The Morgan-Wixson Theatre and Youth Education / Entertainment Series (Y.E.S) have been working with youth actors and delighting audiences throughout the Los Angeles area for over 27 years. In addition, this educational program offers workshops in vocals, acting, dance and audition preparation. A highly skilled team has designed a curriculum for all levels of experience from the novice to the advanced.
We hope you can join us!
All workshops currently still accepting sign ups.
Fall Classes 2023
Intro to Theatre
September 11 through December 11*
Mondays, 3:45 - 5:00pm for ages 7 - 13
Mondays, 5:00 - 6:30pm for ages 12- 16
- For youth with little or no experience and/or training
For youth with little or no experience and/or training. Students learn fundamental skills in all areas of performance: Acting, MT Dance, Voice/Auditions Skills. This program is structured for most students to take consecutive sessions to grow in skills and create a base of knowledge in the performing arts.
* NO CLASSES on 9/25 (Yom Kippur) 10/30 (tech week of Youth Musical)
September 13 through December 13*
Wednesdays 4:30- 6:00pm
for ages 11-16
- for students who have completed Intro to Theater OR have completed 2 or 3 Y.E.S shows OR who have prior stage experience and/or training (private lessons, outside performance programs)
Students are introduced to methods of script analysis and acting techniques that apply to scene work, monologues as well as musical theatre auditioning. They’ll be given tools to define beats and actions and will explore physical ways of creating characters as well as how to readily access emotions in context of the role. There is a crossover of some ages to accommodate prior experience and scheduling.
* NO CLASSES on 11/1 (tech week of Youth Musical) or 11//22 (Thanksgiving)
Musical Theatre Prep
September 7 through October 26
Thursdays 4:30- 6:00pm
for ages 13 -18
- for students who have completed Intro to Theater and Foundations OR have completed 3 or 4 Y.E.S shows. Some students may be eligible with prior stage experience and/or training that gives a strong basis for this program (see workshop placement info)
Students will explore musical genres, strengthen audition skills in both acting and vocal technique as well as gain knowledge from guest artists from the musical theatre industry with Q&A panels and feedback from song workshop.
Module Classes: Dance
-the module program is designed to be taken along with one of the workshops above or separately
Musical Theatre/Jazz Dance
September 26 through November 21**
Tuesdays, 4:30 - 6:00pm for ages 10 - 15
Tuition: $250 as a single class, $190 in combination with another workshop above.
- For youth with little or no experience and/or training
Explore the foundational technique of jazz dance and how it can be applied in a musical theatre setting to gain an understanding of how to tell a story through movement.
**No Class on 10/31 (Halloween)
Intermediate/Advance Jazz Dance
September 24 through October 29
Sundays, 10:30 am- 12:00pm for ages 13 - adult
Tuition: $190 as a single class, $130 in combination with another workshop above.
For students with a foundation of other dance experience including jazz or ballet to continue their
growth, knowledge and precision.
All Workshops will take place at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre in Santa Monica. More details provided upon registration.
Our goal is for total inclusion and we realize that there will be families that cannot afford this opportunity given current circumstances. The tuition is listed below under each workshop description, but if you are unable to pay part or all of the tuition, we are accepting all students on a “pay what you can” basis. There is no need to apply for a scholarship or to provide any family financial information. If your family is able to donate monies above the tuition to help support this program, we will provide you with a donation letter for your tax return (and be eternally grateful).
Workshop Placement: It is our goal that each participant has the most beneficial experience. Please
email us if you would like guidance to find the workshop that most fits your student’s needs. In addition, our administrators may wish to move a participant into a different class dependent on experience and will consult with the participant and parent(s) as needed.
All students must be fully vaccinated to participate.
These workshops are designed to support and expand a young actor’s skills. Therefore
it is possible to be enrolled in a workshop and still be cast in a Y.E.S. show.
The instructors of the workshops and directors of the shows will work together to
schedule around workshops days. In addition, during tech week, where rehearsal for a
Y.E.S. show is required, the workshops will take that day off in case any workshop
members are in a cast.
*Please note that enrolling in workshops is not a guarantee of being cast in a show.
If you have any questions,
please contact us at
“Since I am really wanting to continue with the MWT, these workshops were extremely helpful to me because I could get familiar with some of the theater’s/director’s expectations and styles.”
“What a wonderful program you created for our kids to learn and practice their craft. (Our daughter) would light up every Wednesday knowing she got to spend time with her MWT peeps. In times like this, it means even more to give our children positive experiences that bring them joy.”
“I really grew so much as a performer! It was really helpful.”
Praise for our Workshops!
Anne Gesling is the founder of the Annual Youth Musical and a co-founder of the YES Program at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre. In 35 years at the MWT, she has directed and/or music directed over 150 youth and Mainstage productions and served as costume designer on over 50 productions. She has received awards for direction from the National Youth Arts and the NAACP in addition to numerous awards at the MWT. Her passion is working with and training young actors.
Ellen Doyle (Instructor) is a Los Angeles based teaching artist and actor and voiceover artist originally from Chicago. She has directed/taught kids in musical theatre, commercial workshops, acting and improv in the West Hollywood area for the last 8 years. Ellen can be seen in over 15 national commercials (some of which are currently airing), heard in voiceover campaigns like JBL and McDonalds and was recently seen in "Good Girls". She has performed regional theatre throughout the Chicago land area and has trained at Groundlings in LA and Second City in Chicago.
Katie Herling (Instructor) is an actor and teaching artist, with a BFA in Performing Arts from the Oregon Center for the Arts in Ashland, OR, where she studied with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s resident fight choreographer, U Jonathan Toppo. She was last seen as Fight Captain/Neferrus in BoomStick Theater’s Space Captain: Captain of Space, and has instructed with theaters and conservatories up and down the West Coast, including CalShakes Student Conservatory, Kingsmen Shakespeare Company, the Quinan Street Project, Turning Point Independent School, and more. Katie is excited to join the team at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre!
Eve Keller (Co-Administrator and Instructor) has been teaching musical theatre and audition techniques to youth (throughout the LA area) for over 20 years. She is also a director for the Y.E.S program at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre where she has received nominations for her directing from National Youth Arts. Eve has her Masters in Child Psychology and combines her passion for children’s development with her knowledge of the performing arts to create an inspiring theatrical space to allow young performers to comfortably tap into their artistic gifts.
Michelle McGregor (Instructor) is thrilled to bring her teaching to the YES Program at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre. Michelle has studied various techniques in acting all over the country; from Meisner and Stanislovksy, to Commedia Dell'arte and Improvisation technique. She is committed to sharing a wide range of techniques and tools with her students. Michelle has her BFA in theatre from the College of Santa Fe, and her MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama. She has taught script analysis, acting fundamentals, and creation of character since 2009 and looks forward to this collaboration with Morgan-Wixson.
Maggie Randolph (Instructor) received a BFA at Syracuse University after attending Interlochen Performing Arts School during her high school years. Soon after graduation, Maggie toured in many productions around the world and won many awards for her performances, including winning LA's Next Great Stage Star in 2016. These past five years she has had a career in teaching and private vocal coaching and is passionate about sharing her knowledge to young performers of all ages while continuing to perform in Los Angeles.
Krystle Simmons (Instructor) is an international performer with NAACP and Ovation Awards nominations for best leading actress and has been performing professionally for over 13 years. Krystle also teaches acting and musical theater dance from coast to coast and has a passion and love for educating children in the arts. As a seasoned performer with experiences that vary from Luxury cruise lines, regional theater, to being a featured vocalist on national television, she has lots of insight to share with her students.