Young Company Programs & Classes
Believing that a profound theater experience has the potential to transform its participants and audiences, The Western Stage’s Young Company Program provides annual opportunities for engaging in and attending live theater to local youth.
Calling All Young Actors… Come Join The Western Stage at Hartnell College!
Check out our Audition page for information on programs and audition opportunities, or be an Intern or Apprentice.
Although TWS is not a children’s theater, resident staff have had a long-standing history of and commitment to including young actors and technicians in the process of live theatre. The Young Company Division was formed in 1996 and was designed to encourage young performers to explore theatre technique, but more importantly, to engage with others and to discover their individual and ensemble talents. Every YC project provides new topics and material, and so happily, we have many actors who audition for YC even when they are ready for the “next level” of experience. Titles such as Peter Pan, The King and I, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Children of Eden, The Miracle Worker, The Music Man, The Secret Garden, and Annie were included in TWS’ subscription series and student matinee performances were offered to Monterey County schools to bring the experience of a live performance to those who may not otherwise be able to attend.
The Young Company Division has had a wonderful history of presenting projects that require young participants to discover, stretch, grow and “test their wings”. Past titles include The Witch of Blackbird Pond, The Curate Shakespeare As You Like It, Liza & the Riddling Cave, The Crane Wife, Jugger’s Rain, A Thousand Cranes, Painted Rain and Afternoon of the Elves. In addition, YC has produced original works written by the acting ensemble, guided by TWS professionals such as: Wind of a Thousand Tales, The Andersen Project, Not So Grimm, Canteen, MacMystery, Master McCormack’s Vaudeville Revue Part II, and Songs and Stories.
Every parent has a multi-talented child, and we have a place for them! On the average, 200 young people are involved each season at the minimal cost underwritten by generous grants from the Sally Hughes Church and the S.T.A.R. Foundations, making it affordable for everyone to be part of our dynamic theater program.
Add a Little Drama to Your Life… Come Play!
-Melissa Chin-Parker, TWS Artistic Program Director
Young Company is STILL looking for a space to call home!
Prior to 2005, YC had use of the former Women’s Club building downtown, which enabled the program to grow. With the recent building on the Hartnell Campus, YC’s activities have had to move from place to place. If you know where we can hold our extensive, year-round programs, please let us know!!
Summer Musical Theatre Camps! Students will learn the all too important skills of becoming a strong musical theatre performer.
Sing! Dance! Act! Become a triple threat!
PtT is YC’s playwrighting program that began as YC’s entry-level program, but in the last few years its projects have grown in depth and sophistication. The program is designed to teach improvisation, playwrighting, and performance techniques. Each season’s projects are designed specifically for the unique talents and interests of its ensemble. This summer, PtT will create an original script in partnership with the Monterey County SPCA. PtT actors will work with SPCA campers to tell the stories of animals sheltered and available for adoption. Performances of the final project will be presented to both TWS audiences, and the SPCA staff and supporters. One performance will be specified as a benefit for the SPCA.
1 – 7 week session
June 11 – August 4 with two performances Sat/Sun at 2:00p
By audition only, for more experienced students
PtT is Young Company’s playwrighting program that began as our entry-level program, but over the years its projects have grown in depth and sophistication. PtT is designed to teach improvisation, playwrighting, performance and production techniques, and an original script is produced. Each season’s projects are designed specifically for the unique talents and interests of its ensemble.
YC Presents (YCP)
YCP is a production-oriented program that focuses on rehearsal, technical production, and performance for young artists ages 9-16. Scripted plays with strong literary content written expressly for young performers are chosen. The division produces up to two YCP projects each season. An audition is required as is a lengthy rehearsal process. YCP’s summer show is Still Life with Iris, an adventure fantasy drama by Steven Dietz. The play chronicles a young girl’s quest to regain her memory and with it her home. All the things ones sees by day are made in the world by Nocturno while the rest of the world sleeps. The sun is raised each morning by a signal from Day Breaker and the noon is roped and lowered into a basket every night. The inhabitants of Nocturno busy themselves all night long putting leaves back on the branches, painting the flowers, filling the clouds with rain, making and bottling thunder for storms, and painting the spots on the ladybugs. Through a series of encounters with new friends, Iris is able to seek and discover the rest of her past, as well as revealing a wonderful secret which changes her future.
INTERNSHIPS & APPRENTICESHIPS will be available annually. Check back soon!
For additional information about Youth programs, please contact Susanne Burns at (831) 755-6929 or via email.
The Western Stage Young Company is sponsored by the Sally Hughes Church Foundation, with additional support given by the S.T.A.R Foundation of Monterey.