Another year, another Young Actors Summer Institute (YASI) is in the books! This year there were 120 students who took part in YASI and all of them performed in the showcase at the end of the program. There were 56 different classes that students could choose from and 48 staff members, including instructors and assistants.
YASI is the best place for a summer full of theater for all ages! It is one of the most comprehensive summer arts enrichment programs in New England. For four and a half weeks, students ages 10 to 18 chose from a variety of electives, including playwriting, musical theater, improvisation, Shakespeare, stage combat, and more. These classes were taught by Trinity Rep’s acting company, education staff, Brown/Trinity Rep MFA students, and alums, as well as local working artists. At the end of the program, there were two public performances on the Trinity Rep stage. After the main program, there was an optional extension week for high school students called YASI Shakes.
Classes this year were bigger and better than ever. Students got to choose what class they wanted to take based on their own interests. This year we offered our traditional classes as mentioned above, but also had some fun classes like Stage Makeup and Hip-Hop. There were also plenty of bonding activities so that students can get to know each other and start to form friendships that we hope will last a lifetime. This year students came together to pelt one of our counselors, Matthew Tibbs, with water balloons.
This year we sat down with one of the YASI kids, Sophie. Sophie is a 16-year-old and has been coming to YASI since 2012 (7 years!). She started out with no theater experience but wanted to come because “it sounded like something I wanted to do!” She loved all of her classes but is eager to admit that musical theater was her favorite. She smiles and says, “Rachael Warren is amazing!” Many kids, like Sophie, come year after year for YASI. We’ve had some kids who have come all the way from elementary school through high school – but don’t let that fool you – new students are always welcome.
While YASI has unfortunately come to an end, and we had an amazing showcase this year, it’s nowhere near the end of our work with school-aged students. During the school year, Trinity Rep offers multiple classes for students. The Trimester Acting Courses are eight-week acting classes that we offer for students in grades K-12 with all experience levels. There are also specialty courses like our Shakespeare in the Library, which offers training in Shakespeare for grades 3-6, or our Trinity Technicians which offers grades 7-12 a chance to get behind the technical side of the theater.
We also offer year-round advanced programs such as our Junior Ensemble for grades 5-7, The Theater EXPLOSION! for grades 8-9 and Theater Lab for grades 10-12. These are special programs that offer a variety of skills to any budding theater enthusiast.
The thing about YASI and the courses at Trinity Rep is that we take pride in our kids! We want them to feel like they can achieve anything – because they can. We want to help them be the best actor, playwright, director, or whatever they may dream of being. Our programs are meant to encourage, train, and aid students in preparing them for their dreams.
We asked Sophie, our 16-year-old YASI student why she comes every year and she told us, simply: “Everybody here is so nice and accepting. It’s good to know there are places like this where everyone is accepted. Everyone gets cheered for, everyone gets a standing ovation.”
Classes for the fall semester are currently accepting registration. The 2019 YASI program will begin enrollment in January 2019. Financial aid is available.
For more information, please visit our website. We hope to have you in class real soon!