Theatre for Teens

Next Actors: Summer Theatre for Teens emboldens passionate high school students in Milwaukee and surrounding areas to recognize their value and connect artistically to their community.

Next Actors provides a structure for teens to create a student-written performance that is then toured throughout the metro area. With the guidance of professional arts and community leaders, students gain self-awareness and confidence while learning to trust, respect, and collaborate with each other to create their own original work of performance art.

The 2019 Next Actors program will take place June 17 – July 27, 2019. The Benefit Performance will be Saturday, July 27, at 4:30 pm.

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Q: How much does it cost?

A: Next Actors is a free program. It only costs your time and dedication.


Q: How do I get in?

A: There is an audition process to become part of the Next Actors program. If you’d like to set up an audition, please contact Next Actors. Next Act’s recruitment efforts focus on participating local classrooms, but we welcome any and all high school students, including those moving into their freshmen year and those who have just graduated.


Q: What do I do in the audition?

A: A monologue (if you do not have one prepared, we can provide you with one – feel free to show up early to rehearse on your own before your audition slot.)

A talent you are confident performing – sing a song, play the ukulele, breakdance, perform this year’s forensics piece, speak a poem you wrote. As long as it is original to you and your skill set, feel free to bring it in.

A short interview with the Program Director where Next Act learns about you and your interests. The monologue and performance talent must not go over 5 minutes long combined.


Q: What skills are you looking for?

A: Where most audition scenarios are seeking raw talent, the Next Actors program seeks out brave, active learners who take charge of their own education and want their voice to be heard. You do not have to have Broadway skills. You DO need dedication, passion, critical thinking skills, and a willingness to work with peers.


Q: Where is the audition?

A: At Next Act Theatre, 255 South Water Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204


Q: What is the summer time commitment?

A: Next Actors is a six-week program running Monday through Friday, 9 am to 3 pm. Due to the nature of devised work (you build your own performance with a team of students, we need your input!) we ask that you be present as often as possible. Missing more than one day a week would not be acceptable. Being unavailable for any of the performances cannot be acceptable.


Q: What’s in it for me?

A: As a Next Actor, you will improvise, write, explore, devise, and co-create a performance with teens from places in and around Milwaukee. Together, you will perform a piece of theater that is meaningful to you – empowering your voice within your community. The Next Actors summer program is an opportunity to recognize your value, step outside your comfort zone, meet new peers, develop a new relationship with your community, and let Milwaukee audiences know what’s important to you.


Q: What do the six weeks look like?

A: The first week consists of team-building games and exercises so you can get to know each other and how you work best together. Following that, we dive into improvisation exercises, brainstorming sessions, idea development, and movement and music workshops guided by professional Milwaukee artists. Weeks four and five are spent editing and rehearsing. During week six, you will tour your production to area community organizations, senior centers, COAs and Boys and Girls Clubs, finishing with a final benefit performance on the Next Act stage.


Q: I like writing. Do I have to perform?

A: Yes! The Next Actors summer program is focused on supporting your voice and ideas and training you to share those on a stage in front of an audience. All Next Actors are part of the performance. If you love writing but not performing, we encourage you to audition anyway – you won’t know how to fulfill your potential if you never try!