knowledge of theater, and produce a show. Students serve as role models of teamwork and positive energy, and carry the Company Class legacy of leadership, energy, discipline, focus and joy.
Auditions are held March 25, April 1, 11, and 21. Learn about your Audition Requirements and sign up for your audition date and time.
Designed for students on the autism spectrum, Next Steps classes help students take their next steps as an artist and a person. First Stage creates a safe space for all students to be creative and be themselves without judgment or fear of failure. Guided by our philosophy of teaching life skills through stage skills, students will experience the joy of acting and musical theater each day with a team of teaching artists and special education professionals.
One-week half-day sessions are available August 14-18 and August 21-24.
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Tuition and Financial Assistance
An Early Bird Tuition rate is offered for all enrollments received through March 31*. Following that date, tuition will increase to our standard rates.
Through First Stage’s Family Partnership Program, Financial Assistance is available for families so that all interested students have the opportunity to participate in First Stage Theater Academy. Learn more or Contact Us for more information.
*Early Bird Tuition rates for Company Class is valid through April 25, following our audition process.
Tuition ranges from $160 - $800 depending upon age and length of class. Payment plans are available with a $75 deposit. There is a $20 fee for all new students, which covers enrollment and t-shirt costs.
Registration is available online. You may also register via mail or fax by downloading this Registration Form.
New Student Orientations
May 9 & May 16
These open house orientations allow new families to learn more about the program structure and policies, ask questions, and get a glimpse into the classroom content. New Student Orientations take place at the Milwaukee Youth Arts Center on May 9 at 6PM and May 16 at 6PM.
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Every Summer Academy session will culminate in a lively presentation of class work for family and friends on the final class day. Details are included in the welcome letter you will receive following registration.
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