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Northern Stage’s Youth Ensemble Studio (YES) is an eight-month program designed to provide access to exceptional theater education for young people in grades 7-12. Company members participate in group viewings of and discussions about main stage productions and rehearse and perform three productions throughout the course of the academic school year.

She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms

Qui Nguyen
Director: Eric Love (Director of Education)
Cast: Open to all students registered for YES Main Stage Plays, ages 12 and up
Project Description: We will be rehearsing and performing She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms live on Zoom.
Synopsis: “A comedic romp into the world of fantasy role-playing games, She Kills Monsters tells the story of high schooler Agnes Evans as she deals with the death of her younger sister, Tilly. When Agnes stumbles upon Tilly’s Dungeons and Dragons notebook, she finds herself catapulted into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was her sister’s refuge. In this high-octane dramatic comedy laden with homicidal fairies and nasty ogres, acclaimed playwright Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all.” -Concord Theatricals

Running Time:
1 hour, 20 minutes
Rehearsal Dates: Tuesday, February 23 – Wednesday, March 24.
Live Performance on Zoom: Thursday, March 25 and Friday, March 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Registration Fee: $300
How To Register: Registration is now closed.

Main Stage Plays Program

Program Description: An important part of excellent training is experiencing world-class theater, and this program ensures that our YES students do just that. This fall and winter, Northern Stage will present professional productions online. The YES Main Stage Plays program will be entirely online and will include a pre-show presentation about the inspiration for each work, watching the virtual performance, and meeting afterwards to discuss the piece. There will be five Main Stage Play days in the fall and more in the new year. This is the baseline training for the YES program. Participation in the Main Stage Plays program is required for those who wish to participate in the fall, winter, or spring YES productions.
Cast: Open to all students, ages 12 and up
Running Time: Approximately 2 hours, depending on the show
Dates: Please click the education packet link above as it contains the most up to date information.
Price: $150
How To Register: Click here or call our box office at (802) 296-7000.

Fall Project: On Any Given Winter Wednesday Night

Writer: Alan Haehnel
Director: Education Manager Jaclyn Pageau
Cast: Open to all students registered for YES Main Stage Plays, ages 12 and up
Project Description: Alan is a prolific writer of published plays for high school actors who also happens to be an english teacher at Hanover High School. He reached out to me with the first draft of On Any Given Winter Wednesday Night in the winter of 2020. I was very taken with the vignettes he wrote about teenage life; scenes about friendship, parents, sexuality, ghosts, weather, social media, and love. He is an excellent writer, skilled at piercing straight to the heart of a scene. What’s more, he wrote the entire play in verse. I immediately thought, “All our kids who are obsessed with Hamilton with LOVE this!” We workshopped On Any Given Winter Winter Wednesday Night through two drafts on Zoom this spring with the Boot Camp Company. It is now at a place where it needs refining, sculpting, and tweaking in a staged reading rehearsal process. I am delighted to be able to give our students the experience of working on a brand new play with the playwright in the room who will be making changes in real time. The end goal is to present a staged reading of the final script before Alan sends it to his publisher.
Synopsis: In every home, behind every door, there is a story. This ensemble play brings a small town to life with a patchwork of stories that delve into the teenage experience. It is a beautiful, funny, and poignant world premiere by a local playwright.
Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Rehearsal Dates: Tuesday, September 8 – Sunday, September 27. Click here to view the calendar.
Planned Public Release Date: Thursday, October 8
Registration Fee: $300
How To Register: Registration is now closed.

Special Opportunity for High School YES Students:
Boot Camp Shakespeare Play: Much Ado About Nothing

Writer: William Shakespeare
Director: Director of BridgeUP Kate Kenney
Cast: Open to High School YES Actors and Boot Camp Company
Project Description: Shakespeare expert and Director of BridgeUP: Theater in the Schools Kate Kenney will direct Much Ado About Nothing as a Zoom play, designed to introduce our BridgeUP students to the world of Shakespeare before they take on the Bard in the spring. Open to the high school YES actors and the Boot Camp Company, this project will focus on script analysis, character development, and classical technique. Actors will memorize their parts so that staging, costumes, and props can be incorporated. This production is completely remote, rehearsing and performing on Zoom.
Synopsis: Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy about misunderstandings, love, and deception. The story follows Benedick and Beatrice, who pit their wits against each other, and the young lovers, Claudio and Hero, in the wake of a war.
Running Time: 45-60 minutes
Audition Date: Saturday, October 3, 2:00 – 5:00 PM. These are character casting auditions. Everyone who registers is guaranteed a role.
Rehearsal Dates: Tuesday, November 3 – Sunday, November 22. Click here to view the calendar.
Planned Public Release Date: Thursday, December 10
Registration Fee: $300
How To Register: Registration is now closed. 

Click HERE to see the YES 2020-21 Fall Packet. 

Is YES Right For You?
We are looking for actors who are excited for high quality theater training. The Youth Ensemble Studio is a significant time commitment. While it is not required, we hope actors will consider participating in the whole season. The progression of shows is designed to advance the actors’ skills from the spoken word, to scene work, to musical theater. No matter how advanced you are, each of these projects will challenge you at your level and evolve your skills.
Rehearsal Conflicts
It is essential to have all actors together in the rehearsal room – whether virtual or in person – to create excellent theater. Conflicts are taken into consideration for casting, so all conflicts must be listed on each project’s audition form and may not be added after auditions. If you have conflicts for more than three rehearsals, you must talk to the director to discuss whether your involvement is possible. We hope you are eager to fully participate in YES and that you will reschedule or opt out of other activities to be at rehearsal.
Theater is about collaboration and good communication is a pillar of this activity. When you sign up for this program, you are making a commitment to clear communication. Parents must check their email regularly and read all the information we send out. We encourage YES students to be actively engaged in email communication alongside their parents.
Scholarship and Payment Plans
In an effort to ensure theater education is accessible to all, Northern Stage offers need-based scholarships and payment plans for our education programs. If you would like to apply for a scholarship or set up a payment plan, please email and ask our staff to hold a place for you until the scholarship or payment plan process is complete. Click here to view and download the scholarship application. Your scholarship application and accompanying financial paperwork MUST be received at least two weeks prior to the audition date or rehearsal start date, whichever comes first, in order to be eligible. Scholarship offers will be made on a rolling basis. We are grateful to Janet Miller Haines, Heywood Alexander, Michael Aycock and Barry Baker, Education Fund donors, and our entire family of supporters for making YES scholarships possible. If you would like to set up a payment plan or have questions about payment options, please email
Refunds and Cancellations
Northern Stage is not able to offer refunds. If you have any questions, please contact the Box Office before registering.
Contact the box office at or (802) 296-7000.