YES Workshop Ad.jpg

Youth Theatre Workshops

In Person for Summer 2022

The Morgan-Wixson Theatre and the Youth Education / Entertainment Series (Y.E.S.) have been working with youth actors and delighting audiences throughout the Los Angeles area for over 26 years. This educational program has been offering workshops in vocals, acting, dance and audition preparation. A highly skilled team has designed curriculum for all levels of experience from the novice to the advanced. 

We hope you can join us!


All Workshops will take place at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre at 2627 Pico Blvd. in Santa Monica. 

More details provided upon registration. We will be following all CDC requirements on masking and social distancing.



All students must be fully vaccinated. For details regarding the theatre’s vaccination policies click here:


Our goal is for total inclusion and we realize that there will be families that cannot afford this opportunity. The tuition is listed with 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).

Intro to Theater Part 1

for youth with very little or no

experience and/or training.


To introduce novice artists to all aspects of theatre by teaching fundamental skills in all areas of performance: Acting, Dance, Voice & Musical Theatre Auditions

Mondays, 3:45-5:00 pm for ages 8-18 (currently in 3rd  – 12th grade)

Tuition:  $300


Intro to Theater Part 2

for students who have completed Intro to Theatre Part 1 in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021


To overview theater techniques and build upon skills learned in Acting, Dance, Voice & Musical Theatre Auditions 

Mondays, 5:15-6:30 pm for ages 8-18 (currently in 3rd  – 12th grade)

Tuition:  $300

Performance Foundations 1

for students who have completed Intro to Theater Parts 1 and 2

OR who have completed  2 or  3  Y.E.S shows OR who have prior stage experience and/or training (private lessons, outside performance programs). This workshop is a prerequisite for Performance Foundations 2.


Students are introduced to the Stanislavski “System of Wants” Acting Technique and how they apply to Scene Work and Musical Theater Auditions. Musical Theater Dance skills are not continued.

Wednesday, 3:45-5:15 pm for ages 9-18 (currently in 4th – 12th grade)

Tuition:  $350

Performance Foundations 2

for students who have completed one session of Foundations Workshop   during Spring 2021 OR who have completed  3 or  4  Y.E.S shows

OR who have prior stage experience and/or training

(private lessons, outside performance programs)

This workshop is a prerequisite for Advanced Acting.


Actors further explore the Stanislavski “System of Wants” applied to Scene Work, Cold Reading, and Monologues as well as continue Musical Theatre Vocals Audition Techniques.

Wednesday, 5:15-6:45 pm for ages 9-18 (currently in 4th – 12th grade)


Tuition:  $350


Advanced Performance Foundations

for students who have  completed Advanced Acting and/or Building Your Book during the Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 sessions OR who have completed  5 or more  YES shows OR who have extensive prior stage experience and/or training (private lessons, outside performance programs)


Actors use all techniques learned to deepen knowledge and continue growing as skilled performers in the areas of Acting and Musical Theatre Audition Techniques 

Tuesday, 4:00-6:00 for ages 9-18 (currently in 4th – 12th grade)


Tuition:  $400

Additional Training Module

This module is designed to be taken with one of the workshops above or separately


Stage Combat

Like dance, theatrical swordplay is both complex in structure and beautiful in execution. The timing must be precise and the form flawless all while being executed with effortless flair. Training in theatrical combat will improve your posture, balance, eye-hand coordination and isometric strength. You will memorize complex sequences and time your actions with a partner all while continuously recalling a litany of movements, attacks, parries and evasions. It goes without saying that all of this also requires a tremendous amount of mental focus. Did I mention you get to play with swords?

Sunday, 10:00 -11:30 am for ages 10 to adult

(No class on October 17)


Tuition:  $ 275 as a single class, $175 in combination with a preceding Workshop



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 students 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.


Registration:  Limited Enrollment – please register by Tuesday, September 7 to reserve your place. 

To register for a workshop, please follow the link to our registration form: 

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! 

Our Instructors


Anne Gesling (Co-Administrator and Instructor) 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.  


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. 


Mariana Benjamin (Instructor)  is a theatre educator and director originally from Los Angeles.  After graduating from Barnard College with a degree in Playwriting, Mariana worked in professional theatre in New York for several years, before returning home to become the Program Director at the Creative Kids Youth Theatre Project Los Angeles.  Mariana has over 10 years of experience teaching children’s theatre, and over 4 years of experience working on Broadway.  She is excited to be joining the staff at the Morgan-Wixson!


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.   

Lindsay Merrill (Instructor) grew up in Omaha, NE where she trained extensively and competed in all styles of dance before going onto college where she studied Dance Performance and Visual and Performing Arts, as well as performed with multiple dance companies in Oklahoma and LA. She has since worked as a children’s theater director and dance instructor in Los Angeles for the past 5 years and previously taught and choreographed for dance studios across the Midwest. Currently, Lindsay is also pursuing her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and looks forward to integrating her love of the performing arts with passion for learning about the human experience in unique and innovative ways.


Marc Antonio Pritchett (Instructor/Stage Combat) works as a Director, Fight Coordinator and Session Singer in Los Angeles. He has over 20 years of stage combat experience. Stage credits include: Productions at Los Angeles Opera, Opera Pacific, The Sacramento Theatre Company, Rubicon Theatre. Films include: The Bacchae, Privateers, Lethal Prey & Soldier of God. He is represented by Nucleus Talent Management. For additional info visit:


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.


Kristin Towers-Rowles (Instructor) is a Los Angeles native who trained in Acting and Musical Theatre in NYC at AMDA. She has played leading roles in 7 National Tours and in over 100 regional productions all over the USA. As a director, she has directed many award-winning productions of plays and musicals. Kristin has taught Musical Theatre and acting all over Southern California and is a college placement audition coach. She is excited to be back at one of her theatrical homes, The Morgan-Wixson Theatre.