Youth Acting Workshop History

2013 / 2012 / 2011 / 2010 / 2008 / 2007 / 2006 / 2005

2013 YAW Program

  • Academy Award nominee actress Lindsay Crouse leads a Master Acting Class for YAW students. Photo credit: Gary Ng.

2012 YAW Program

  • YAW Students learn puppetry. Photo credit: Gloucester Daily Times.

2011 YAW Program

  • The 2011-2012 YAW Program was funded, in part, by the National Endowment for the Arts / Art Works Program.
2011 YAW Program

Summer 2011 YAW Program

The 2011 Summer YAW Program afforded 36 students the opportunity to learn the basics of acting and theatre etiquette, as well as the study of movement and playwriting. Incorporated into the weekly class curriculum designed by YAW Director, Heidi Dallin, was an introduction to the Laban Movement Analysis of Dance taught by Guest Artist Choreographer, Carol Burnham and play development and storytelling facilitated by 2011 Playwright in Residence, Richard Vetere.

Each Class Session worked on separate projects geared to their age and experience:

  • The Children’s Class wrote their own fairy tales, “The War Between the Fruit and the Meat”, “The Tale of the Three Snowshoe Hares” and “How the Boy Saved the Town”, that was performed for friends and family at the final class.
  • The Pre-Teen and the Teen Class had the opportunity to work on scenes from a new young adult play “BirdBrain” written by Mr. Vetere and gave YAW students the opportunity to work on the play prior to its publication.

For the final class, students performed scenes from “BirdBrain” complete with costumes and birdlike movements learned through the Laban Movement Analysis. The Teen Class also wrote and performed personal monologues on topics ranging from Justin Bieber to overcoming physical and emotional challenges.

The Summer 2011 YAW Program also included a Young Playwrights Workshop. Led by Richard Vetere, this Workshop garnered new students from colleges and universities (University of Pennsylvania and Colby College) into the YAW Program and allowed these students to learn the fundamental concepts of playwriting. Receiving valuable feedback from Mr. Vetere, they honed and crafted their own plays.

Additionally, four (4) YAW students were given the opportunity to perform in Gloucester Stage’s critically acclaimed 2011 production of “The Most Happy Fella” working alongside professional actors, singers and dancers. Many of YAW’s older students also became active in the day-to-day activities at Gloucester Stage as regular volunteer ushers for the 2011 Season.

Fall 2011 YAW Program

The 2011 Fall YAW Program, which was expanded to two days a week, allowed students of all levels to achieve a unique understanding of the fundamentals of theater. Special guest instructor, Professor James Petty of Stonehill College, taught each class stagecraft techniques and Carol Burnham of Windover Dance Company in Rockport provided the students with movement and dance classes.

Winter 2012 YAW Program

The 2012 YAW Winter Session, which was part of the 2011 – 2012 YAW Workshop Season, included an introduction to theatre basics such as theatre games, improvisation, movement, vocal and physical expression, character preparation, scene study, storytelling, writing and public speaking training taught by YAW Director, Heidi Dallin. The standard YAW curriculum was further embellished with special instruction in music and art facilitated by guest teachers Helen Lake Greene and Rockhaya Waring, respectively.

Helen Lake Greene is a UMass-Amherst alumnus (vocal major) and Music Teacher at the West Parish Elementary in Gloucester, MA. Ms Greene taught students basic singing techniques and the fundamental application of how to convey a story through song. Additionally, she coached students on stage deportment to build confidence in their singing and familiarize them with the structure of a Broadway Show Tune.

Visual Artist Rokhaya Waring is a graduate of Princeton University and a member of the Rocky Neck Art Colony in Gloucester, MA. Ms Waring worked with the YAW students to develop their observation skills as they learned the five skills of perception, their ability to capture emotions, draw from life and tell a story with visuals.
For more information on Ms Waring visit her website at

2011 “Holiday Delights” Stage Manager, Rosie Kenney, who is a graduate in Theater from Salem State University, offered a special class for the Teen Session on the basics of stage management.

