Every year, thousands of young students make their way to First Stage Theater Academy, learning “life skills through stage skills,” for which First Stage is so highly praised. Notably, several of these young ones eventually return to the Academy as teachers and teaching apprentices. Several First Stage alumni shared their talents and knowledge with a new generation of First Stagers over the summer. Here are a few of their stories! Note: With the exception of the direct quotes, the following bios were written by their respective teachers and teaching apprentices.
|Academy teachers Marcella Kearns and |
Grace DeWolff (right)
Grace DeWolff (Classical Company Class Teacher, OAC) has been learning life skills through stage skills since she was a First Stage Academy student at age six. Now she serves as the project manager of Project Empty Space, a community organization through The Alchemist Theatre in Bay View that brings new audiences to new theatre. Grace has acted, directed, written, designed and toured through Minneapolis, Oxford, London and Edinburgh. Grace's Shakespeare credits include University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Optimist Theatre and the British-American Dramatic Academy.
|Elyse Edelman, End of Day, Summer Academy 2013|
Garrett Kim (Voice and Movement; Shakespeare Teaching Apprentice, OAC and SLW) is ecstatic that his First Stage career is coming full circle as a teaching apprentice. He was a former summer academy student, Young Company member and young performer. He hopes he can make this summer with First Stage as life changing for his students as it was for him! Garrett is a rising sophomore pursuing a BA in Theatre Performance at Fordham University in New York City.
|Nate Press in action!|
Maddie Wakley (Shakespeare and Acting Theory Teaching Apprentice, MYAC) is marking her fourth summer as a teaching apprentice with First Stage, after having spent many childhood years here as a student, intern and actor. Recently earning a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, she has worked various jobs with companies like Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, In Tandem and the Riverside Theater Shakespeare Festival in Iowa City, Iowa. Maddie is excited to explore acting theory and the world of Shakespeare this summer with the amazing faculty and students of the academy.
Bridgette Well (Scene Study; Improvisation; Scene Study Teaching Apprentice, OAC and SLW) is a recent graduate of the University of Miami with degrees in both Theatre Arts and Communication Studies. She is a First Stage Theater Academy alumna, having studied in summer sessions, company classes and the Young Company, and has performed in several First Stage productions. She also assisted the Academy as an intern and looks forward to her third summer as a teaching apprentice.
Anna Wolfe (Improvisation Teaching Apprentice, MYAC) is thrilled to be back at First Stage for her third summer as a teaching apprentice. She is a junior acting major at Columbia College, Chicago. Anna recently graduated from iO, an improv training program in Chicago. She was accepted into the Comedy Studies program at Second City, where she will spend next semester studying and performing sketch comedy, clowning, stand up, and improvisation. Anna values the teaching experience because “you can watch the progression the students go through.” The most important lesson she wants students to learn is that listening and supporting your scene partner are the most important aspects of improvisation.
Learn more about First Stage Theater Academy teachers, some of the finest professional theater artists in the region!