This summer, Trinity Rep will welcome students of all ages into the theater for our Young Actors Summer Institute (YASI), a series of programs that expertly combine rigorous theater training with a focus on creating a community for students to support and learn from each other. A variety of opportunities are available, tailored to the interests, schedules, and ages of our participants. With registration opening right after the holidays, here’s a closer look at what happens each summer.

YASI

Trinity Rep’s signature summer program is a four-week summer theater intensive that is one of the most comprehensive summer theater programs in New England. It is also the most popular of our educational programs. Students entering grades 5–12 choose from a variety of classes ranging from playwriting, musical theater, improv, stage makeup, Shakespeare and more. This format provides opportunities for each student’s experience to be customized to their own interests, while also fostering a communal experience that makes everyone feel welcome and supported. While the focus is as much on building community and instilling confidence as it is on teaching specific theater skills, participants definitely complete the program with a strong training in a variety of theater disciplines.

A YASI showcase performance

YASI Players

This one-week program invites students in grades 5–12 to rehearse and perform an original play, written specifically for them. Students do not need to have participated in the full YASI program to enroll. They will go through the entire process of being in a play from auditioning (everyone gets a part) to the final performance. For students who have participated in the full YASI program, this is a great way to extend the magic for one more week and put all that they have learned into practice. Students may also opt to enroll only in YASI Players and receive an exceptional experience creating theater.

YASI Junior

Created with younger students in mind, YASI Junior is a one-week, half-day program for students entering grades 1–4. Over the course of the week, they explore the world of performance with lessons in movement, acting, props creation, storytelling, and more. The program culminates with a performance of short plays created by the students themselves. Whether students are looking for their first exposure to theater training or simply having fun expanding the make-believe play they mastered as toddlers, YASI Junior is an opportunity for them to build confidence, make friends, and have fun.

YASI Masters

Designed for older students, YASI Masters is intended for high school and college students looking to deepen their practice. Three-hour intensive sessions are offered over the course of four days by our resident acting company, artistic staff, and guest artists. Previous class topics include musical improv, nailing the dance audition, props making, and acting for the camera. For those interested in pursuing theater professionally, this program offers specialized training that would benefit any aspiring performer.

YASI Shakes

Students entering grades 10–12 and graduating seniors can attend an extra week of YASI to mount a full Shakespearean production. Students are led in a crash course from casting to blocking, teaching, and performing on the Trinity Rep stage. (Students must be a part of the full YASI program in July to participate.) Consider sharing the thrill of theater with the students in your life. No experience is required.

We asked parents what their favorite part of the YASI experience was. Here are some of their responses:

“What sets YASI apart from any other summer camp/education program is the incredible way that the staff manages to support a culture of creativity that feels both playful and directed without ever being condescending. This is a rare and precious alchemy, and I’m deeply grateful that my kid gets to have this experience every summer.”

“Her confidence soared and… this was perhaps the most pure joy and sense of accomplishment I’ve seen in her.”

“I’ve seen my kid become more aware of himself both as a creative individual and as a citizen of a community. YASI has become a lens through which he views the world and his role in it.”

“How close and supportive the kids are of each other, and how much they feel ‘at home’.”

“My child definitely gained confidence by participating in this program. I think it showed her it’s okay to be silly and encouraged her to jump into the circle, so to speak! I hope she takes that with her as she enters the teen years.”

“The kids/group that attend YASI are the type of friends that I would love for my daughter to be around and hang out with.”

“I love how great and supportive the environment is. It is clear that strong bonds are formed and that there’s a place for everyone!”

“Picking up my daughter at the end of the day and hearing, ‘I had the best day ever!’”