December 2011—Holiday Delights

View video footage and read more about GSC’s 2011 Holiday Delights!
Good Morning Gloucester—Behind the Scenes @ Holiday Delights

Gloucester Daily Times
“Family traditions take center stage in ‘Holiday Delights’ at Gloucester Stage”

The Boston Globe
“‘Holiday Delights’ in Gloucester tells a Christmas tale”

2010 YAW Program

  • Happy Holidays from Mrs. Claus (center) and the elves in Santa's Workshop. Photo by Gary Ng.

2008 YAW Program

  • Ms. Dallin assists students with various acting techniques, including group acting games and advanced scene study. Photo credit: Gary Ng.

2007 YAW Program

  • Photo credit: Gary Ng.
2007 YAW Program

December 2007—Holiday Delights

This festive evening includes classic holiday scenes from Louisa Mae Alcott’s Little Women, Israel Horovitz’s Scrooge and Marley and acclaimed Gloucester author Lee Kingman’s charming story, The Magic Christmas Tree, rousing holiday music directed by Beth Goldberg and choreography by Windhover Dance Company’s Carol Burnham. Featuring students 6 to 15 years old from the Summer and Fall Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshops.

2007 Youth Acting Workshops: Summer and Fall Sessions

Fifty-Five students ranging from 6 to 17 years old from seven different New England communities participated in the 2007 Youth Acting Workshops taught by GSC’s own Heidi Dallin. The Youth Acting Workshops, previously offered only during the summer, have expanded to include a Fall Session in 2007 and a Winter Session scheduled for late February 2008. Each session is six weeks long.

Students in the Summer session memorized and performed Emily Dickinson poems which coincided with Gloucester Stage’s production of The Belle of Amherst starring Lindsay Crouse. Guest artists, including Ms. Crouse and James Ijames, the star of GSC’s Ponies, visited and worked with the students on delivering monologues and improvisation techniques. Mime professional and Tufts University graduate Brendan Shea introduced the students to mime. Youth Acting Workshops Intern and Columbia College Theater major Katie Rose Sheehan assisted with the Summer Session.

Student Caroline Zola, age 12 of Newton, MA who participated in her first Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshop this summer, describes her experience, “This past summer, I learned so much from Heidi. From learning to recite a short poem, to being able to walk like a mime. Everything we did was a blast, and I will continue to act with the Gloucester Stage Company for many years to come.”

The Fall Session of the Youth Acting Workshops, held on Saturday mornings, began on September 15. During the Fall Session students worked on beloved American poetry and scenes from classic American drama as well as audition techniques.

2006 YAW Program

  • 2006 Summer Sessions. Photo credit: Gary Ng.
2006 YAW Program

2006 Summer Sessions

In 2006 twenty-six students from seven different communities participated in the seven-week Youth Acting Workshops taught by GSC’s own Heidi Dallin. The session for children ages 5 to 10 culminated in a performance of the classic children’s story “Peter’s Long Walk” by Gloucester’s Lee Kingman and the debut of commercials for new products written by the students. Students participating in the session for 11 to 17 year-olds created and performed their own world premiere comic play “The Blizzard.” Over 135 family members and friends enjoyed the Youth Acting Workshops final presentation and reception on Tuesday, August 15 at Gloucester Stage Company.

Jaqi McCarthy, age 9, had this to say about her experience as a student: “I have done Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshops for the past 3 years.  It is a fun way to learn acting.  I love it.  It has helped me to project my voice, follow stage directions, and to use more body motions.  I also got used to Show Business.  My experience with the Acting Workshops helped to get me ready to audition for The Wind in the Willows.”

Four students who participated in the 2006 program (Tess Destino, Emily Keyes, Jaqi McCarthy and Racquel Shaw) were cast in our winter production of The Wind in the Willows.

The Youth Acting Workshops are designed to provide young people who possess a variety of abilities and levels of interest an outlet to develop self-confidence, communication and teamwork skills. Students are introduced to the skills necessary for professional theater through theater basics including improvisation, character preparation, vocal and physical expression, theater games and storytelling.

2006 Workshops met for seven weeks and were taught by Heidi Dallin.

2005 YAW Program

  • Photo credit: Gary Ng.