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What is Barter Youth Academy


The Barter Youth Academy is a performance-based educational program that allows students of all ages a chance to learn and develop their performance and storytelling skills. Using the acting and rehearsing techniques of the Barter Resident Acting Company, students work through the theatre experience from the audition to the final performance on-stage in front of a live audience. BYA provides a safe, positive environment to enhance the abilities for the beginning performer, as well as shaping the talents of the advanced youth actor.

Each workshop begins with a casting call similar to an audition process, which the BYA directors use for a teaching tool to enhance audition skills. The workshop then runs for eight weeks and culminates in a live, minimally produced demonstration onstage called “Demo Night”. This gives each student a chance to display their hard work for their family and friends!

BYA teaches everything from basic theatre terms to help any young student feel comfortable in a professional theatre environment to advanced acting techniques utilized by such great teachers as Meisner, Chekov, and Strasberg. Workshops change every session with new plays or musicals to work on, as well as new techniques to help your student grow. All while working on some of the greatest plays and musicals ever written for the American Theatre.

Spring and fall workshops are dedicated to traditional acting and performance with classic and contemporary plays. Sessions generally start around early February and early September. Summer workshops focus on musical theatre and start after school ends in June. Workshops meet more often in the summer to allow for extra time needed for music rehearsal and choreography.

In 2016, BYA introduced our popular audition-only workshops for advanced students: Troupe (for Middle School and High School) and Jr. Troupe (For Elementary School). Please see our Facebook page for upcoming audition opportunities!

Anyone between the ages of 5-18 can enroll in Barter Youth Academy classes! BYA workshops are designed for K-2nd grade (Pre-Academy), 3rd-5th grade (Elementary Workshops) and 6th-12th grade (Middle/High School Workshops). Not all age groups are available at all locations.

“BYA Nights” at Barter Theatre allow academy students and friends or family members to attend a Barter Show at a deeply discounted price. It’s a fun way to meet Barter Staff and BYA students from all over the area.

Tuition prices vary by age group and season. Please choose your appropriate class on our registration page to see current tuition information. A $50 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your student's registration. Scholarship applications are available online for those who are eligible.

“Through BYA our child has gained confidence and the technical skills needed to perform onstage. She has adored her director and loves working with her cast members. Each production is helping her really grow and blossom as an actor.”-BYA Parent

“I like everything about BYA and it’s really fun!” -BYA Student, age 5

“I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to be involved with BYA; it has been one of the best experiences of my life.” -BYA Student, age 17